Steam Deck OLED vs. Lenovo Legion Go: Pick a Handheld Gaming PC – Video

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Speaker 1: Handheld gaming is back in a big way, but especially for PC gamers right now, there were two big PC gaming handhelds on sale, the steam deck, which is a new ole display and a lot of other tweaks and the Lenovo Legion Go. Now these aren’t the first PC gaming handhelds, but it’s a trend that’s continuing and with rumors of a new Nintendo switch next year and streaming devices like the PlayStation portal, there are all sorts of options. What should you consider [00:00:30] in a PC gaming handheld, or should you wait? Well, here are my experiences after about a week playing with both. Now, I should let you know I am pretty apprehensive about PC gaming. It’s outside of my comfort zone, and that may sound a bit embarrassing, but it’s true. I’m not much of a tinkerer when it comes to PC games, and that means you might prefer one of these over another.

Speaker 1: I’ll get into that in a minute. What’s going on here is pretty different in terms of features. The steam deck is a bunch of tweaks to the existing steam deck to create a much better overall product. It has a 7.4 inch [00:01:00] HDR display that’s ole this time, and it also has better wifi and it has improved haptics and just an overall improved feel, but it’s still the same feel and size as the previous steam deck. No detachable controllers, although it can connect with monitors and keyboards. Now the Lenovo Legion Go has an 8.8 inch screen. It is 1.8 pounds, so it’s big. It runs full windows and it has a kickstand and it even has detachable controllers. And the crazy thing is that one of these controllers actually doubles as [00:01:30] a mouse. There’s an optical sensor here and you can flip it on and it comes with a base that turns this into a throttle mouse controller.

Speaker 1: You snap it in here and then you can essentially use this as a mouse for the whole oss. So I could also scroll with the scroll wheel and click on things too. I mean, while this controller mouse thing is meant to be used for games, this is where it starts to feel with Windows and a mouse [00:02:00] controller that it’s not even really a game console at all. It’s really a super portable Windows 11 device. So in terms of size, like I said, the Lenovo Legion Go is a lot bigger. I mean it’s not tremendously large, but it is much like a tablet with controllers. The 1.8 pound size and the 8.8 inch screen as big and nice as it is means that you’re going to want to lug this around in its carry case and have a big enough bag for it. The steam deck is also pretty large, but it seems more portable in comparison.

Speaker 1: [00:02:30] Not only does it have a smaller display, but it’s a lot lighter and it feels more like a super large switch to hold in the hand. Now let’s get to games because that’s what you’re doing on these things. You’re gaming with the Steam deck, the proposition is everything running through Steam. This is really a game console for Steam and Valve has optimized this wonderfully to run a ton of games, specifically using its AMD Z two processor and its Linux operating system and doing it in a way that well and performs [00:03:00] well. For those games that say that it can run on Steam Deck, that means that there are some games that don’t, and there are some games like Madden Football that need anti cheat verification that doesn’t run on the steam deck, which is frustrating and you can get the steam deck to do other types of things like game streaming, but that’s kind of going under the hub with it out of the box, it’s really meant to run everything via Steam.

Speaker 1: Now the Lenovo Legion Go is a full Windows 11 machine. This is a Windows device with controllers. Lenovo does have [00:03:30] a graphics software overlay that provides access like a little bit of a launcher to all sorts of game store environments. That means you can run Steam on this, you can run Microsoft Game Pass, you can run Epic Game Store, you could run anything. It’s a Windows machine that gives a tremendous amount of flexibility. However, the games that work for it are hit and miss. So far I’ve launched some games that have run really slowly, some games that have crashed, some games that said I needed new drivers, some games that seemed to work [00:04:00] perfectly well. Now that may require some sort of tinkering with graphic settings, with drivers, with other things. Again, getting under the hood with this device out of the box, you’re going to have to discover what games work best on this like I have now that goes down to the os, the OSS on the Lenovo Legion Go, it’s Windows 11, so there’s a lot of flexibility there and a lot of frustration.

Speaker 1: I mean there are pop-up windows. There are things telling you about security checks. There are different types of messages from different programs at the same time, which you [00:04:30] don’t always want when you’re gaming and stuff like that. And the display, while it’s big, is still small compared to a Windows laptop. So sometimes you have to hunt around and tap for things which can get annoying. Now the Steam Deck, its OSS is a custom design built on Linux, so it has a very nice console like feel. It’s very comforting it yet surprisingly, it has a lot of Under the Hood futures, a lot of ways to tweak a lot of different settings, a lot of things to satisfy somebody who wants to make their system a little more of their own. But to be clear, it really [00:05:00] does feel like a gaming console environment. You can’t easily run out of the box, all sorts of other software, although you can and you can look up all sorts of ways to do that.

Speaker 1: So there’s a lot of flexibility under the hood here, but on top feels a lot more comforting. Now let’s get down to price. Price is kind of the same in some regards in that they’re both in the over $500 range, but the Steam deck is more affordable. The Steam deck without an Oola display is only $400. And then if you want to get the one with a 512 [00:05:30] gigabytes of storage and ole display, that’s 550, go to the one terabyte, that’s 650. Now the Lenovo Legion Go has a 512 gigabyte configuration that’s $700, but the one terabyte is 750, so you’d probably go for that, but seven $50 is considerably more expensive than the $550 entry level price here. Even. There’s about $150 gap on the storage differences. That means creeping towards the thousand dollars territory, [00:06:00] even if it’s in the $700 range. These are definitely a far cry from the $300 of a Nintendo Switch.

Speaker 1: What would I do right now? Well, there are going to be a lot of Windows handhelds coming, I think not just this one, and Microsoft needs to get a lot more involved in making these easier to use and not so confusing. I think there are going to be more iterations coming. The Legion Go feels experimental. I would consider waiting and seeing what other stuff pops up. I think this is a nice first effort, but it’s a very buggy first effort, whereas the Steam deck feels very polished [00:06:30] right now. I think it’s a great product right now to get if you want to play games that are PC games. But again, will there be a Steam deck too, according to Valve, probably not for a couple of years, so I think you’re safe. It’s kind of like these switch OLED that came out a few years ago. That’s the state of handheld gaming for PCs and there are a lot more handheld game systems like the Switch two that we’re expecting next year. Good luck holiday shoppers. If you have questions and comments below, please let me know and thanks for watching.

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