Lenovo Legion Go Review

Over the last year or so I’ve had the opportunity to review the current crop of name brand handheld gaming PCs, including the Steam Deck and the Asus ROG Ally. Recently, I spent some time with the newest entrant in this space, the Lenovo Legion Go. It is the subject of my latest review.

The Legion Go starts at $699 for the 512GB version (compensated affiliate link). All configurations at the moment are powered by an AMD Ryzen Z1 processor that can run at a 30 watt TDP, 16GB of LPDDR5X-7500 RAM, and a replaceable NVME SSD.

Its larger size, compared to competitors like the Steam Deck, is thanks to its 8.8-inch IPS display, offering a 2560×1600 resolution, 500 nits of brightness, and up to 144Hz refresh rate. Just remember that most AAA titles won’t fully utilize this display’s capabilities, often running at 60 frames per second or less. The good news is that the display does support variable refresh rates.

What sets the Legion Go apart are its hardware features that are lacking on its competitors. The detachable controllers, which work wirelessly when detached, are most noticeable. The built-in kickstand adds convenience for multiplayer and tabletop gaming, and the inclusion of two USB-C 4.0 ports, compatible with Thunderbolt devices, allows for easy docking and connection options for external GPUs.

Running on Windows 11, the Legion Go supports a wide range of gaming platforms, including Microsoft’s Game Pass, Steam, GOG, Epic and just about anything else that runs on Windows. However, navigating Windows through a touch display can be clunky at times. The device’s performance can be customized, with options to adjust the TDP (Thermal Design Power) and fan speed, catering to different gaming needs.

In terms of controls, the Legion Go features hall effect thumbsticks, which are more durable and less prone to drifting than traditional potentiometer-based sticks. However, they suffer from a large dead zone currently, which negates many of the advantages the Hall Effect technology provides. A software update should address that hopefully in the future.

Another stand out feature is the ability to turn the right-hand controller into a mouse when it’s switched into “FPS mode.” The controller docks to a small stand that turns it into a mouse that feels like a joystick. It works – especially for gamers that want the convenience of a mouse without having to bring an extra device on the road.

The directional pad, unfortunately, it not great. While it’s an improvement over the ROG Ally’s d-pad, the Lenovo version is slippery doesn’t have much travel to it. I’d recommend extending the kickstand and using an 8bitdo controller for retro gameplay.

Battery life is a consideration, with the device offering around 90 minutes at 30 watts and may aboue two hours at 20 watts. This is typical for many handheld gaming PCs, where power source proximity is essential. Note that some games are more demanding than others – so longevity will be determined by how much load the game places on the system.

In benchmark tests, the Legion Go performs admirably, comparable to some laptops with discrete GPUs. It’s a testament to the advancements in portable gaming technology. However, when it comes to real-world gaming, adjustments are often needed to balance performance and visual quality. Unlike the Steam Deck that will automatically optimize games for the best performance, the Windows-based Legion Go will require a bit more tweaking.

Comparing the Legion Go with its competitors, it stands out in terms of build quality, control options, and docking capabilities. However, it’s bulkier and heavier than the Steam Deck and far less comfortable than Valve’s offering. The Steam Deck, with its more integrated feel and lighter build, might still be the better choice for casual, on-the-go gaming. In contrast, the Legion Go shines as a more versatile device, suitable for docking to a TV or even functioning as a desktop PC when not on the road.

The Legion Go is a significant addition to the handheld gaming PC market, offering unique features and powerful performance. Its versatility makes it an attractive option for gamers who want a device that can transition from handheld to a docked gaming experience. As the market for these devices grows, it’s exciting to see how each brand brings its strengths to the table, offering gamers more choices than ever before.

Disclosure: Lenovo provided the Legion Go free to charge to the channel for this review. They did not review or approve the review before it was uploaded.

ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 3 Review

I recently reviewed the ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 3 from Lenovo. This as its name suggests is the third generation of Lenovo’s most portable ThinkPad device. The target market for these are business executives who need something lightweight but full featured. This was provided on loan from Lenovo for this review. You can find the purchase page here (compensated affilate link).

