Lenovo Legion Go combines gaming PC power with Nintendo Switch-like controls

Lenovo Legion Go announcement

After weeks of speculation and leaks, the Lenovo Legion Go handheld gaming PC has finally been confirmed. It follows the launch of Asus’ ROG Ally earlier in the year, adding to the competition of portable gaming devices as the conspicuous absence of Valve’s Steam Deck continues in Australia.

Although IFA 2023 is typically reserved for home appliances and related smart technology, Lenovo often shows off a wide range of consumer technology due to release during the last quarter of the year. Last year, it demoed a pair of smart glasses. This year, along with laptops and peripherals suited for business types, the Chinese company confirmed its Lenovo Legion Go gaming device, plus several peripherals to augment the experience.

Lenovo’s Legion gaming brand has a strong reputation for delivering high-powered technology suitable for playing many of the latest and greatest games. Take this year’s Legion Pro 7i gaming laptop, for example, a portable powerhouse for both work and play. It’s something that the brand strives for, as mentioned by Lenovo’s Jun Ouyang, who oversees the company’s consumer business segment.

“We began designing the Lenovo Legion Go over two years ago in order to empower gamers around the world to game their way,” Ouyang said. “With the introduction of the Lenovo Legion Go, we are excited to expand our Lenovo Legion gaming ecosystem with a device that allows gamers to – literally – game on the go.”

Lenovo Legion Go versus ROG Ally

Naturally, there are comparisons to be made with the ROG Ally, a fellow Windows 11 handheld gaming PC that made waves earlier in the year. Notably, the Legion Go sports an 8.8-inch 1600p display capable of up to 144Hz refresh rates – the Ally caps out at 1080p and 120Hz. Behind this is the AMD Ryzen Z1 system on a chip – which includes up to the Z1 Extreme, indicating multiple models – same as the higher-spec Ally, but a larger 49.2Wh battery (compared to the Ally’s 40Wh). Battery life is arguably the biggest drawback to any device in this form factor, which is why Lenovo makes a point of mentioning its Super Rapid Charge tech, capable of recharging the battery up to 70% in 30 minutes.

Interestingly, when compared to the Ally, the Lenovo Legion Go may not be designed to compete in terms of raw power. Longevity appears to be its primary focus instead. This is seen in the larger battery size fast charging but also in the total power output. When plugged in, you can crank the ROG Ally’s output to 30W, while the Lenovo announcement only mentions 25W as a maximum.

Another big difference between the two handheld gaming PCs is in the physical build. The Legion Go weighs a hefty 854 grams, up from the Ally’s 608g. However, like the Nintendo Switch, the Lenovo’s handheld device has detachable controllers, meaning you have various play options, particularly if you have a surface to rest the device on.

From a software perspective, both the Legion Go and ROG Ally run on Windows 11, but both use different wrapper software that acts as a platform-specific overlay. The Lenovo Legion Go uses what’s called Legion Space, newly developed for the platform, which lets you access games from different PC storefronts, similar to the Ally’s Armoury Crate software.

Lenovo Legion Go price and release date in Australia

We don’t have long to wait for the latest handheld gaming PC to come down under. Due in late October 2023, the Lenovo Legion Go starts at $1,399, seemingly indicative that we might get multiple hardware configurations. Australia only received the $1,299 Z1 Extreme version of the Ally, while overseas also got a cheaper Z1 model.

Alongside the Legion Go announcement were also the Lenovo Legion Glasses, smart micro-LED glasses designed to be a large screen only you can see, and the Legion E510 7.1 RGB Gaming In-Ear Headphones. Other IFA 2023 highlights from Lenovo included the Gen 8 Legion 9i 16-inch laptop with a self-contained liquid cooling system, and the ThinkVision 27 3D Monitor that continues the trend of glasses-free 3D display technology.

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