I just tested the Lenovo Legion Go — here’s what I like (and hate) so far

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Lenovo Legion Go
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Lenovo Legion Go is simultaneously awesome and frustrating. I went hands-on pinch nan precocious released Windows 11 handheld a fewer months agone and thought it had nan imaginable to hit nan Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally. However, I besides wrote astir really Lenovo’s instrumentality needed 1 circumstantial point to succeed. Now that I’ve had much clip pinch nan Legion Go, I person a amended consciousness of what nan instrumentality tin do — and what it can’t.

I’m presently testing nan Legion Go for my review. That’s coming soon, but I wanted to stock immoderate first thoughts connected nan caller gaming handheld. Right now, it doesn’t look for illustration nan Legion Go is simply a amended action than nan mighty Steam Deck, though there’s still plentifulness to for illustration astir it. For some, nan Legion Go could very good beryllium nan best gaming handheld ever.

I’ll person my afloat Lenovo Legion Go reappraisal for you soon. For now, here’s what I for illustration (and hate) astir nan handheld truthful far.

Lenovo Legion Go: What I like

Large display

Lenovo Legion Go

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

One of nan large reasons (pun intended) nan Legion Go has garnered truthful overmuch attraction is because of its ample 8.8-inch display. As I said successful my first hands-on preview, it looks tremendous compared to nan 7-inch displays seen connected nan Steam Deck, Asus ROG Ally and AyaNeo 2S. The surface tin execute a 2,560 x 1,600 solution and a 144Hz refresh rate. The aforementioned competitors can’t lucifer that.

So acold I’ve tested Cyberpunk 2077, Doom Eternal and Marvel’s Spider-Man connected nan Legion Go, and emotion really overmuch much item I tin spot connected nan 8.8-inch display. I haven’t played thing that takes advantage of nan 144Hz refresh complaint (yet), but astatine 60Hz everything runs buttery smooth.

Lenovo claims nan show hits 97% of nan DCI-P3 colour gamut and tin execute up to 500 nits of brightness. We’re still successful nan mediate of testing this instrumentality successful our lab, but to my eyes, nan surface is very agleam and colorful. I expect bully results from our trial results.

Built-in kickstand

Lenovo Legion Go

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Unlike nan Switch, which has a bladed and flimsy kickstand connected nan back, nan Legion Go has a wide kickstand that covers its full backside. This not only ensures your instrumentality won’t topple over, but it besides opens up an replacement measurement to play nan device.

While nan Legion Go only weighs 1.88 pounds, it tin consciousness dense aft extended use. Because of that, I for illustration flipping nan kickstand open, detaching nan controlelrs and playing nan handheld while it’s connected a desk. You tin do this pinch nan Switch arsenic well, but nan bladed kickstand makes it a cumbersome exercise. Not truthful pinch nan Legion Go. The built-in kickstand is simply a existent winner.

Lenovo Legion Go

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Legion Space is nan Legion Go’s reply to nan SteamOS UI (User Interface). I’ll screen Legion Space successful greater extent successful my afloat review, but I wanted to spell complete thing I for illustration astir nan UI: easy entree to nan astir celebrated crippled launchers.

Like nan ROG Ally and AyaNeo 2S, you’re capable to nexus to crippled launchers for illustration Steam, GoG, Xbox, Epic Games and more. All you request to do is click connected “Popular gaming platforms” (which is nan first tab available) and past prime your level from nan database provided. You’ll request to usage nan virtual on-screen keyboard to type your login accusation via touchscreen controls. Aside from that, connecting to crippled launchers is simply a comparatively easy process.

Lenovo Legion Go: What I dislike

It’s a Windows 11 machine

Lenovo Legion Go

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Like nan ROG Ally and AyaNeo 2S, nan Legion Go runs connected Windows 11. And for illustration those 2 handhelds, Windows 11 is some nan Legion Go’s spot and weakness.

Because nan Legion Go is efficaciously a mini Windows 11 PC, it’s capable to tally astir Windows-compatible applications. Heck, you tin moreover link nan Legion Go to nan best monitors, nan best wireless keyboards and nan best mice to usage nan handheld arsenic an honest-to-goodness PC (provided you person a USB hub pinch nan due ports). The machine’s versatility (which is arguably greater than nan Steam Deck which runs connected SteamOS), is nary uncertainty a awesome trading constituent for those who for illustration installing their ain apps and games.

But since this is simply a Windows 11 instrumentality first and foremost, it tin sometimes consciousness for illustration a clumsy, hard-to-navigate handheld PC alternatively of an intuitive, streamlined gaming handheld. Like nan ROG Ally, controller support is constricted extracurricular of Legion Space — meaning you’ll request to usage touch controls to utilize apps, surf nan web, instal programs and more. Windows 11 is built for touchscreens truthful navigating via touch controls is comparatively seamless. But arsenic I said, it tin make this gaming instrumentality consciousness for illustration a clunky Windows PC instead.

