Lenovo Legion Go vs Asus ROG Ally: Handhelds compared

  • Lenovo Legion Go square

    Lenovo Legion Go

    Most versatile

    The Legion Go is a newly released competitor to the ROG Ally. It has a high-spec screen, detachable controllers, and an FPS mode.

  • ASUS ROG Ally square

    ASUS ROG Ally

    Best for gaming

    The ROG Ally is a mainstay in the handheld gaming PC market because it offers great performance for the price, especially when it’s on offer.

There are plenty of handheld gaming PCs for us to mull over in 2024, with the Steam Deck OLED and Lenovo Legion Go launching toward the end of 2023 and the MSI Claw being announced and teased early this year. And although it’s been on the market for longer than these, the Asus ROG Ally is still a strong competitor.

In fact, the Lenovo Legion Go and Asus ROG Ally are the two most powerful mainstream handheld gaming PCs currently on the market.

Back in September 2023, we got our hands on the Legion Go, and during the short time we spent with it, we liked what we saw. We also liked the Asus ROG Ally when we tried that handheld console in June, and although we had concerns about the Windows 11 experience with the Ally, these concerns apply equally to the Legion Go.

In other words, then, the Legion Go and ROG Ally truly are peas of a pod, making it vital that you compare them if you’re in the market for a handheld gaming PC. Let’s get into it.


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Lenovo Legion Go (5)Price, specs, and availability

The Asus ROG Ally has been around since June 2023, when it launched for $699 MSRP. The Lenovo Legion Go, on the other hand, launched at the end of October 2023, also for an MSRP of $699. Both can be picked up from the manufacturers’ websites or Best Buy.

While both handhelds run an AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, with the Ally, you can opt for the less powerful regular Z1 (non-Extreme) APU for $100 less. The regular Z1, however, performs much worse than the Z1 Extreme and makes other options like the Steam Deck a better choice.


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We should also note that it might be more difficult to find SSD upgrades for the Legion Go than the ROG Ally because the former only supports new M.2 2242 SSDs while the latter supports standard M.2 2230 SSDs. This shouldn’t be an issue for most gamers, though, because you can get a 1TB version of the Legion Go for just $50 extra, making it less likely to need a storage upgrade.

  • Lenovo Legion Go ASUS ROG Ally
    Dimensions 299x131x41 mm 279×111.8×12.7 mm
    Brand Lenovo Asus
    Weight 854g 1.34 lbs (608 grams)
    Chipset AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme
    RAM 16GB 7500Mhz LPDDR5X 16GB of LPDDR5 memory
    Storage Up to 1TB PCIe 4.0 512GB PCle 4.0 SSD, microSD card slot
    Display 8.8-inch IPS 7-inch IPS
    Output resolution 2560×1600 16:10 144Hz Full HD (1080p 16:9) touchscreen with 120Hz refresh rate

Design and display

The Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go are quite different in terms of design and display. The long story short is that the Legion Go is a chunky, heavy, but more versatile machine, while the ROG Ally is a smaller, lighter, less versatile one.

While the Legion Go is bigger, it’s not uncomfortably so. In fact, it’s about the same size as the Steam Deck but has a bigger screen (the Steam Deck’s real estate is taken up by wider left- and right-side control panels).

The screen really is a selling point for the Legion Go compared to the ROG Ally — it’s bigger, higher res, and has a higher refresh rate. Both are IPS panels, but 1600p is noticeably better than 1080p, and an extra 1.8 inches on the diagonal is fantastic for a handheld console. This being said, the ROG Ally’s display is no joke.

Prospective buyers should also note that the Ally’s screen supports variable refresh rate (VRR) tech while the Legion Go’s does not. This might result in screen tearing and a more choppy gameplay experience in some games and on some settings for the Legion Go.

Another way in which the Legion Go shines is in its ability to detach its controllers, just like the Nintendo Switch. It also has a kickstand on the back, so you can prop the screen up after detaching the controllers. This is what makes the Legion Go so versatile.

There is a drawback to the Legion, though: it weighs substantially more than the ROG Ally — more than most handhelds, in fact. And while it’s not enormous, the extra couple of centimeters in width and height are noticeable when using the device. As always with handhelds, it’s a question of screen size and performance vs device size and weight. The Legion Go wins in the former respect, the ROG Ally in the latter.


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Lenovo Legion Go (6)Controls

On the surface, the controls of both the Lenovo Legion Go and Asus ROG Ally are similar. Both feature an Xbox-style layout with A, B, X and Y buttons, left-side DPAD, bumper buttons and triggers and offset left and right-side analogue sticks. In other words, these handhelds are great if you’re used to Xbox controllers, while something like a Steam Deck is great if you’re used to PlayStation controllers.


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That’s where the similarities end, though. Beyond this, the Legion Go has much more to offer in the controller department.

First, its controllers are detachable. This means if you fancy resting your hands in your lap while you game, you can still rest your console screen on something closer to eye level after flipping out its kickstand. (Unfortunately, though, the left and right sides don’t join together like they do with the Switch.)

Apart from this, probably the biggest advantage of the Legion Go over the ROG Ally is its “FPS mode”. This essentially lets you turn the right-hand controller into a bona fide mouse, which is especially useful for aiming in first-person shooters (thus the name). Simply slide it into the puck that comes with the device, turn the underside switch over to FPS mode, and the optical sensor turns on. Now, you can use it like a vertical mouse and start cracking those headshots.

