Horizon Zero Dawn running on the Lenovo Legion Go,
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

My HP Omen 15 was one of the best investments I’ve made in my life, right next to my down-filled sleeping bag. That’s not because I think it’s the best gaming laptop ever, but because it’s the only one I’ve ever owned. It was my PC gaming device of choice until I got a Lenovo Legion Go, my first portable gaming PC.

I bought my HP Omen 15 in 2020. It was one of the worst years in recent history for building your own PC due to COVID-induced shortages, and I was too depressed to learn anyway. I figured I’d go with a prebuilt gaming laptop because my 2013 Macbook Pro was having issues and I wanted to play PC games. I went searching on Black Friday and saw the HP Omen 15 on sale, but couldn’t get what I thought to be a good enough graphics card for $1,000. I found a similar model on eBay with a RTX 2060 and called it a day. It’s been with me since.

I soon learned that gaming laptops weren’t really the pinnacle of portable PC gaming — at least not the way I game. You can’t really use a gaming laptop in bed for games that need a keyboard or mouse. I could barely control my characters with the built-in trackpad, so I needed to use it with a traditional mouse. That’s not an issue in and of itself, but that meant I needed a solid surface to use said mouse. Beds are soft, as it turns out. Even worse, resting a laptop on my not-very-breathable fabric sheets was a recipe for overheating.

HP Omen in between two ancient Dell monitors with Omen mouse
Image used with permission by copyright holder

That’s where the Lenovo Legion Go came in. I briefly sampled the Steam Deck and ROG Ally, but the Legion Go was the only portable PC I actually owned. Though the Legion Go might be considered the weakest of that trio by techies, that didn’t impact me as a casual newcomer to the space. The Legion Go is a perfectly serviceable portable PC for my needs, even if there are arguably better options.

Like the Nintendo Switch, I can play it over my chest in bed or hold it in front of my face at the dinner table. In the Legion Go’s case, its controllers are even detachable and have a built-in trackpad for when you need to directly select something with a mouse. I don’t regularly detach the controllers because I don’t play first-person shooters that require motion-based controllers, but I do use the trackpad for stubborn, sometimes unresponsive menus. You don’t need to worry about suffocating the system because the fans blow air from the top of the device, and you can even leave it standing upright by itself thanks to the kickstand.

It’s not just the portability. The Legion Go features a QHD screen that supports up to 2560 x 1600 displays, something usually reserved for larger screens. It has the same 144 Hz refresh rate as my laptop, but visual details just pop at the higher resolution. Its AMD Radeon RDNA graphics card runs similarly to the RTX 1060, a common GPU found in budget gaming laptops.

This checks out, considering most of the games I’ve played on the Legion Go run best between 30 and 60 frames per second (fps). That 144 Hz refresh rate helps to smooth the experience more than it would at 60 Hz, too. The Legion Go’s AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme Processor also outdoes my Omen’s Intel Core i7-10750H CPU with eight cores instead of six. It can juggle more tasks at once than the Omen, so processing speeds are faster. I barely notice any hiccups when running games like Genshin Impact.

Lenovo Legion Go standing up in case
Image used with permission by copyright holder

My Lenovo Legion Go also doubles as a tablet. Its 10-point touchscreen is easy to use whenever I feel impatient about using the controllers to navigate between menus. I haven’t loaded up my Legion Go with apps because I mainly use it for gaming, but it could be an alternative for the many tasks people might go to a tablet for; I’ve used it for checking emails and reading manga. The Legion Go’s only flaw when it comes to my needs is its short battery life; mine usually dies after between two and three hours. However, that’s not out of step with my Omen and the three hours I get out of it on average.

So why am I sticking with the Legion Go over my Omen 15? To sum up, it looks good, runs consistently enough, and more easily fits into my gaming lifestyle. My laptop is still the best choice for working and gaming on the go, but my Legion Go has it beat when it comes to my pure gaming experiences.

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