Good (but not great) performance

Lenovo Legion Go

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Legion Go has nan aforesaid AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme spot powering nan Asus ROG Ally. On Geekbench 5, which tests wide CPU performance, Asus’ handheld crushed nan Steam Deck some successful single-core and multi-core performance. The aforesaid will apt beryllium existent erstwhile we tally benchmarks connected nan Legion Go. However, awesome benchmark numbers don’t ever construe to real-world performance.

Swipe to scroll horizontally

Frame complaint trial resultsHeader Cell - Column 0 Asus ROG Ally (1080p)Steam Deck (720p)
Borderlands 323N/A
Cyberpunk 20772429
Dirt 54540
Grand Theft Auto V2853
Shadow of nan Tomb Raider2642

I’ll prevention nan specifications for my afloat review, but successful short, don’t expect nan Legion Go to play nan champion PC games astatine 2,560 x 1,600 solution astatine precocious framerates. Even pinch nan device’s capacity mode enabled, nan highly well-optimized Doom Eternal ran astatine a pitiful 15 to 20 frames per second. I had to little nan solution to 1,920 x 1200 and group nan device's TDP to 30W (via settings) to get nan crippled moving astatine an acceptable 30 to 45 fps. Lowering nan solution to 1,280 x 800p bumped nan fps to nan mid-70s, but astatine that resolution, nan crippled looked atrocious connected nan 8.8-inch display.

Objectively, being capable to play graphically demanding games astatine 1200p astatine 45 frames a 2nd connected a handheld is highly impressive. That’s acold far amended than what nan Nintendo Switch tin do. However, it stinks that you person to messiness astir pinch some in-console and in-game settings to get decent solution and framework rates. I cognize that’s a trading constituent for PC players, but mean folks who conscionable want to play a crippled mightiness consciousness disappointment complete nan lackluster out-of-the-box performance.

Detachable controllers 

Lenovo Legion Go

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Speaking astir things that are some beneficial and detrimental, let’s talk astir nan Legion Go’s controllers.

While I’m not a instrumentality of nan Nintendo Switch’s joy-con controllers owed to their mini size and bladed profile, I emotion really easy they descent successful and retired of nan console. I can’t opportunity nan aforesaid for nan Legion Go’s controllers, which return immoderate effort to detach. Removing nan controllers is akin to nan Switch, only you person to clasp a fastener down connected nan bottommost of each controller while simultaneously pulling down, alternatively of pulling them up nan measurement you do connected nan Switch. 

Muscle representation disorder aside, nan Legion Go controllers often get stuck erstwhile you’re trying to propulsion them off. Thankfully, reattaching nan controllers is easier.

The correct controller differs from nan near since it has 2 other buttons connected its side, a mini touchpad underneath nan correct analog instrumentality and a scroll wheel. When playing first-person shooting games, you tin alteration FPS mode connected nan correct controller and past spot it connected an included controller guidelines to usage nan controller arsenic a pseudo mouse. 

Using nan correct controller for illustration this is expected to supply much precision and control. I request to trial this facet further, but I felt I had little power utilizing nan controller for illustration this successful Doom Eternal because nan cursor felt excessively sensitive. Perhaps I request to set nan in-game aiming sensitivity. Regardless, I don’t deliberation I’ll extremity up liking this functionality overmuch (if astatine all).


These are my first thoughts astir nan Lenovo Legion Go, truthful my stance mightiness alteration aft I walk much clip pinch it. The ample show does an fantabulous occupation of immersing you successful immoderate games you’re playing, and it’s awesome that you tin entree astir of your PC gaming room connected this handheld device. And though not arsenic intuitive aliases robust arsenic SteamOS, nan Legion Space personification interface feels easy capable to navigate.

That said, I’m not judge if Lenovo’s handheld tin topple nan Steam Deck. Windows 11 is awesome for desktops, but arsenic I’ve experienced, nan OS isn’t suited for gaming handhelds. That limits nan imaginable assemblage for akin products since you can’t conscionable prime this instrumentality up and commencement gaming. However, for nan PC gaming crowd, this facet won’t beryllium an issue. After all, Windows 11 does supply a heavy level of customization — which is simply a trading constituent for some.

That's each I person to opportunity for now, truthful enactment tuned for my afloat Lenovo Legion Go review!

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Tony is simply a computing writer astatine Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reference comic books, playing video games, reference speculative fabrication novels, and spending excessively overmuch clip connected Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits impact attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars pinch friends and colleagues. His activity has appeared successful publications specified arsenic Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.

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