Lenovo isn’t the first outfit to release a gaming handheld that runs a full Windows build. We’ve seen a handful of them over the last couple years, especially after the Steam Deck showed how well PC games can perform on a handheld with a custom Linux platform. With the Lenovo Legion Go, however, the outfit is bringing some innovative design elements that should make Windows easier to use on a handheld form factor.
Unlike the Steam Deck, Lenovo’s gaming handheld comes with detachable controllers on each side, allowing you to use it as a touchscreen Windows tablet in a pinch. Even better, you can use them as a controller while detached, so you can set the tablet down on a table while holding just the controllers, allowing for a gaming experience that resembles playing on a Nintendo Switch.
The Lenovo Legion Go has an 8.8-inch IPS touchscreen display that features 2,560 x 1,600 resolution, a 16:10 aspect ratio, and a 144Hz refresh rate, making it a perfectly viable gaming display. It also has 500 nits of brightness and 97 percent DCI-P3 coverage, so this should deliver good visuals all around, while the 10-point touchscreen interface should allow for versatile touch controls.
To the left of the display, it gets an analog stick, a D-pad, three system buttons, a shoulder button, and a trigger, although they also throw in a pair of buttons in the back. To the right, it gets an analog stick, four action buttons, one system button, a shoulder button, a trigger, a pair of rear buttons, and a pair of side buttons. Yep, they added extra controls in there. In fact, they even threw in a trackpad below the right analog stick and a scroll wheel in the back, allowing you to use Windows using controls that can adequately take the place of a mouse. For FPS players, there’s even an FPS mode that allows you to mount one of the detached controllers to a base, allowing you to maneuver it like a joystick for more accurate aiming. Yeah, it’s weird, but if it solves aiming for controller users, it’s going to be a big deal.
The Lenovo Legion Go is powered by an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme with RDNA 3 graphics, a purpose-built SOC designed specifically with handheld gaming in mind. They pair it with 16GB of DDR5 RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe SSD, a combo that should be beefy enough to handle most modern games. Other hardware specs include dual 2W speakers, dual near-field microphone array, Wi-Fi 6E, and Bluetooth 5.1.
For thermal management, it uses ultra-thin heatsink fins to dissipate heat, as well as small fans that promote continuous airflow. It houses a 49.2Wh battery, which should be around 25 percent bigger than the Steam Deck’s battery, with each controller housing a 900mAh battery each. And yes, the controllers charge from the main console every time they’re attached. The main battery supports rapid charging, which boosts it up to 70 percent full in 30 minutes of plugging in.
The Lenovo Legion Go is available now, priced starting at $699.99.