We recently partook in the Lenovo Legion Go launch event in New York City. After learning more about the handheld gaming PC, eating large quantities of food, and playing with the Legion Go at several demonstration stations. I was enamored with the gaming device, feeling that 10-year-old boy in me creep to the surface. The Legion Go stirred a feeling in me I have not felt since 10-year-old me got my first glimpse of the Atari 2600. I wanted it, I needed it, I had to have it, and like Veruca Salt from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, “ I don’t care how I want it now!”
So, although I enjoyed myself thoroughly at the Lenovo launch event, 10-year-old me was prepared to throw a full-on temper tantrum, rolling on the floor, screaming and crying. Luckily for my fellow journalists and the fantastic folks at Lenovo, there was no need for such theatrics, as those who attended were given review units as we left, and I played it cool, but deep inside, as it was handed to me, 10-year-old me breathily whispered “ my precious.”
Lenovo Legion Go first impression
After saying my goodbyes, I dashed home, calmly riding the R train. However, ever watchful of others, as the Legion Go was mine, and mine alone, and yes, I am ready to fight to keep my precious all to myself.
Once I arrived safely, I exchanged hellos with my beloved Krystal, showed her the Legion Go, charged it up, and ignored her for the rest of the evening. I mean, sure, I answered her questions and feigned interest in what was on the television while the Legion Go charged.
What would I name it? It is a Windows 11-based gaming device, running a full-fledged version of the OS, and as you know, like all Windows devices, it seeks a name during setup, so once that was figured out, and it was fully charged, I set up my gaming services, and downloaded Madden 24 and my goto, Borderlands 2, and got to work.
Windows 11 runs smoothly on the Legion Go, and from a performance standpoint, it’s like having a laptop in your hand. Once I downloaded Xbox Game Pass, Nvidia GeForce Now, and Steam, I was off to the races. I played Madden 24, and it ran smoothly as I waxed Dallas, playing as my NY Giants. Then I hopped into Borderlands 2, an oldie but goodie, and spent hours slaughtering mutants and baddies. I lost track of time, which is the true test for any gaming device.
Once I had all the controls figured out, and thanks to the Legion Go’s excellent ergonomics, I was moving around Borderlands pretty much as I would while playing on a PC. I mean, if I really wanted to, I could connect a wireless mouse and keyboard to it and play it exactly the same way, but I wanted the handheld experience.
The gameplay was super smooth in both Madden and Borderlands, but how good is it to watch content on? I downloaded my favorite streaming apps and watched Lupin on Netflix, and it looked fantastic.
The audio quality was solid and even better with my earbuds in. The Lenovo Legion Go takes a little getting used to. There are a ton of buttons, triggers, a gamepad, joysticks, and a trackpad, it has more options than a new car when it comes to interacting with it. You can even disengage the right-side controller, put it into a holder, and use it as a wireless mouse. I even found a scroller; Lenovo thought of everything.
During gaming, all the sticks, triggers, and buttons are well placed, so it feels natural, and the game controls are super responsive, making for a slick overall experience. It does take some adjustment, especially since I am primarily a keyboard gamer, but after a short time, the transition went smoothly.
I can see myself snuggled up in bed with the Legion Go for weekends on end, gaming, streaming content, replying to emails, and answering phone calls because, thanks to Windows 11, it connects to my OnePlus Open and allows me to take calls and send and receive texts. I could lay there thoroughly entertained, ordering food and ignoring the entire universe, especially my kids.
The Lenovo Legion Go isn’t just a powerful handheld gaming PC; it's a full-on entertainment center that fits in my hands. I never have to leave the confines of my bedroom ever again. My advice to anyone who purchases the Lenovo Legion Go ($699) is to cancel all your other plans. You’re going to get addicted and spend an entire weekend with it. I fell asleep, snuggled up to it, and woke up with it next to me on my pillow, like a puppy.
Overall, the AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme Processor and integrated Radeon GPU do a great job of pushing smooth gaming onto the 8.8-inch QHD (2560 x 1600) IPS Touchscreen with 144Hz refresh rate display. For once, Windows 11 doesn’t feel like a hindrance, as it truly is an asset on the Legion Go. You can use the puny portable as a laptop, plug it into a monitor or TV, or connect a Bluetooth keyboard and push some documents and emails out.
Sure, 10-year-old me would hate that I could also get work done with the Legion Go, and he would never do anything but play endless hours of games. Sadly, I am an adult, and I do have to pay bills, so the Go’s capability to handle some of my adulting also frees up time for more gaming. I see what you did there, Lenovo, and I am grateful.
The Lenovo Legion Go is fantastic, and although I appreciate all your holiday invites, I won’t be leaving my bed until at least CES 2024 because it's my job to be there. Till then, I will be gaming endlessly, as the adult me has left the building, and 10-year-old me has become a Legion Go-addicted kid who cuts school.
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Mark has spent 20 years headlining comedy shows around the country and made appearances on ABC, MTV, Comedy Central, Howard Stern, Food Network, and Sirius XM Radio. He has written about every topic imaginable, from dating, family, politics, social issues, and tech. He wrote his first tech articles for the now-defunct Dads On Tech 10 years ago, and his passion for combining humor and tech has grown under the tutelage of the Laptop Mag team. His penchant for tearing things down and rebuilding them did not make Mark popular at home, however, when he got his hands on the legendary Commodore 64, his passion for all things tech deepened. These days, when he is not filming, editing footage, tinkering with cameras and laptops, or on stage, he can be found at his desk snacking, writing about everything tech, new jokes, or scripts he dreams of filming.