When I first picked it up, it felt as if there was nothing inside. It weighs 2.18 lb (or 991.5g) – not much more than iPad with a keyboard attached. Like the prior generations its casing is made from magnesium and carbon fiber. The material blend gives it a rigid and premium feel, much like other ThinkPad products. The balance is pretty good too – when I lift the display lid, the keyboard stays mostly in place.

The 13.3-inch display offers a 2K resolution with touch capabilities. It’s an IPS display with great viewing angles and an anti-glare matte finish. The laptop is powered by an i7-1360P processor, but its small size does affect its overall performance due to thermal constraints.

The keyboard, while not as deep as some traditional ThinkPads, is still comfortable to type on. It comes with the signature ThinkPad nub for navigation and a fingerprint reader for added security. In terms of ports, it offers two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a headphone/microphone jack. The webcam is of high quality, shooting at 1080p, and is perfect for workplace video calls.

Performance-wise, for basic tasks like web browsing, watching videos, and office tasks, it’s swift and responsive. However, when I tried video editing and gaming, I noticed some performance drops, likely due to thermal throttling. Games like Fortnite and Red Dead Redemption 2 were playable but not optimal. The laptop’s fan is quiet, even under load, which is a plus for those who value a silent working environment.

Battery life is decent, with around 8 hours for basic tasks. The speakers provide clear and crisp sound, suitable for conference calls or casual listening. I also tested it with Linux (Ubuntu), and it ran smoothly with all features detected properly.

In conclusion, the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Nano Gen 3 is a good choice for those who prioritize portability over high-end performance. It’s well suited for corporate executives and anyone who needs a lightweight yet capable laptop for everyday tasks.

Lenovo Tab M9 9″ Tablet Review

My latest video is of the Lenovo M9 tablet. With a nine-inch display, this compact device caught my attention, especially at its current sale price.

The Lenovo M9 tablet is a nice alternative to some of the “no-name” tablets available on the market. The display doesn’t have the highest resolution (800 by 1340), but its smaller size does provide enough pixel density to make it easy to read text and colors are vibrant.

Under the hood, the tablet is powered by a MediaTek Helio G80 processor, along with 3 gigabytes of RAM and 32 gigabytes of storage. While these specs might sound basic, they are sufficient for typical Android tasks. There’s also an SD card slot to augment its limited amount of internal storage.

One of the things that stood out to me was the tablet’s build quality. It boasts a glass front and a metal back, giving it a premium feel that’s not often found at this price point. In terms of ports, it offers a headphone jack and a USB type-C port. The USB-C port only supports USB 2.0 data speeds and does not have a video output feature. The tablet also has stereo speakers that deliver surprisingly decent audio quality.

A feature I found particularly useful was the reading mode. This mode turns the display into a grayscale, mimicking the look of a printed page. It’s not quite e-ink, but it’s a comfortable reading experience that reduces eye strain.

When it comes to performance, the Lenovo M9 handles basic tasks like web browsing smoothly. However, if you’re into gaming, it’s a mixed bag. While casual games like Horizon Chase and Minecraft run well, more demanding games like Roblox can be a bit laggy. But for game streaming, such as Xbox cloud gaming, the experience is seamless.

One concern many have with tablets is the longevity of support. Lenovo has addressed this by providing a clear roadmap for updates. The M9, currently running Android 12, is slated to receive an Android 13 update by the third quarter of this year and will continue to get security updates until April 30th, 2026.

Battery life is another strong point. In my use, I found that it easily lasts 10 to 12 hours, which can be extended by reducing screen brightness.

The Lenovo M9 tablet is a solid choice for those seeking a compact, affordable tablet from a reputable brand. It may not be the most powerful device out there, but it is more than capable of running most of the tasks a tablet like this is typically used for.

Lenovo Tab P11 Gen 2 Tablet Review

My latest video is a review of Lenovo’s second-generation Tab P11 Gen 2 Android tablet. What intrigued me most about this device was its special desktop mode that transforms the tablet experience into more of a desktop environment.

We’ll be doing a giveaway on this one and another Lenovo tablet in the coming weeks so stay tuned! I’ll announce the giveaway plan on this email list.

