Lenovo has debuted its own handheld gaming PC to compete against the likes of the Steam Deck and the Asus ROG Ally. The Windows 11-powered Legion Go launches in October for $699, and it’ll be available from Lenovo’s site as well as Best Buy and Micro Center.
The Legion Go might look like its competitors (its specs are similar to theirs, too), but its high-end screen and feature-packed detachable controllers are currently unmatched in this space. The display is an 8.8-inch touchscreen that tops out at 1600p resolution and a 144 Hz refresh rate; it can scale down to 800p and 60 Hz to preserve battery life and maximize performance. Don’t expect the device’s 49.2 Wh battery to hold a charge for long while pushing 1600p resolution (though Lenovo claims it can recharge back to 70% in 30 minutes when you use the included 65 W charger).
The Legion Go’s attempts to stand out in the handheld PC space rely on tricks that the Nintendo Switch popularized (but hardly perfected). It has a kickstand, for instance, allowing it to recline without the need for additional accessories. The Legion Go’s signature feature is detachable controllers, which look like high-tech Joy-Cons. They include accurate Hall effect joysticks, and based on my experience, those aren’t prone to drifting after extended use — unlike the potentiometers built into the analog sticks in most controllers these days. All of the standard buttons are here, plus lots of extras, including multiple customizable macro buttons, a thumb trackpad, and even a mouse scroll wheel, for crying out loud.
To make playing first-person shooters easier, the right controller can be nested in a magnetic dock that holds it upright. Once it’s set in FPS mode with a toggle switch, an optical sensor on the bottom kicks on, letting you move it around like a mouse for more accurate aiming. It’s a cool idea, and I’m curious to see if it works well in practice.
Like the ROG Ally and the Steam Deck, the Legion Go can be docked to a monitor or a TV, and you can connect controllers to it via Bluetooth. It can also run games off of a microSD card as well as a M.2 2242-sized PCIe NVMe SSD (like the one Lenovo uses for some ThinkPad laptops). The starting model includes a 256 GB SSD, but Lenovo will offer 512 GB and 1 TB configurations as well, although the company didn’t announce price points for those versions.
If you enjoy a life of luxury, the Legion Go can be viewed from your very own private, virtual screen with Lenovo’s new wired Legion Glasses, which the company also announced Friday. These glasses enable a portable large-screen experience, with a micro-OLED display that can push 1080p resolution at a 60 Hz refresh rate to each eye.
They also deliver what Lenovo claims is “high-fidelity” audio with the device’s built-in speakers. Better yet, they’ll work with more than just the Legion Go. Any device that supports USB-C video output via DisplayPort alt mode should work, including Windows and macOS computers, Android phones, and presumably other portable gaming hardware. Like the Legion Go, the Legion Glasses are coming in October; they’ll cost $329.
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