I loved the Lenovo Legion Go, proper up-to-the-minute I broke it

When the Lenovo Legion Go revealed itself, I used to be unconvinced by its portability credentials however enticed by the wi-fi mouse transmogrification of its removable, Nintendo Change-like controllers. A glowing sliver of Swiss Military handheld design, offering a well-recognized style of desktop play that the Steam Deck or Asus ROG Ally might by no means obtain with no USB dock.

Seems, now that I’ve tried the Legion Go for myself, I used to be fearful in regards to the flawed factor. It’s nowhere close to as heavy or cumbersome because it appears to be like, and whereas the breakaway controls stay an thrilling prospect, additionally they threat introducing an acute ache level. On the very least, the mannequin I examined proved extremely weak to lead-handed RPS {hardware} editors, as a result of I left the constructing very a lot with the impression that I’d damaged it.

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Okay okay, look, it’s not like I powerslammed it via that attractively varnished desk . I merely disconnected the appropriate controller (the one with the mouse sensor) mid-Rocket League match, inflicting it to lose connection, then repeatedly fail to reconnect, even after a number of restarts and in depth tinkering by a preternaturally affected person PR overseer. Giving efficiency anxiousness to a key part in presumably the one Legion Go within the UK might’ve occurred to anybody.

Guilt, embarrassment, and the notion of retaliatory firebombings by enraged Lenovo engineers apart, this was an early pattern I used to be dealing with. The retail model, releasing on October thirty first, ought to have a couple of tough edges smoothed out, and can get a barely nicer end on the plastic too. Nonetheless, my doomed date with the Legion Go was a reminder {that a} video games machine with three individually powered, wirelessly linked components will successfully triple the possibilities of one thing going kaput. The Change has a definite Pleasure-Con reset course of for a cause, and if the Legion Go goes to use the same setup to a conveyable Home windows PC, it’ll want the same security web. Or, ideally, extra steady connectivity.

The detachable right controller of a Lenovo Legion Go, in its upright mouse configuration.
Picture credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

I sincerely hope it does, as a result of the mouse factor is a really, excellent thought. The suitable controller pops right into a separate (however included) plate, forming one thing that originally looks like a miniature flight stick earlier than settling into its true function as an upright mouse. It’s been a few years since I final used an upright grip (it’s frequent on ergonomic workplace mice), however I used to be pleasantly shocked by how simple it was to get snug with. And, whereas my try to make use of the mouse-controller hybrid in a recreation resulted in catastrophe, by that time I’d already used it to flick via Home windows 11 much more naturally than I ever might with the ROG Ally’s thumbsticks. For Asus’ crack at a Steam Deck different, that fiddliness was a value of doing enterprise, one thing you place up with in trade for its wider PC recreation compatibility in comparison with the Steam Deck. The Legion Go additionally comes with Home windows 11 as-is, however provides you a extra acceptable instrument to navigate it.

The potential profit to mouse-minded technique or FPS video games is clear too, and because the Legion Go will launch with the identical AMD Ryzen Z1 Excessive APU and even the identical £699 worth because the ROG Ally, it already appears to be like like a case of extra practicality for no extra money.

The ROG Ally is way smaller and lighter – at 854g, the Legion Go is the weightiest of the Lenovo, Asus and Valve handheld PCs, and greater than twice as heavy as a Change. The 8.8in touchscreen additionally provides it extra of a pill really feel than the 7in Ally and Deck, so no, it’s not as transportable by any hardnosed numerical metric.

A rear view of the Lenovo Legion Go, showing its kickstand in action.
Picture credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

In my fingers, although, 854g didn’t really really feel like a lot. The Lenovo Go balances its weight nicely sufficient that one wrist doesn’t wilt sooner then the opposite, and in contrast to on the Change, the controllers are sculpted to suit palms and fingers, creating a cosy and comfy grip whether or not they’re hooked up to the primary physique or not. And though this central unit is on the thicker aspect, at the least that makes room for an impressively quiet cooling system.

The show, nonetheless, nonetheless must reveal that it received’t be an excessive amount of of a superb factor. We already know from the ROG Ally that the Ryzen Z1 Excessive isn’t sturdy sufficient to run all fashionable video games at 1080p, so asking the identical chip to feed a 2560×1600, 144Hz display feels like an extended shot. It’ll be wonderful for older video games and little indies, I’m positive, however I can simply see the usual observe to contain dropping the Legion Go right down to 1920×1200 or a Deck-esque 1280×800. On 1200p, I performed Rocket League on Excessive settings at round 50fps, and I believe I’d quite keep on with that than threat iffy efficiency at 1600p.

A Lenovo Legion Go showing the Windows 11 lock screen,
Picture credit score: Rock Paper Shotgun

This was what the ROG Ally difficulty boiled right down to: having to pay for prime specs you can’t at all times use. However then, the Legion Go is on the verge of creating a superb provide in any other case. That mousey controller might be a literal game-changer, and between the 4 rear buttons and single trackpad (a really easy one, I would add), it has a extra PC-friendly array of inputs than the Ally in full handheld mode. And, though battery life doesn’t sound superb – I’m informed between one and 7 hours, relying on what video games you play and on what settings – the Asus different might run dry with comparable haste.

I’m nonetheless trying ahead to the Legion Go, in different phrases. Although I’ve already slain one.

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