Lenovo sent me the kit version of this tablet which also packs in a pen and a keyboard/trackpad case and stand. The price point for this entire kit is $299, which I found to be quite reasonable given the premium quality of the accessories.

The tablet is powered by a MediaTek Helio G99 processor. It has 4 gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage. It has a wide 11.5-inch screen, with a resolution of 2000 by 1200, that can go up to a 120Hz refresh rate. This makes the visual experience smoother compared to other tablets that are limited to 60Hz. The display also supports 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut, ensuring accurate colors for tasks like photo editing.

The sound quality out of the tablet is nice for the price point, featuring Dolby Atmos sound. It definitely sounded a lot less tinny than some of the lower cost tablets I’ve looked at recently from Walmart and Amazon.

For ports it has a USB Type-C and a headphone jack along with an SD card slot for augmenting its onboard storage. The USB-C port doubles as the charging port but it is not able to output video via HDMI. The more expensive pro version of the tablet does support video output. For biometrics, it lacks a finger print reader but it does offer facial recognition which worked just fine in my testing.

There are two cameras on board, a front-facing 5 megapixel camera that shoots 1080p video and a rear facing 13 megapixel camera. While the cameras are decent for a tablet, I believe smartphones might offer a better photography experience. But the front facing video quality looked great especially for doing web conferencing.

Running on Android 12, Lenovo promises an upgrade to Android 14 in the near future. I should note that I have heard from some viewers who were disappointed that prior versions of Lenovo tablets did not get promised OS updates. Performance-wise, it handled tasks smoothly, from browsing to video streaming. The Wi-Fi 6E radio ensures a seamless online experience.

One feature I particularly enjoyed was the reading mode. It offers a “chromatic” option that warms the display, reducing blue light. There’s also a Mono mode that turns the display black and white, almost mimicking the look and feel of a Kindle e-ink screen.

The included Lenovo Precision Pen 2 tracked nicely on the screen but did have a slight bit of latency. While it might not be the best for intricate artwork due to the slippery screen, it does work well for note taking and doodles.

The keyboard/trackpad case not only offers protection but also comes with a kickstand reminiscent of the Microsoft Surface design. The keyboard, although not backlit, provides a comfortable typing experience with good key travel and tactile feedback.

Lenovo’s “productivity mode” transforms the tablet into a desktop-like interface very similar to what it’s like to run Android apps on a Chromebook. Apps will turn into windowed applications that are layered on top of a desktop interface very similar to Windows. It makes using the device with the keyboard and trackpad much easier.

I also tested its gaming capabilities. Casual Android games like Roblox and Minecraft ran smoothly. For more advanced gaming or higher end PS2 or Gamecube emulation, you might need a device with a more robust processor. But for 99% of the population this is more than adequate. Of note though the performance on this tablet is identical to the 11″ Walmart Onn and Amazon Fire tablets I reviewed a few weeks ago.

In conclusion, if you’re considering the kit version of the Lenovo Tab P11 Gen 2, I believe it offers great value. The combination of premium features, a reasonable price point, and the versatility of both a tablet and a near-laptop experience makes it a worthy contender in the market.

Disclosure: Lenovo sent the tablet to the channel free of charge however they did not sponsor this review, provide any additional compensation, or review or approve this review before it was posted.

Lenovo Legion Y32p-30 4k 31.5″ Gaming Monitor Review

Price at only $749, The Lenovo Legion Y32p-30 is a gaming monitor that packs quite a punch for its price point. You can see it in action in my latest review.

The Y32p-30 is a 31.5″ IPS display with 4K resolution, a refresh rate of up to 144 Hertz, and support for variable refresh rates with compatibility for Nvidia G-Sync and AMD Freesync. To maximize these features, particularly the 144 Hertz refresh rate, it’s crucial to have an HDMI 2.1 cable for HDMI devices like game consoles.

The monitor is well-equipped in terms of connectivity, boasting four video inputs: two HDMI ports, a DisplayPort, and a USB Type-C port. Notably, the USB Type-C port can deliver video to the display and power a laptop simultaneously, providing up to 75 watts of power over the USB Type-C connection. While this is not enough power for gaming laptop it is sufficient for most ultrabook style laptops.

