The Lenovo Legion Go Review: A Handheld Gaming Marvel

An Unparalleled Portable Companion for Hardcore Gamers

Martin Guay
Martin Guay - Chief Editor
20 Min Read
Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices
4.4 The Lenovo Legion Go redefines portable gaming with cutting-edge performance, innovative features, and exceptional versatility, though potential drawbacks like size and weight should be considered.
Overview
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Crave an immersive, uncompromising gaming experience on the move? In this review, I dive deep into the Lenovo Legion Go, a revolutionary handheld gaming PC that redefines portable gaming. Brace to be captivated by its sleek design, cutting-edge performance, and unparalleled versatility. As you delve into this comprehensive analysis, you'll uncover the true potential of this remarkable device, empowering you to make an informed decision about your next gaming companion.

While the Lenovo Legion Go may not outshine competitors like the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally, it offers a different approach to handheld gaming. Let's delve deeper into how its unique features and capabilities set it apart in the portable gaming landscape.

Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices

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Lenovo Legion Go Specifications

Specification Details
ProcessorAMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme
GPURadeon 780M (12CU | RDNA 3)
CPU8 cores/16 threads (Zen 4)
RAM16GB LPDDR5
Storage512GB/1TB NVMe SSD (region depending)
Display8.8-inch, 144Hz IPS
PortsUSB4 Type-C x2, 1x 3.5mm jack, MicroSD card reader
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.1
Battery49.2WHr
Weight854g (with controllers), 640g (without controllers)
Dimensions40.7 x 298.83 x 131mm (with controllers)
Price$700 (512GB), $750 (1TB)

Lenovo - Legion Go 8.8" 144Hz WQXGA Gaming Handheld - AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme - 16GB with 1 TB SSD - Shadow Black

$749.99
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as of May 28, 2024 8:07 am

In this review, I'll explore how the Lenovo Legion Go packs a potent punch with its AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor and Radeon 780M GPU, unleashing exceptional gaming performance in a portable form factor. It's worth noting that while the 512GB model is available globally, the 1TB version is currently exclusive to select regions. However, users in areas where the 1TB model is unavailable can upgrade the storage using a 2230 SSD like the Sabrent Rocket Q4 2230. With 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and up to 1TB of NVMe SSD storage, the Legion Go ensures lightning-fast load times and seamless multitasking.

The stunning 8.8-inch IPS display with a 144Hz refresh rate provides a smooth, immersive gaming experience, while the device's connectivity options, including Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1, keep you tethered wherever you roam. The large screen and powerful hardware make the Legion Go a formidable contender in the handheld gaming PC market.

Comparatively, the Legion Go's hardware features stand out compared to other handheld gaming devices like the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally. While it may lack the streamlined portability of the Steam Deck's Steam OS or the compact design of the ROG Ally, the Legion Go boasts a larger screen, detachable controllers, and versatile connectivity options that cater to a diverse range of gaming preferences.

Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices

Legion Go Benchmarks

In my series of benchmarks, I utilized 3DMark and Unigine Superposition to assess the performance capabilities of the Legion Go. While these synthetic tests offer valuable insights into GPU performance, it's important to interpret them with caution. During the Time Spy benchmark from 3DMark, the Legion Go consistently achieved an average of 35+ FPS at 1080P resolution.

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In real-world testing scenarios, such as playing titles like Hogwarts Legacy or Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty, with slight adjustments to graphic settings and ensuring a 1080P resolution (my standard for gaming), the Legion Go delivered respectable frame rates averaging around 40fps. This performance level is noteworthy, especially considering that many console games are capped at 30fps when played on TVs. The Legion Go's performance showcases minimal disparity with console gaming, while maintaining high quality visuals.

Pros

  • Glorious Screen: In this review, I'll explore how the 8.8-inch glossy touchscreen display is a true showstopper, radiating vibrant colours and exceptional clarity for an immersive gaming experience. The large screen size and high refresh rate make it a standout feature, ensuring smooth and visually stunning gameplay.
  • Detachable Controllers are Ace: This Legion Go review will showcase how the innovative detachable controllers offer unmatched flexibility, allowing you to play in various configurations, from traditional handheld mode to a more relaxed, console-like setup. This versatility enhances comfort and ergonomics, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience.
  • Awesome for Indies: As this review will highlight, the Legion Go's powerful hardware and stunning display make it an ideal choice for enjoying indie games in all their glory. The combination of high-end components and a captivating screen allows you to fully appreciate indie titles' intricate details and unique art styles.
  • Great for Gaming at Home: With its integrated stand and detachable controllers, this review will demonstrate how the Legion Go is perfect for gaming sessions at home, providing a comfortable, immersive experience. Whether you're lounging on the couch or sitting at your desk, the Legion Go offers a convenient and tailored setup for extended gaming sessions.