FPS mode is, in my opinion, the most appealing feature of the Legion Go. Note that it isn’t only great for aiming in FPS games, but allows for easier browsing on the desktop, too. It even has a scroll wheel on the back. Sure, both the ROG Ally and Legion Go have touchscreen panels, but throwing a mouse into the mix never hurt anybody. Combine this with a keyboard connected to one of its two USB-C ports or via Bluetooth, and you have a pretty capable little desktop PC.

Finally, having seemingly learned from the Steam Deck in a way the ROG Ally has not, the Legion Go has a touchpad under the right analogue stick, allowing for easier in-game or desktop mouse cursor movement. So, even if you don’t have a surface to rest it on for FPS mode, general desktop use should be a lot smoother with the Lenovo Legion Go.


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Lenovo Legion Go (10)Operating system

Both the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go run Microsoft Windows 11. They also use the same processor, so the desktop experience is almost identical on both devices.

The choice to go for Windows rather than something bespoke like Valve did with its SteamOS has pros and cons.

If you’re a fan of simplicity and ease straight out of the box, Windows 11 on a handheld gaming PC might be a little too fiddly.

On the other hand, with a Windows device, you get access to games without having to wait for devs to push out OS support. And, of course, you’re not restricted to any particular game client or platform, and this could save you money in the long run, allowing you to take your pick of all the latest game deals.

As a side note, one thing to consider is that it should be a little easier to navigate the OS with the Legion Go because of its bigger screen and the option to turn the controller into a mouse.

Asus Rog Ally Review gameplayHardware and performance

Providing we’re talking about the Z1 Extreme version of the Asus ROG Ally rather than the cheaper, regular Z1 version, both the Ally and the Go perform similarly, but there are some reports of the Ally performing a little more consistently than the Legion Go, possibly because of its lack of VRR support.

When we tested the ROG Ally, we found that the Z1 Extreme could outperform the Steam Deck pretty easily, providing we ran it at a high enough TDP and cranked its power draw. But, of course, this will drained the battery quicker, and while the Legion Go’s battery has about 23% more capacity at 49.2Wh, at such a high TDP, this extra capacity doesn’t make a massive difference.

The Legion Go does have faster charging than the ROG Ally, though, but both offer fast charging — it’s the difference between 70% in 30 minutes for the Legion Go or 50% in 30 minutes for the ROG Ally.

The Legion Go has faster memory than the ROG Ally, but the RAM capacity is the same for both consoles. In most games, the increased memory speed won’t generate much extra performance — maybe a frame or two here or there.

We should also note that while the screen is better on the Legion Go, its hardware might not allow it to make full use of it in every game. The Ryzen Z1 Extreme is a mobile chip, and its GPU should give comparable performance to a midrange gaming laptop from circa 2019, such as the GTX 1650.

In other words, with both devices, you’ll probably end up lowering your resolution and in-game settings anyway to maintain a playable framerate in modern games, making the Legion Go’s higher resolution and refresh rate somewhat redundant for at least some modern titles. Combine this with reports of the Legion Go performing a little worse than the ROG Ally on all but the highest power setting, despite using the same processor, and we think the Ally is probably a better choice for straight-up gaming.


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Lenovo Legion Go (30)Which is better: Lenovo Legion Go or Asus ROG Ally?

There are pros and cons to the Lenovo Legion Go and Asus ROG Ally. From our testing, we think the Legion Go is better for those looking for a home gaming handheld PC and media device, and the ROG Ally is better for those looking for a portable gaming-only device.

Most of the drawbacks of the Legion Go — potential problems with Windows 11 on a touchscreen handheld, battery life when TDP is cranked, etc. — are also problems with the ROG Ally. Its large size, heavy weight, and lack of VRR support, however, aren’t shared by the Ally.

On the other hand, for this increased size and weight, with the Legion Go, you’re getting slightly better hardware (thanks to the faster memory) and a better-looking screen. And while not every game will be able to make perfect use of this high-res, high refresh rate panel, it’s nice to have even for just browsing the internet or watching movies. It makes for a great “gaming on the sofa” device, especially because you can detach its controllers and stand the screen up on your table.

Lenovo Legion Go 3

Lenovo Legion Go

Editor’s Choice

The Legion Go is the most versatile handheld gaming PC in its price bracket, thanks to its stellar hardware, high-spec kick-standable screen, and detachable controllers.

Apart from gaming on the sofa, general desktop usage is where I think the real value of the Legion Go lies. The additions of detachable controllers, a touchpad, two USB-C ports (for easier peripheral connectivity), and the ability to turn the right-side controller into a mouse by enabling FPS mode make for a much more versatile and capable desktop experience.

This is no small thing, either. For $699, many users might want not just a great handheld gaming PC but something that can also occasionally be used when sitting down at home away from the PC. The Legion Go is much better equipped to handle such use cases, and for that reason, it comes out on top for home use when we’re not jus considering gaming.

If we are just considering gaming, though, and especially a primary use case of portable gaming, then the ROG Ally comes out on top. Not only does it seem to be frequently on sale for cheaper (at least until now), but it’s lighter and seems to perform more consistently thanks to VRR. It offers a better traditional handheld gaming experience, without some of the Legion Go’s versatility. If that “gaming on the go” use case suits you, the ROG Ally is a better choice.

Asus ROG Ally shopping


Good alternative

The ROG Ally is still a great handheld gaming PC in its price bracket. It performs better than other options like the Steam Deck and is lighter and smaller than the Legion Go.


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