A few years ago it seemed impossible, but the market for handheld consoles with a PC core is on fire. Valve’s Steam Deck has created a school and this translates into more and more models available on the market, from the Asus Rog Ally and several Ayaneo models to the Lenovo Legion Go, which aspires to establish itself in Europe with some truly dizzying specifications and a few elements that differentiate it from the others.
The AMD Z1 Extreme chip, featured in both the ROG Ally and the Legion Go, has contributed decisively to this emergence of established PCs, making these devices comparable to high-end gaming laptops. But if Lenovo’s commitment stands out for anything, it’s for its gigantic screen of almost 9 inches, the most generous of this type of device. In addition to this impressive cover letter, the distinctive element of the device are the detachable controllers inspired by those of the Nintendo Switch, which also have a specific control function for FPS games.
At EL ESPAÑOL – El Androide Libre we have been able to test it for more than a month with different types of games and platforms, from Game Pass to Steam’s own game library, and it is a very competitive competitor in this new “console war” which runs parallel to the one that Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo have been fighting for years. One point to keep in mind when deciding is its price of 799 dollars, a little higher than its main competitors, but understandable considering things like the size of its screen.
Layout and buttons
The first thing that surprises you about the Legion Go is its huge body, a clue to the size of the device. Once opened, the inclusion of a zipped case to protect it and be able to transport it comfortably is (much) appreciated. At Lenovo they have thought of every detail and that The case has a hole for the charging cablewhich allows you to protect the console when it is connected to the network.
The only problem with this case and the size of the console (40 x 298 x 131 mm with the controllers included) is that there is no place for the charger, halfway between those of mobile phones and those of laptop computers. This is an essential element that you should always remember to carry, because battery life is one of the most delicate elements of this type of workbench PC.
All the case components and controls are made of black plastic (except the screen, of course, which is protected by a glass plate), and the device feels solid and sturdy from the first moment. An interesting element, which for example is missing from the ROG Ally, is the Built-in stand on the back to support the Legion Go from different anglessomething very useful to be able to rest your hands and use the console with the controls removed or to watch films or series, for example.
Precisely, Removable controls are one of the big differentiators of the console compared to the competition. The system to release them is simple and intuitive (although it could be improved, since it does not always work the first time), and to reinsert them you just have to slide them from the bottom, as is the case with the Nintendo Switch.
The button layout is the classic X, Y, B and A, with bumpers and top triggers, as well as two mappable buttons on the back, two joysticks on the sides and the classic crossbar. They all have a nice feel and respond very well to keystrokes, with the exception of the crosspiece which could clearly be improved. To them you need to add a button to summon Legion Space, the application from which you can access the different game libraries and storesand another to configure the most important sections of the console, such as performance or power saving options.
To complete the user options, at the bottom right there is also a small touchpad that allows you to slide to use a cursor both in Windows and in games that require it, such as strategy games, although in these cases it is much more useful to connect a keyboard and mouse.
The air outlet of the fans is located at the top, very powerful and efficient, although quite noisy when using the Legion Go’s performance mode. After prolonged use, and despite the fans, heat is noticeable on the back of the device and on the screen, even if the controls are not affected and the console can continue to be used without problem.
In total, with the integrated controls, the Lenovo device weighs 852 grams, making it considerably heavier than the ROG Ally or Steam Deck, even if it is not annoying thanks to its ergonomics. Additionally, the ability to use the controls separately and support the device on its rear stand makes it very versatile.
FPS performance and controls
The exterior of the Legion Go stands out, as we have already said, for its huge touch screen QHD+ with 2560 x 1600 pixels and 144Hz refresh rate. Brightness is 500 nits, and while it’s very bright and bright indoors, it suffers when exposed to direct sunlight.
Inside beats the AMD Z1 Extreme chip, capable of running the most demanding PC games without flinching. It is aided by 16GB LPDDR5X of RAM, making it the experience is smooth and fast, even when having several applications and games open at the same time. Of course, there are times when the Legion Space app remains loaded or stuck, requiring me to restart the computer several times.
Another element that contributes to ease with which games like Forza Horizon 5 or Starfield move it’s the hard drive 4th generation PCIe SSD, 512 GB in the case of the unit I tested, but it can be 1 TB and is expandable to 2 TB via microSD card.
By running Windows 11 Home, compatibil ity with different platforms is ensured, even if the fluidity offered by consoles dedicated only to games is still lacking (as is the case with competing devices). In exchange, the operating system allows you to use the Legion Go for other things or install emulators more easily
The greatest particularity of Legion Go lies in FPS mode, which turns the right controller into a sort of vertical mouse simply by using a switch in its lower area. To do this, a small circular support is included on which to place it and hold it almost as if it were a classic joystick. At first it’s a little difficult to get started, and in the first games you play in Call of Duty or Battlefield things will be difficult, but little by little you will improve in precision and maneuverability.
The tricky part is that Every time you play with this mode, it is advisable to configure the buttons so that they respond to the desired actions, although thanks to Legion Space you can select four preconfigured profiles that distribute the functions with a certain logic.
As for autonomy, as usually happens in these devices, it is a critical element. According to our tests, if you browse the Internet and use undemanding programs, you can reach 5 hours, Continued use with games like Forza Horizon significantly reduces its duration to 1 hour and 40 minutes.
To recharge it, it has a power supply with a 65W USB-C cable, which takes about two hours to offer a full charge. And in this sense there is a curious detail: the soft case that protects the console for transport has a hole to pass the cable through and charge it while it is stored.
Lenovo timed the Legion Go’s launch with another product to make the most of its portability. We are talking about Legion Glasses, glasses with micro-OLED panels which connect via a USB-C cable and allow you to have a giant screen anywhere.
The best thing about this combination is be able to enjoy games and movies in complete privacy, but without completely isolating yourself from the outside world. They also feature speakers on the temples, volume and brightness controls, and can help extend the console’s battery, as it can be configured so that the console’s main screen is off while the glasses are on. connected.
Should I buy it?
The established PC sector is on fire and the Legion Go has single-handedly become one of the most interesting on the market. Its great ergonomics and its giant screen are among its strengths, even if OLED panels could take it out of the game in no time.
The ability to remove controls and play with them in desktop mode and the specific function for FPS games are a success, reinforced by the power offered by the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme chip, which allows you to play the most recent titles without any problem. the most powerful. . . But It’s not all good news: its battery suffers and significantly shortens its lifespan with games like Starfield, the controller extraction system does not always work and the whole thing can be too heavy for long games.
The other key element to decide concerns its high price, which reaches 799 dollars, higher than that of its main competitors. This makes a somewhat expensive object of desirebut it offers unique features and guarantees hours and hours of play wherever you take it.
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