Cons

  • Heavy + Big: In this review, I'll address how, at 854g with controllers and its larger size, the Legion Go is a bit bulky and may not be the most portable option for gaming on the go. While its size contributes to the immersive gaming experience, it may not be the ideal choice for those seeking a truly compact and lightweight handheld device.
  • Native Resolution Often Wasted in Games: While this review will cover how the device boasts a 2560 x 1600 resolution, many games may need to be played at lower resolutions to achieve optimal performance, potentially underutilizing the display's full potential. This trade-off between resolution and performance is a common consideration for handheld gaming PCs, and users may need to find the right balance based on their preferences.

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Design and Build Quality

In this Lenovo Legion Go review, I'll examine how the device exudes a premium look and feel that instantly commands attention. Crafted with meticulous attention to detail, this handheld gaming PC boasts a stunning 8.8-inch glossy touchscreen display that radiates vibrant colours and exceptional clarity. The chassis is a masterpiece of ergonomics, offering a comfortable grip and seamless control, whether you're gaming on the couch or exploring virtual worlds from the comfort of your bed. The sleek and modern design of the Legion Go is sure to turn heads and enhance your overall gaming experience.

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When compared to competitors like the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally, the Legion Go's weight, button layout, and grip may vary. While its larger size contributes to an immersive gaming experience, it may not be the most portable option for gaming on the go, especially when compared to the more compact designs of its rivals.

Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices

Unrivalled Performance

Under the hood, the Legion Go packs a serious punch with its AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor and Radeon 780M GPU (12CU | RDNA 3). This powerful combination ensures smooth, responsive gameplay, empowering you to conquer even the most demanding titles with ease. Whether you're battling fierce opponents in intense multiplayer arenas or immersing yourself in rich, open-world adventures, this review will showcase how the Legion Go delivers an unparalleled gaming experience. With its cutting-edge hardware, you can expect lightning-fast performance, immersive graphics, and a truly seamless gaming experience that will leave you in awe.

In terms of gaming performance, download speeds, and battery life, the Legion Go offers competitive metrics when compared to devices like the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally. While it may not surpass its rivals in every aspect, it delivers a solid gaming experience with the potential for customization and optimization.

Versatile Gaming Modes

One of the standout features highlighted in this Legion Go review is its innovative gaming modes. The FPS mode transforms the right-hand controller into a makeshift mouse, providing an intuitive, precise control scheme for first-person shooter games. This unique feature allows you to experience your favourite FPS titles with unparalleled accuracy and control, giving you a competitive edge in the heat of battle. Additionally, the detachable controllers offer unmatched flexibility, allowing you to play in a variety of configurations, from traditional handheld mode to a more relaxed, console-like setup with the integrated stand. This versatility ensures that you can game comfortably in any environment, tailoring the experience to your personal preferences.

Compared to other handheld gaming devices, such as the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally, the Legion Go's detachable controllers and innovative gaming modes provide added flexibility and customization options. Whether you prefer traditional handheld gaming or a more console-like setup, the Legion Go offers versatile configurations to suit your gaming preferences.

Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming DevicesLenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices

Exceptional Battery Life and Connectivity

With a 49.2WHr battery and power-saving modes, this review will demonstrate how the Legion Go ensures extended gaming sessions without the need for constant recharging. Stay tethered wherever you roam with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1 support, enabling seamless multiplayer gaming and wireless accessory integration. Whether you're gaming on the go or at home, the Legion Go's impressive battery life and connectivity options ensure a hassle-free and uninterrupted gaming experience, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your favourite titles without any worries.

When evaluating the Legion Go's battery life and connectivity options against competitors like the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally, it holds its own with impressive performance and seamless wireless integration. While it may not offer the longest battery life or the fastest charging speeds, it provides a reliable gaming experience with minimal interruptions.

Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming DevicesLenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices

Affordability and Value

Remarkably, as this Legion Go review will highlight, the device delivers all these cutting-edge features at an attractive price point. Starting at $700 for the 512GB model and $750 for the 1TB version, this handheld gaming PC offers exceptional value for money, making it accessible to a wide range of gamers. Lenovo has positioned the Legion Go as a direct competitor to the highly acclaimed Asus ROG Ally, offering comparable performance and features at a similar price point. This competitive pricing strategy enables gamers to experience the power of a handheld gaming PC without breaking the bank.

Gameplay Experience

In addition to its impressive hardware and design, the Lenovo Legion Go delivers an exceptional gameplay experience across a variety of titles. My hands-on testing revealed that demanding games like Cyberpunk 2077 Phantom Liberty, Baldur's Gate 3 or Hogwarts required tweaking settings like resolution, FSR, and presets to achieve smooth performance. However, the compact screen size mitigated any potential blemishes from upscaling techniques. On the other hand, less demanding titles like Sonic Generations and indie games shone on the Legion Go, showcasing its versatility and ability to handle a wide range of gaming experiences. Whether you're diving into epic RPGs or enjoying casual indie gems, the Legion Go promises an immersive and satisfying gameplay session every time.

Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices

Future Potential

While the Lenovo Legion Go has already established itself as a formidable contender in the handheld gaming PC market, I hope for Lenovo to continue refining and improving upon this initial offering. “I'd love to see Lenovo keep going in this handheld space to nail a second attempt,” they state, suggesting that there is room for further innovation and enhancements in future iterations of the device.