There are two USB-A ports on the side of the display for connecting peripherals along with a headphone/microphone jack. Notably the monitor has a built in KVM function that allows for the active USB connection to be mapped to the display input. So it’s possible for one PC to be connected through the USB-C port and another connected through the monitor’s USB-B port.

The Y-32P30 offers impressive display quality with a 1000:1 contrast ratio. However, its brightness level peaks at 400 nits, which may not be sufficient for HDR content production or consumption. The color coverage is 99% of sRGB and 90% of DCI-P3, which may not meet the needs of professionals requiring highly accurate color representation.

But the Legion Y-32P30 is designed as a gaming monitor. It has a super-fast response rate of 0.5 milliseconds, and the motion blur is practically nonexistent, even during fast-paced gaming. The input lag on the display is the best I’ve ever tested, providing an optimal gaming experience.

The monitor comes with a sturdy base, providing stability and a good range of motion for height and angle adjustments. While it has built-in stereo speakers, they leave a bit to be desired in terms of sound quality.

In conclusion, the Lenovo Legion Y32p-30 may not be the best choice for creatives requiring top-tier color accuracy and brightness levels. However, for gamers, it offers exceptional value, combining a large display, high refresh rate, low input lag, and an array of convenient features that enhance the gaming experience.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 Review

In my latest video, I take a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5, a premium laptop that delivers close to gaming laptop performance in a business oriented ThinkPad.

As we approach the time of the year when prices tend to drop on these, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take this high end model out for a spin.

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5 starts at around $1,800, and the model I reviewed was configured at about $2,600.

My review loaner features an Intel i7 12700H processor, an Nvidia RTX 3060 GPU with 6GB of video RAM, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. Both the RAM and storage are upgradeable. It has a 16-inch 4K IPS display with a 3840 x 2400 resolution, which is Adobe certified and X-Rite calibrated. This laptop is also HDR 10 and Dolby Vision compatible, making it useful for creative work and media consumption. The display is nice and bright with a decent contrast ratio for a non-OLED.

Weighing just over 4 pounds (1.88 kilograms), the laptop is made out of carbon fiber and magnesium. It has a solid, well-balanced design and a backlit keyboard with a 1.5mm key travel. It comes with a variety of ports, including two Thunderbolt 4 ports, HDMI output, two USB-A ports, a full-size SD card reader, and a headphone/microphone jack. The laptop also has a 1080p webcam with a physical shutter and decent speakers.

The battery life on this high-performance machine isn’t exceptional, with around six hours on minimal use. As expected, the laptop performs well for basic tasks like web browsing and video playback.

It does well at higher end tasks too like photo and video editing thanks to its CPU and GPU. But it may experience performance degradation under heavy sustained load as its cooling system is not as robust as what might be found in a gaming laptop. “Bursty” tasks like video editing should do fine but work that hits the CPU & GPU over longer periods of time will see a performance drop after a few minutes at full load.

Despite this, I was pleased with the overall performance, look, and feel of the ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 5, especially for those who appreciate the traditional ThinkPad design. For many the cooling issues will not have much of an impact but for those needing something for more long duration work a gaming laptop is the better choice.

Lenovo Chromebook 3 11″ Review – Currently on Liquidation !

It’s amazing how much laptop you can get for very little money these days – especially when that laptop is being sold at a liquidated price like the Lenovo Chromebook 3 11 that is the subject of my latest review.

This is a low-cost option that offers a functional secondary computer for basic tasks. With an AMD A6-9220C dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM, and 32 GB of eMMC storage, the IdeaPad Chromebook 3 has an 11.6-inch TN display with a maximum brightness of 250 nits. While the display is not touch-enabled and the colors are muted, the build quality is solid, with a weight of 2.46 pounds and an estimated 10-hour battery life. The keyboard is not backlit but offers a comfortable typing experience and the trackpad performs well.

The Chromebook has two full service USB Type-C ports (although only one display can be output at a time) along with a pair of USB 3 ports, an SD card reader, and a microphone/headphone jack.

But the device’s performance is sluggish, especially when compared to similar Chromebooks with Intel processors. But for basic tasks it’s fine and the battery life is pretty good for that type of work.

