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Lenovo Legion Go: The Windows Portable Console Taking on the Nintendo Switch

Lenovo Legion Go: The Windows Portable Console Taking on the Nintendo Switch

In the vibrant tech arena of the IFA event in Berlin, Lenovo unveiled its latest creation – the Legion Go, a portable gaming console that aims to challenge the dominance of both the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch.

A Versatile Console

At the heart of the IFA tech show, we got our hands on an already advanced and fully operational prototype of the Legion Go. This powerhouse is essentially a hefty handheld PC console running on Windows 11, much like its ASUS counterpart, the ROG Ally.

Upon activation, it transforms into a bona fide PC environment, where you can access your games from various stores, including Steam, the Xbox Game Pass, and the Xbox space for Windows PC games. It also boasts the Legion Space hub for managing settings and game libraries.

In terms of physical design, the Legion Go adheres to the classic console format with controls on each side, including buttons, a directional pad, asymmetrical joysticks, triggers on top, sides, and the rear, along with a mouse wheel. Notably, all ten buttons are programmable. What sets it apart is the touchpad located on the right side of the screen, which can serve as a makeshift mouse. It’s quite substantial in size, so it’s worth noting that it’s not ideal for those with petite hands.

The display is arguably one of the largest on the market, boasting an 8.8-inch QHD+ LCD screen that offers excellent quality, vibrant colors, and impressive graphics. Furthermore, it boasts a 144Hz refresh rate, surpassing competitors that typically peak at 120Hz (or even just 60Hz for the Steam Deck). Internally, the Legion Go packs an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, mirroring the potency of the ROG Ally, along with 12GB of RAM and 512GB or 1TB of storage, depending on the configuration. An added microSD card slot allows for up to 2TB of additional storage.

The Lenovo console positions itself as a formidable contender on paper. We tested it with two games, Hot Wheels and PowerWash Simulator, to assess its capabilities. The handheld experience, with hands gripping each handle and fingers resting comfortably on the buttons and triggers, proved smooth and responsive. It displayed no noticeable latency or screen freezes. The Hall effect joysticks, both precise and sensitive, promised an absence of drift or dead zones.

Oversized Screen and Hefty Weight

Despite its imposing dimensions, the Legion Go remains manageable for gaming sessions. However, its relatively high weight (854g for the entire console) may become burdensome over extended periods. In such cases, you can utilize the stand at the back of the console, similar to the Nintendo Switch OLED, and detach the controllers. One noteworthy feature of the Legion Go, distinguishing it from other portable PC consoles, is the Joy-Con-like ability to detach the controllers. They slide downward, which might not be the most convenient design, but in practice, it works well, and you soon forget about the console’s thickness while playing.

Nonetheless, the Legion Go is more than just a powerful mini-PC. It can also be used with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. The touchscreen can be operated with your fingers, or you can switch the console to full PC mode, with the right part serving as a highly responsive mouse for precise control and action validation.

Lenovo has thought of everything – inside the storage case, there’s a magnetic stand. Insert the right controller and switch the toggle underneath, and you’ll have a highly responsive mouse at your disposal. This proves useful for both Windows 11 productivity tasks and gaming. The cursor, labeled “FPS,” appears to be tailored for shooter games, offering enhanced control with an additional keyboard and a fresh-looking mouse.

Available in November

Our initial encounter with the Legion Go shows promise. The generous screen size is a boon for gamers, but the console’s weight may potentially become a downside. However, Lenovo addresses this with a rapid charging feature, promising 70% battery replenishment in just 30 minutes. Though Lenovo hasn’t specified the exact duration of gameplay on a single charge, the Legion Go comes equipped with two USB-C ports – one at the top and one at the bottom of the screen. This enables simultaneous charging while connecting to an external display for an expansive gaming experience.

Incorporating the customary features of portable PC consoles, the Legion Go doesn’t settle for the bare minimum. It offers Wi-Fi 6E connectivity and supports Bluetooth 5.2.

The Lenovo Legion Go is set to hit the market in November 2023, with prices starting at €799.

Melinda Davan-Soulas


What is the Legion Go? The Legion Go is a portable gaming console developed by Lenovo, designed to compete with devices like the Steam Deck and the Nintendo Switch. It runs on Windows 11 and offers access to various game stores, including Steam and the Xbox Game Pass.

What are the key features of the Legion Go? The Legion Go boasts an 8.8-inch QHD+ LCD screen with a 144Hz refresh rate, an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, 12GB of RAM, and storage options of 512GB or 1TB. It also has a touchpad for mouse-like control and supports additional storage via a microSD card.

How does the Legion Go perform in gaming? During testing, the Legion Go displayed smooth gameplay with no noticeable latency or screen freezes. It features precise and sensitive Hall effect joysticks, offering an excellent gaming experience.

Is the Legion Go suitable for extended gaming sessions? While the Legion Go is manageable for gaming sessions, its weight (854g) may become burdensome over time. However, it includes a stand for more comfortable gaming, similar to the Nintendo Switch OLED.

When will the Legion Go be available, and what is the starting price? The Legion Go is expected to be available in November 2023, with prices starting at €799.

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