Subscribe to our newsletter

Join our subscriber list to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly in your inbox.

The Lenovo Legion Go is that sweet intersection between handheld gaming on Windows and productivity

As a fan of venn diagrams, the Lenovo Legion Go caught my eye, as it defines a new category in productivity and gaming. As a handheld gaming device, it feels great to hold, big screen and all. As a productivity device running Windows 11, it gets a little eccentric and nerdy as you can attach a mouse and keyboard. Because it has two USB C slots, you can attach one of those portable monitors you can find in online stores.

The Legion Go is part of a new category in gaming hardware verticals. Inspired initially by the Nintendo Switch, it is a not-so-old ancestor to the Steam Deck and Ayaneo handheld devices. Unlike the Steam Deck that runs the Steam app, the Legion Go runs on Windows 11, which makes it a full-fledged touch screen PC with all the bells and whistles that Windows brings to the table.

The Legion Go brings Windows 11 PC gaming power to a handheld mobile form and is powered by the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor with AMD RDNA 3 Graphics to deliver unmatched PC gaming performance for the most power-demanding games. It features a stunning 8.8-inch QHD+ display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, the largest display on handheld gaming devices in the market and is further enhanced with a 144Hz refresh rate.

It features 16GB of LPDDR5X (7500Mhz) RAM with power management flexibility that delivers optimal gaming performance and faster loading times, in addition to up to 516GB of SSD storage3. The Legion Go also has a long-lasting 49.2Wh battery that supports Super Rapid Charge4. This will allow gamers to play all day long and return to gaming in no time.

The Legion Go comes with a neat kickstand. It’s quite stable! Above it is the cooling system. You can really feel the hot air being dissipated in gaming mode!

The Lenovo Legion Go as a handheld gaming device

After unboxing the device, I went on to install both Steam and uPlay. Since I’m already running on Windows, I simply had to login and update the XBox App, which in turn allowed me access to my GamePass subscription. Running on saver mode and plugged, I installed my copies of Cyberpunk 2077 on Steam, as well as Lies of P and Palworld on Gamepass.

As a fan of the mouse and keyboard, I attached a wireless mouse and keyboard setup via Bluetooth to play Palworld and Cyberpunk. Both games can run quite well on controller mode but I’ve always been a PC gamer by heart so I stuck with my guns. Which brings me to the Legion Go’s versatility as a gaming device. Technically you can remove the left and right controllers like a Nintendo Switch. You can even use the right controller as a mouse propped down (sort of like the old school flight sticks and trackball combo), but to be honest, this doesn’t feel great. 

If you really want to maximize performance with the Legion Go, there are TDP settings that need to be adjusted from the built-in launcher. TDP settings determine the maximum output dissipating heat. A lower TDP increases battery life but lowers performance (like framerate). A higher TDP is really your best option for performance especially in gaming with the Legion Go. Games like Palworld and Cyberpunk were decently playable with a TDP of 25. At saver mode, they were not playable at all: either the games did not load or the frame rate was too low. 

But why have TDP settings for a gaming device? Ah, well there’s the rub. That’s because it isn’t just for games. Again, since we are running Windows on this little thing, it can double as a handheld productivity tool. A lower TDP setting lets you extend battery life and let you perform basic tasks on Windows.

The Lenovo Legion Go as a productivity device 

As a laptop replacement, the Legion Go does have its bright spots. I will admit it looks awkward to use for pure productivity, especially when shaped like a gaming handheld. But yes it works!

For easy browsing that doesn’t require you to use a keyboard all the time, the Legion Go is adequate as a “tablet” computer. The right controller has a built in trackpad. You can use your right thumb to navigate the screen. From checking emails, watching Netflix, and browsing the web. 

Look at that portability! The Legion Go comes with an elegant carrying case that doesn’t scream “GAMER!”

Who is this for?

One of the things I should note about the Go is to not leave it idle inside the case especially when doing things like downloading in the background. Unlike a mobile phone, the Go has actual active cooling which means there are fans that run circulating air. It would be best to turn off the device whenever you’re storing it in the carry case. You’ll be in for a surprise with a whiff of very hot air (and potential damage to your device) if you do not do this.

So who is this for? For the price roughly P49,999 you get a handheld gaming device and a performance level PC. If you’re the type of person who has equal needs in getting things done with work and squeezing in gaming time with games on Windows, there’s no better device. But what about a laptop? I guess the form factor of the Legion Go will speak for itself. If you love games that utilize sticks such as fighting games, Metroidvania platformers and role playing games, then this is the best choice for you. Because of its form factor, the Legion Go is a bedside gaming device. It’s hard to take your laptop to bed, but the portability of the Go is what makes it less awkward.

Full on productivity mode with mouse, keyboard and Chrome browser turned on!