The speakers provide better sound quality than expected, and the device is compatible with Android apps and Linux. The end of support date for this Chromebook is June 2027, but it may be possible to extend its lifespan using Chrome OS Flex. Overall, the IdeaPad Chromebook 3 is a good value for those who manage their expectations and require a basic, functional laptop.

As value packed as this machine is there is a better option out there – if you can find it. The Acer Chromebook 311 I reviewed a few months back had a similar price but came with a higher quality display, faster performance, and the ability to output dual displays. Crazy!

Lenovo Z16 Gen 1 Review

Lenovo’s 16″ Z16 laptop is the subject of my latest review. Although the Gen 2 edition was just announced (with availability later this year) this one is available at a lower price. Find the latest deals here (compensated affiliate link).

The Z16 is a larger version of the Z13 we looked at a few months ago. In many ways I consider both of these laptops as Lenovo’s attempt to figure out how much change ThinkPad fans are willing to let happen to the platform.

This unit has a more consumer-focused design with polished curved aluminum edges, shallower key travel and a haptic track pad without any physical buttons for for the trackpoint.

So while this ThinkPad will take some getting used to, the performance is impressive thanks to its 6000 series Ryzen processor. The Ryzen delivers exceptional performance even for graphically intensive tasks along with good battery life for a large laptop like this.

Its USB-C ports run with 40 gigabit USB4 allowing for many Thunderbolt devices to work with it like external GPUs.

All in it’s a solid performer and worth considering for those wanting a larger screen with good performance.

Lenovo ThinkBook 14s Yoga Gen 2 Review

I am finally beginning to get caught up on my backlog of laptop reviews! My latest one is of another Lenovo Thinkbook – the 14s Yoga Gen 2. You can watch it here.

This one is a middle of the road 2-in-1 with an i7-1255U processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. This is the kind of laptop that goes on sale frequently on Lenovo’s website so definitely keep an eye on their product page (affiliate link) if you’re looking for a deal. It’s currently starts at $840 and the one we’re looking at is around $1000.

Performance and battery life are pretty good on this one. It scored well on benchmark tests and in line with other laptops running with this generation of Intel processors. Cooling is efficient and quiet with very little throttling happening under sustained processor loads.

Like other Yoga’s we’ve looked at they have a small pen that “garages” itself on the side of the case. I noticed the pen feels a little more natural than prior iterations, with the screen introducing a little more resistance to make writing feel less slippery.

For upgradeability the Yoga 14s Gen 2 has a second NVME SSD slot that allows for the installation of a second drive. This might be a fun way to dual boot a linux operating system. There is a single RAM slot on the motherboard for memory upgrades, however half the RAM (8GB) is soldered on the main board. So the best you’ll do with this one is 16GB max by adding an 8GB module.

I recommend either purchasing a 16GB configuration or upgrading to 16GB yourself to ensure the system runs in dual channel memory mode – without that RAM slot occupied you won’t get the max performance out of this machine.

My only complaint on this machine is its display. It’s dim at 300 nits, only 1080p, and runs with a narrow 16:9 aspect ratio (most laptops these days have a taller 16:10 ratio).

Lenovo Slim 7i Carbon Review

I love thin and light laptops! This has been a great year for this product category because there are so many good ones to choose from. This latest one from Lenovo, the Slim 7i Carbon, is another worthy of consideration. You can watch my video review here.

It comes it at just over 2 pounds (969 grams), has great performance from its i7-1260p processor, and even manages to pack in a 2560×1600 (2.5k) 16:10 display running at 90hz and 400 nits of brightness.

Like any thin and light laptop there are a few compromises. Downsides on this one are its 720p webcam and some performance throttling under heavy load (typical for laptops of this size). You’ll hear the fan kicking on quite often on this one to keep the processor temperature in check.

Battery life isn’t bad for an Intel based machine, expect about 9-10 hours of usage with display brightness down and sticking to basic tasks.

This form factor would be a great candidate for a more efficient ARM based processor. I expect in the very near future we’ll see more options in this form factor which should improve its battery life significantly.

For Windows fans looking for something ultra portable without many compromises this is definitely one to consider.