The future of handheld gaming is evolving rapidly, and the Lenovo Legion Go is one of the latest contenders in the market. With its Windows OS and impressive features, it aims to provide a unique gaming experience for enthusiasts. In this review, we will explore the pros and cons of the Legion Go, comparing it to its closest competitor, the Steam Deck. Let’s dive into the details and see if the Legion Go is a worthy alternative to the Steam Deck.
Pros of the Lenovo Legion Go
1. Large 8.8-inch Display
The Legion Go boasts an 8.8-inch display, which is larger than the Steam Deck’s screen. With a resolution of 2,560×1,600 pixels, it offers vivid and sharp visuals, making it ideal for RPGs and text-heavy games. The larger display size allows for a more immersive gaming experience, especially when playing games designed for larger laptops and monitors.
2. Windows OS and Game Compatibility
One of the standout features of the Legion Go is its Windows 11 operating system. Unlike the Steam Deck, which is limited to the Steam platform, the Legion Go provides access to multiple game stores, including Steam, Microsoft’s games and apps, and Epic. This flexibility allows gamers to enjoy a wide range of titles from different platforms, making it a versatile option for those who prefer variety in their gaming library.
3. Detachable Wireless Controllers
Similar to the Nintendo Switch, the Legion Go features detachable wireless controllers that offer a handheld gaming experience reminiscent of traditional consoles. The chunky controllers provide a comfortable grip and can be charged when attached to the device via side pin connectors. This design choice gives gamers the freedom to play in tabletop mode or docked mode, adapting to their preferred gaming style.
4. Built-in Kickstand
The Legion Go comes equipped with a built-in kickstand, allowing users to prop it up on a table and enjoy a hands-free gaming experience. This feature is particularly useful for games that require a more relaxed gameplay style, such as RPGs or open-world adventures. The kickstand provides stability, enabling gamers to focus on the game without straining their arms.
Cons of the Lenovo Legion Go
1. Unpredictable Game Support
While the Legion Go offers access to multiple game stores, game support can be unpredictable. Some games may run poorly or not run at all, similar to underpowered gaming PCs. Users may encounter issues such as slow and choppy gameplay or crashes due to a lack of video memory. Finding games that work well on the Legion Go can be a trial-and-error process, requiring adjustments to settings and potential driver installations.
2. Windows OS Optimization
The Legion Go’s Windows 11 operating system, while providing flexibility, feels unoptimized for handheld gaming. Microsoft has not made significant efforts to make Windows and its Xbox app games feel native to handheld devices. As a result, the overall experience can be cumbersome and less user-friendly compared to the dedicated OS of the Steam Deck, which is specifically tailored for handheld gaming.
3. Loud Fan and Mediocre Battery Life
The Legion Go’s cooling fans are louder compared to the Steam Deck, even in the quietest setting. This can be a distraction during gameplay, especially for users who prefer a quieter gaming experience. Additionally, the battery life of the Legion Go may not meet the expectations of some gamers. Despite having a 49-watt-hour battery, it drains faster than desired, especially during extended gaming sessions.
4. Weight and Portability
The Legion Go weighs 1.8 pounds, making it heavier than the Steam Deck. While this may not be a significant issue for some users, those seeking a more lightweight and portable gaming device may find the Legion Go less appealing. The added weight can make it feel more like a small laptop rather than a dedicated handheld gaming device.
Conclusion: Is the Lenovo Legion Go Worth It?
The Lenovo Legion Go offers an intriguing proposition for handheld gaming enthusiasts. With its large display, detachable wireless controllers, and Windows OS flexibility, it aims to provide a unique gaming experience. However, its unpredictable game support, unoptimized Windows OS, loud fan, mediocre battery life, and heavier weight compared to the Steam Deck are factors to consider.
If you prioritize seamless game compatibility, a handheld-focused OS, and a more refined gaming experience, the Steam Deck may be the better choice for you. However, if you enjoy tinkering with settings and experimenting with a variety of games from different platforms, the Legion Go offers a compelling alternative.
Ultimately, the decision between the Legion Go and the Steam Deck depends on your preferences and priorities as a gamer. The hardware of the Legion Go is ready for the future, but we’re still waiting for the software to catch up and provide a more integrated and optimized gaming experience.
As the handheld gaming market continues to evolve, it’s exciting to see new contenders like the Legion Go pushing the boundaries. With further advancements in technology and software optimization, we can expect even more impressive handheld gaming devices in the future.