Lenovo Legion Go Review: The ... Third Best Gaming Handheld?

Lenovo Legion Go Review: The … Third Best Gaming Handheld? Leave a comment

For the reason that Nintendo Swap dropped in 2017, the gaming trade has chased the dream of bringing as many video games as doable right into a handheld type issue. The Steam Deck (and its recent iterative upgrade) have come the closest, however most different makes an attempt have been plagued with massive problems. Within the chaotic battle for third place, Lenovo’s Legion Go makes a compelling case.

On paper, the Lenovo Legion Go is most just like the Asus Rog Ally (3/10, WIRED Review). It is like a Steam Deck with a much bigger, higher display screen and extra highly effective innards. In contrast to the Ally, the Legion Go makes an formidable barrage of adjustments to the shape consider an try to beat the Achilles’ heel of all these handhelds: Home windows.

The Home windows Downside

Aside from the Swap (operating a proprietary OS) and the Steam Deck (operating the Linux-based SteamOS), most gaming handhelds on this house run Home windows. And Home windows simply is not nice to function on handheld, touchscreen units that use controller-style inputs as a substitute of a keyboard and mouse.

Lenovo has accomplished a greater job than Asus at smoothing a number of the software program issues. The 2 hooked up controllers every have a button that act as shortcuts to the Legion Area app—which helps you to launch video games and open third-party sport shops or modify fast settings.

Nonetheless, Lenovo’s implementation is complicated. Bafflingly, the proper button opens a menu on a special facet of the display screen (left, proper, left, proper) each time it’s pressed, alternating between the launcher and settings overlays. So when you open the settings menu, shut it, and wish to open it once more, you need to press the button 3 times to open the launcher overlay, shut it, and then open the settings overlay. It’s bizarre!

Luckily, the Legion Go has one benefit: a trackpad on the proper controller. Much like the touchpads on the Steam Deck, this allows you to management a cursor utilizing your thumb. It’s a godsend for clicking on tiny contact targets within the Home windows interface or for navigating menus that don’t actually work with controller inputs the way in which they need to.

You will have to make use of that trackpad loads, too. Steam incessantly appeared to launch in desktop mode somewhat than the controller-friendly Large Image Mode. Different instances, a sport would kick me out to the Home windows desktop. As soon as I discovered the settings overlay, altering some fundamental settings was easy sufficient, however no third-party app can utterly repair the jank that comes from operating Home windows on a tool like this.

A Daring Tackle Management

{Photograph}: Lenovo

Home windows is irritating, however Legion Go’s {hardware} is spectacular. In contrast to the Steam Deck or Rog Ally, the controllers are removable (just like the Nintendo Swap!) and cost wirelessly whereas hooked up. The left controller has a management stick, a D-pad, a couple of menu buttons, a bumper and set off alongside the highest, and two further programmable buttons on the rear.

The appropriate controller has some further options. On high of the same old 4 gameplay buttons and a management stick, there’s the touchpad. There’s a typical proper bumper and set off, but in addition a 3rd bumper alongside the flat proper facet. After which there are two extra buttons, labeled M3 and Y3 alongside the again, that sit nearly straight beneath my pinky. I typically felt myself by accident urgent them. Just below the proper set off, there’s a scrollwheel.

The button structure is complicated however makes extra sense when you attempt the FPS mode. The controllers are designed for bigger fingers than the Swap’s Pleasure-Cons however are nonetheless mild sufficient to be comfy to carry when enjoying indifferent.

Refresh Me

This console has a huge IPS display screen. 8.8 inches, 2,560 x 1,600 pixel decision, and as much as a 144-Hz refresh charge. It’s overkill however feels luxurious. The rear of the console additionally has a large kickstand, just like the one on the Swap OLED. It’s sturdy and durable and has a remarkably huge angle, so you may prop up the display screen, play with indifferent controllers from a good way, and nonetheless see the whole lot with out straining your eyes.

Lastly, I like that there are two USB-C ports, one on the highest and one on the underside. So whether or not you play in handheld mode or with the console propped up on a desk, you may nonetheless plug in a charger. Nintendo ought to take notes.

That FPS Mode, Tho

Essentially the most weird change the Legion Go provides is in what it calls FPS mode. With this management mode enabled, the left controller is held like regular and the proper controller is positioned in a small plastic disk (it magnetically attaches), positioning it like an upright joystick. Nevertheless it behaves like a mouse. Slide it throughout the desk and your cursor/digicam strikes round like it could with a regular mouse.

On this mode, all of the baffling button positions I famous earlier immediately make sense. The shoulder buttons are completely positioned on your set off finger, the M3 and Y3 buttons that my pinky stored tapping accidentally in handheld mode are straight underneath my thumb and are a lot simpler to press individually. It’s one thing of a best-of-both-worlds choice. In my left hand, I’ve a management stick as a substitute of the extra restrictive WASD keys, and in my proper the precision of a mouse. It’s type of genius.

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