After weeks of rumours, we finally have an official announcement from Lenovo about the company’s brand new Windows handheld gaming PC, the Lenovo Legion Go. In a sea of gaming handhelds that include the Valve Steamdeck, Asus ROG Ally, the new Legion Go aims to be the biggest and baddest of them all in terms of size and specifications.
In fact, the Lenovo Legion Go looks like the frankenbaby of a Nintendo Switch and a Steamdeck. It sports a massive 8.8-inch, 16:10 QHD+ display, the biggest of any of the mainstream handhelds. The Lenovo PureSight display has a 144Hz refresh rate with up to 500nits of brightness and a 97% DCI-P3 colour gamut. The massive display is touch of course and supports 10-point multi-touch for smooth scrolling, tapping and swiping.
Behind the display of the Legion Go is the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor found in the ROG Ally. This processor has AMD RDNA Graphics built in and is very capable of running modern AAA games at low to medium settings at 30-60fps. Lenovo has also packed in 16GB of LPDDR5X RAM running at a speedy 7500Mhz with some fancy power management to ensure optimal gaming performance. For storage, the Legion Go supports up to 1TB PCIe Gen4 SSD’s with an additional 2TB of external storage via micro-SD cards.
Like the ROG Ally, the Legion Go is running Windows 11 which means you will have access to every game and launcher that runs on Windows. It also means you can use the Legion Go as a fully portable PC for productivity work and not just play. That’s why the Legion Go has not one, but two USB Type-C ports which support DisplayPort 1.4 and Power Delivery 3.0 so you can connect to compatible monitors that will charge as you display. For wireless connectivity, the Go supports Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.2 so you can easily connect your peripherals.
AS you can imagine, all this will suck a lot of battery power. Lenovo opted to go for a 49.3Wh battery which is bigger than the ROG Ally’s 40Wh. Making things even better is Super Rapid Charge that Lenovo says can fill the battery from 0-70% in just half an hour which is awesome. And to ensure that the battery stays healthy and cool, Lenovo has brought its Coldfront thermal tech from its laptops to the Legion Go. This means it should stay cool and quiet while still reaching a full 25W TGP in heavy gaming or productivity loads.
It’s the hall effect
So far everything about the Legion Go sounds pretty standard but what most certainly isn’t standard is its controls. Lenovo took a leaf out of Nintendos book and copied the now infamous JoyCon design for the controls on the Legion Go. The Legion TrueStrike controllers can detach from the device, allowing you to use the built-in kickstand to prop up the display and continue playing with just the controls. Additionally, Lenovo listened to the universal pleas of gamers around the world and use Hall Effect joysticks which means bye-bye stick drift.
The left controllers includes a touchpad similar to the SteamDeck and altogether the Legion Go has 10 mappable shoulder buttons, triggers, and grip buttons. There’s RGB light rings as well because, gamers. However, things get even more interesting. Once removed, the left Truestrike controller can be used in a vertical orientation like a joystick. This FPS mode gives you tighter control over your aim as if you were holding the grip of a pistol. It’s totally bonkers and I don’t know how effective it is but from the video hands on I’ve seen, it looks brilliant.
Software wise, unlike the ROG Ally, Lenovo seems to have worked independently of Microsoft in developing Legion Space, their software hub for managing your games and performance on the Legion Go. At it’s basic, it gives you quick access to your games, launchers and even lets you purchase games through the Lenovo Game Store. You can also adjust settings such as resolution, refresh rate, brightness, and more on the fly. We need to go hands on for ourselves to determine whether Lenovo succeeds where Asus Armoury Crate doesn’t though.
Bigger screen and bigger sound with Lenovo accessories
If you’re anything like me, even an 8.8-inch display is too strenuous on old eyes which is where the Lenovo Legion Glasses come in. These are essentially AR glasses with micro-OLED displays in each eye piece that can deliver a Full HD resolution at 60Hz. This gives you a much larger view port once plugged into the Legion Go. Lenovo hasn’t given too much detail about what size of display these glasses can emulate but even if it’s just 55-inches, that’s a whole lot bigger than 8.8-inches. The glasses have built-in speakers and connect to the Legion Go via USB Type-C cable.
But that audio quality isn’t likely to shake your eardrums and so Lenovo is also announcing the Legion E510 7.1 RGB Gaming In-Ear headphones. These offer driverless 7.1 surround via its 10mm armature drivers in an IEM design. The earbuds connect to an inline controller for volume controls and because we need to show how cool we are gamer are, there’s an RGB light strip on the in-line controller.
Pricing and availability
Alright, the big question – how much and when? The Lenovo Legion Go is set to hit the market in late October 2023. It’ll start at $1399 AUD or $1799 NZD. As for the Lenovo Legion Glasses and Lenovo Legion E510 7.1 RGB Gaming In-Ear Headphones, you’ll have to stay tuned for the pricing and availability deets.