As the handheld gaming market continues to evolve and gain popularity, it's expected that manufacturers like Lenovo will remain committed to pushing the boundaries of portable gaming technology. Potential areas for improvement could include further optimizing the balance between performance and battery life, exploring even more compact and lightweight designs, and introducing advanced features tailored specifically for gamers on the go.

With the success of the Legion Go, Lenovo has demonstrated its ability to deliver a compelling handheld gaming experience.

Final Thoughts

In this Lenovo Legion Go review, we've explored how the device is a game-changer in the world of handheld gaming PCs. With its impressive performance, stunning display, innovative gaming modes, and unmatched portability, it delivers an unparalleled gaming experience that truly sets it apart from the competition. Whether you're a hardcore gamer seeking the ultimate portable gaming companion or a casual player looking for a versatile, powerful device, this review has demonstrated that the Legion Go is a must-have.

My insights and hands-on experience have highlighted the Legion Go's strengths, such as its exceptional hardware, versatile gaming modes, and impressive battery life. Additionally, there's a balanced perspective by acknowledging potential drawbacks, like the device's size and weight, and the occasional need to compromise resolution for optimal performance.

Should you buy it?

YES IF:

  • You're planning to use your handheld in the home: As this review has shown, the Lenovo is quite large and quite heavy. However, if you're mostly planning to use this device on the sofa or in the garden, it's one of the best for that.
  • You want detachable controllers: This review has highlighted how the detachable controllers on the Go are a game-changer. They truly are great for relaxing while gaming, even on a compact ‘handheld' such as this.

NO IF:

  • You're hoping to game at over 1080p in the biggest games: As this review has covered, while the handheld comes with a higher resolution screen than most, and thankfully it doesn't cost any extra for it, that higher res is best for browsing Windows or less onerous indies, not the latest, greatest major titles.
  • Portability is your top priority: While the Legion Go offers impressive performance and features, its larger size and weight may not be ideal for those seeking a truly portable handheld gaming experience on the go.

While the Legion Go may not be the perfect choice for everyone, it offers unique advantages and capabilities that make it worth considering.

Don't miss out on this extraordinary gaming opportunity. Elevate your gaming experience and embrace the future of portable gaming with the Lenovo Legion Go.

FAQ

  • Question 1 – Can the Legion Go play Steam games?

    • Absolutely! The Legion Go is fully capable of playing Steam games. As a Windows-based handheld gaming device, it offers compatibility with the vast majority of games available on the Steam platform. Whether you're into indie titles, AAA blockbusters, or classic favorites, you can enjoy your favorite Steam games on the go with the Legion Go. Just install the Steam client on the device, log into your account, and start gaming wherever you are.
  • Question 2 – Will the Legion get VRR?

    • No, the Lenovo Legion Go does not feature Variable Refresh Rate (VRR). This might come as a surprise, particularly given the Legion Go’s impressive display. Sporting an 8.8-inch 2560 x 1600 144Hz IPS display, its larger screen size elevates the gaming experience above other handhelds, while the 144Hz refresh rate ensures that buttery smooth gameplay.
  • Question 3 – Where to buy Legion Go?

    • You can buy the Lenovo Legion Go from most major retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Newegg, and more. These retailers often have the Legion Go available for purchase both online and in-store. Be sure to check availability and pricing from multiple sources to find the best deal for your needs.
  • Question 4 – How much Legion Go?

    • The price of the Lenovo Legion Go can vary depending on the model and any current promotions or discounts available. Generally, the Legion Go starts at around $700 for the base model with 512GB of storage. However, prices may differ based on factors such as storage capacity, additional accessories, and the retailer from which you purchase it. Be sure to check the latest pricing from various retailers to find the best deal for your budget.
  • Question 5 – What is Legion Go?

    • The Lenovo Legion Go is a handheld gaming device designed for gaming enthusiasts who want to experience high-quality gaming on the go. It features powerful hardware components typically found in gaming PCs, such as an AMD Ryzen processor and Radeon GPU, along with a high-resolution display and detachable controllers. The Legion Go runs on Windows 11, allowing users to access a wide range of games from various platforms, including Steam. With its compact design and versatile gaming modes, the Legion Go offers a convenient and immersive gaming experience wherever you are.

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Lenovo Legion Go Review - Handheld Gaming Devices
Overview
The Lenovo Legion Go redefines portable gaming with cutting-edge performance, innovative features, and exceptional versatility, though potential drawbacks like size and weight should be considered. 4.4
Performance 4
Display 5
Design and Ergonomics 4
Battery Life 4
Connectivity 5
Gaming Modes and Features 5
Software and User Experience 4.5
Value for Money 4
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By Martin Guay Chief Editor
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I write, talk about technology, gadgets, the latest Android news as much as any other fellow geek, nerd, or enthusiast does. I work in the IT field as a System Administrator, and I enjoy gaming when possible. I'm into plenty of things, and you can usually find me around Ottawa, Canada!For all business inquiry email business-inquiry [@] cryovex [dot] com.
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