Lenovo Legion GO Review

Lenovo Legion Go Review – Big And Bold

The most unique Windows handheld yet

It’s been a big year for the handheld space with the Steam Deck OLED really taking the world by storm a few years ago, before a flood of devices from AYANEO and the ASUS ROG Ally hit the market really cementing the market.

There aren’t too many PC makers bigger than Lenovo though, so naturally, there was a lot of excitement when they announced the Lenovo Legion GO earlier this year. I got hands-on with the device earlier in the year, but now I’ve had a few weeks with it and here’s how it differs from the competition.


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♬ original sound – Shannon Grixti | Gaming & Tech

The thing I absolutely love most about the Lenovo Legion GO is that almost not a single feature or design decision is the same as any other handheld device on the market. Starting with its size, it’s an absolute beast with an 8.8-inch screen that has a 144hz refresh rate and a 1600p resolution which is higher than any other handheld on the market that I know of.

Despite its size, it doesn’t add a heap of weight to the device compared to other devices on the market, granted it does stop it from being handheld. The screen is an absolute joy to play games on with 500 nits of brightness that provides a super vivid and bright gameplay experience. One negative though is that it doesn’t have VRR which would have been really nice to have with the highest refresh rate.


Whilst in an ideal situation, this would absolutely be the screen you’d want in a handheld, the fact that it has the same Z1 Extreme that the ASUS ROG Ally does (as well as the AYANEO 2S), the chip powering this device just doesn’t allow for a 144hz experience at even 800 or 1200p with most games let alone 1600p.

If you’re playing indie games such as Cocoon, you absolutely can take advantage but if you’re playing anything AAA, you’ll really struggle to get 1600p running at even 30 FPS, so it just seems a bit at odds with itself.

Lenovo Legion Go Review

Performance was a little bit of a mixed bag with the Lenovo Legion GO, and that’s largely down to software, and it’s still very early in the piece for Lenovo. We saw the ASUS ROG Ally take a good six months to find its feet performance-wise, and Lenovo has already acknowledged that they are making tweaks to fix some bugs and improve performance.

Testing at 1200p on high with AMD FSR 2.0 turned on, I was able to get roughly 53 FPS with Horizon Zero Dawn, 30 FPS with Returnal, 50 FPS with Forza Horizon 5, 66 FPS with F1 2022 and 23 FPS with Cyberpunk 2077.

Lenovo Legion Go Review

A big reason why I couldn’t get the most out of the device is that I couldn’t set a custom TDP without the device faltering, unless it was plugged in, so I was stuck playing at a 20 watt TDP which is below the 25 or so that I’d normally like to play AAA games on at 1200p. This is a known issue that is getting fixed in an update that is currently out on beta, but wasn’t able to be tested at the time of this review, but when I could get it working, I could tell it made all the difference for performance.

This wouldn’t put me off buying the device, as we know the capability of the Z1 Extreme and it’s a really handy device. Just know going in that you’re not going to be able to take advantage of the full 1600P/144Hz capability, which is a shame as when you do, it’s one of the best displays that I’ve seen on a handheld.

Lenovo Legion Go Review

As far as battery life goes, I was getting about an hour and 30 minutes with the device which is actually quite reasonable at these higher settings. It’s worth mentioning that the fan is super loud as well, although I expect this to be fine-tuned with the other updates the I’ve already spoken about.

There’s a lot to love about the Lenovo Legion GO from a hardware point of view outside of display and performance, and I really love how much Lenovo has taken risks with this device.  The joysticks on the side are detachable just like the Nintendo Switch, which isn’t something I thought we’d see on a non-Nintendo handheld anytime soon.

Lenovo Legion Go Review

By pushing in a button on the back, the joysticks slide right off and can be used in a nunchuck style just like Joy-Con controllers. I absolutely loved playing with the device using this control scheme, in bed, or playing games at my desk. It was much more comfortable than holding the handheld, and it has a really great quality kickstand as well.

One of the controllers can also be put in a special magnetic holder that essentially allows the joystick to act as a mouse. You simply just put the joystick in the holder, press a button to set it into the mode, and then you can put your hand around it and move it around.

Lenovo Legion Go Review

Being honest, when I first saw this idea, I thought it was going to be super gimmicky, but it actually worked super well and I could see it being a nice addition for FPS games or those that require a mouse. I was using it to browse the web and it worked really well with it providing really good accuracy and the scroll wheel being super helpful as well.

There’s also a trackpad on that same right controller just like the Steam Deck has and it’s a great way to navigate around the screen or use for games that are heavily reliant on a mouse.

Just like every other non Steam Deck handheld PC, the Lenovo Legion GO runs Windows 11 which has huge positives. It means that you can play any PC game from any launcher, including Xbox Game Pass, but the downside is that it comes with the quirks of Windows 11 which wasn’t built for a handheld.

Lenovo Legion Go Review

Luckily Lenovo has built its own frontend which pulls all of your games in and it does a really good job at automatically doing this and lets you access them easily enough. It’s a little bit underdone, but I’ve already seen it improving in the short few weeks I’ve had the device, so I know Lenovo will continue to improve it.

There’s a great overlay for fine tuning settings, pulling up your frame rate or changing resolution/frame-rate in the middle of games as well.

All-in-all, there’s a lot to love about the Lenovo Legion GO. It’s an extremely solid piece of hardware and I don’t think it’ll take long before the software catches up.

Lenovo Legion GO Review
The Lenovo Legion Go is a great handheld that tries to do things differently and goes a long way in succeeding. It offers a huge amount of control options and has a fantastic display, and could be unstoppable with some minor software improvements.
That Big Beautiful Screen
The Removable Controllers Are Great
FPS Mode Is Clever
Decent Battery Life
Does Things Differently
Didn't Love
Software Needs Improvements
Internals Can't Quite Match The Screen Specs