Lenovo has been selling gaming PCs under the Lenovo Legion brand for years. More recently the company has begun dabbling in the mobile space with a line of Legion-branded smartphones, which are only sold in select markets.
Now there’s mounting evidence that Lenovo wants in on the handheld gaming PC space. According to a series of leaks from Windows Central, Windows Report, and @evleaks (Evan Blass), Lenovo could introduce a handheld called the Lenovo Legion Go as soon as September 1st and begin selling it in October for $799 and up. And, at least on paper, it looks like it could offer pretty good bang for the buck.
According to Windows Report, the Lenovo Legion Go will have an 8.8 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel IPS LCD touchscreen display with a 144 Hz refresh rate and up to 500 nits brightness. It’s expected to be powered by the same AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor found in the Asus ROG Ally. And it will have 16GB of LPDDR5X-7500 memory soldered to the mainboard and a user-replaceable M.2 2242 PCIe 4.0 SSD (Lenovo will allegedly offer models with 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSDs.
But what would really make the Legion Go unlike most handheld gaming PCs is that the controllers on either side of the display are detachable and there’s a kickstand on the back of the little computer. This lets you use it in a variety of different ways.
For example you could hold the gaming PC in two hands like a tablet. You could prop it up on a table while using the controllers wirelessly. Or you could position it next to your TV and run a cable to the big screen, allowing you to use the Legion Go like a console as well as on the go.
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) August 28, 2023
It’s not an entirely unique idea: the elephant in the room is the Nintendo Switch. But Dell showed a similar prototype a few years ago (which it never brought to market), and One Netbook’s ONEXPLAYER 2 handheld gaming PC also has detachable controllers (and a much higher starting price than the Switch or Legion Go).
This also isn’t the first time Lenovo has dabbled in the handheld space. A few years ago the company considered making an Android-powered console called the Lenovo Legion Play. I found some images hidden on the company’s website, and eventually a handful of prototypes were found in China. But the company never officially brought the Legion Play to market.
While Lenovo has yet to confirm that it’s looking to give things another try with a new model sporting an x86 processor and Windows software, last month Windows Central reported that Lenovo was working on a new device called the Legion Go, but this time it would be a Windows-powered handheld with an 8 inch display, and an AMD Ryzen 7040 series processor.
And this month Windows Report claims to have obtained specs and images of the handheld, which give us a much better idea of what to expect.
It’s probably a good idea to take all of the leaked specs and pictures with a grain of salt until Lenovo makes an official announcement, but if Windows Report’s sources are accurate, other things we can expect from the Legion Go include:
- 49.2 Wh battery (plus 900 mAh batteries for the controllers)
- 65W (20V/3.25A) USB-C charger
- 2 x USB4 (w/DisplayPort 1.4 Alt mode and USB PD 3.0)
- 1 x 3.5mm audio combo jack
- 1 x microSD card reader
- 2 x 2W stereo speakers
- 2 x microphones
- WiFi 6E
- Bluetooth 5.2
- Fan for active cooling
The game controllers are expected to include all the usual buttons, sticks, and triggers. But there’s also said to be a multitouch trackpad, mouse sensor, and mouse wheel for navigating Windows without an external keyboard or mouse. There are also customizable buttons on the grip, allowing you to assign functions for in-game usage.
Windows Report say the base module measures 210 x 131 x 20mm (8.3″ x 5.2″ x 0.8″) without the controllers attacked, and 299 x 131 x 41mm (11.8″ x 5.2″ x 1.6″) with the controllers. With controllers, the handheld weighs 854 grams (1.9 pounds), but if you detach the controllers, the center unit is just 640 grams (1.4 pounds).
Lenovo is also said to be planning to offer optional accessories including earbuds and AR glasses.
Keep in mind that Lenovo canceled the Android-and-ARM-powered Legion Play before ever bringing it to market, so there’s no guarantee that the Windows-and-x86-powered Legion Go will ever see the light of day. But if these rendered images are accurate, they at least give us an idea of what Lenovo’s thinking about building.
This article was first published August 17, 2023 and most recently updated August 29, 2023.