Nintendo Switch fans, listen up. At IFA 2023 Berlin, technology brand Lenovo has announced a new handheld gaming device that features detachable controllers, just like Nintendo’s console. It’s called the Lenovo Legion Go.
The Go can be hooked up to a TV as the Switch can, though you’ll need a third-party USB-C to HDMI dongle.
The Lenovo Legion Glasses are also launching alongside the Go. This is a wearable device that uses micro-OLED technology to project graphics behind the lenses via augmented reality(AR). It plugs into the console via USB-C cable to privately display your gameplay.
The benefit of this set-up means that you aren’t confined to one space, as you would be with a traditional TV and console set-up. You can port the Go and Legion Glasses around with you, and get the same experience from your bedroom, office, living room or even your bathroom (but I don’t advise using it in the shower).
If you’re in the market for both devices, then be prepared to fork out a bit of money. The Go is retailing from $699/£699/€799, whilst the Legion Glasses will start $329/£399.99/€499. Both will hit the shelves in October.
The Go is fitted with an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor with AMD RNDATM Graphics and runs on Windows 11. It comes fitted with an 8.8in QHD+ display in a 16:10 format, which is significantly larger than the screens on the Switch OLED, Asus ROG Ally, Steam Deck and Logitech G Cloud.
Games can be downloaded and installed for offline play via Legion Space, which includes access to storefronts such as the Legion Game Store, Xbox Game Pass and Gamesplanet. That means you’ll be able to play massive titles such as Bethesda’s Starfield, which launches in just a few days’ time.
The Go’s display supports refresh rates of 144Hz and 60Hz, and resolutions of 1600p and 800p. It comes with 16GB RAM and either 256GB, 512GB or 1TB storage (markets depending; the UK only has the 512GB version), and 2TB of additional storage via the microSD slot.
The unit boasts a 2-cell 49.2WHr battery, though Lenovo could not provide an estimate on battery life. The addition of fast-charging via the USB-C port means you should be able to juice the console from zero to 70% in just half an hour. There’s an additional port to connect additional devices, such as the Legion Glasses.
There’s a lot of power beneath the hood, so Lenovo has fitted the console with coldfront thermal technology and a liquid crystal polymer 79-blade fan. If you’re worried about the noise, then you can enable either a quiet or custom mode to suit your preferences.
Lenovo claims the detachable joysticks should have no joystick drift and minimal dead zones. There are also ten mappable shoulder buttons, triggers and grip buttons. FPS mode means that you can use the joysticks like a traditional gaming mouse for more precise movements.
Meanwhile, the Lenovo Legion Glasses are also compatible with Windows, Android and macOS devices that have full-function USB-C. The graphics produced have a FHD resolution, with a 60Hz refresh rate. They aren’t wireless, so you’ll need to connect them via the 1.2m cable.
I went hands-on with prototypes of both the console and the glasses, playing Hot Wheels Unleashed. AR gaming can take some getting used to, but I can certainly see the benefit when it comes to privacy – especially if you and your housemates have regular arguments over the TV.
Caught in FHD
Hannah Cowton / Foundry
Whilst the Legion Glasses have built-in speakers around the temples, the ones I tested were not powerful, especially when it came to the bass. If this is still an issue on launch, then you can always connect a third-party pair of wired or wireless headphones. Lenovo is also releasing its own dedicated gaming pair.
Arguably the biggest downside to the console is how darn heavy it is. With the joysticks attached, the Go has a monstrous weight of 854g. I got quite the arm workout using this product, even just holding it for five minutes (though as regular Tech Advisor readers will know, I could do with pumping some iron).
AR has been brought to the forefront of technology over the last year, especially with the launch of the Apple Vision Pro. Whilst the Lenovo Legion Go and Lenovo Legion Glasses are still an investment, the price tag is more manageable than Apple’s $3,499 product.
If you have glasses though, beware. Whilst Lenovo’s pair offers different nosepieces to go over any additional headgear, the experience is not as comfortable as without. As someone with questionable eyesight at best, I did encounter some blurriness going sans frames. Lenovo confirmed that a prescription lens can be added to the glasses, but obviously this will incur an extra cost.
This is more of a tech-wide problem than a Lenovo issue, of course – but something to keep in mind if the future truly is AR.