Gaming handheld deals
“There’s nothing quite like a portable gaming PC. Whether it’s Asus ROG Ally or Lenovo Legion Go, gaming on the go frees you from being hunched over your keyboard and will transform your playing habits for the better.”
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Gaming handhelds have made a roaring comeback over the past couple of years, now taking the form of portable PCs. Steam Deck OLED easily leads the pack due to its affordability, but don’t count rivals out just yet. The more powerful Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go are plummeting in price thanks to new unmissable deals.
Asus ROG Ally comes in two flavours, but the top AMD Z1 Extreme APU edition gets a discount in the UK. At £549, it’s a far cry from its original £699 RRP. Paired with a 7in Full HD 120Hz IPS touchscreen, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD, you can play pretty much anything. You just might need to head into the settings menu with the latest games. Its main constraint is the 40Whr battery, but with 100W charging, you can juice it up in no time.
Over in the US, Lenovo Legion Go chops $50 off its MSRP, falling to $649.99 on Amazon. It packs many of the same parts as ROG Ally, including the Z1 Extreme APU, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB. That said, everything’s bigger. It amps things up with an 8.8in 2,560 x 1,600 resolution screen at 144Hz refresh rate, 49.2Whr battery, and detachable Nintendo Switch-like controllers. These joycon-inspired pads are invaluable, letting you save your strength by popping the screen down. They even turn into a mouse if you have enough space.
The discounts bring each device down to its lowest price yet, but that isn’t difficult considering how new they are. Asus ROG Ally debuted in June 2023, while Lenovo Legion Go landed on digital shelves at the end of October.
Each runs Windows 11 rather than SteamOS, which opens up compatibility considerably but isn’t the friendliest to navigate. Armoury Crate and Legion Space go some way to making the devices more usable, but your mileage may vary. If you find yourself low on storage, both have a microSD card reader. It’s also not too difficult to upgrade the NVMe drive yourself.
It’s true that no one needs a gaming handheld, but it will transform your relationship with the hobby. You can treat it like a desktop replacement, but most people (yours truly included) use them to play on the couch, when travelling on the train or plane, or staying in a hotel. I’ve never played on the toilet and find it hygienically reprehensible, but I can’t deny how ingenious it is to never break away.
In my case, it turned me onto my dreaded, ever-growing backlog. I’ve been firmly in the clutches of Rainbow Six Siege, sinking over 4,000 hours (about five and a half months) into it over the past eight years. You know the story. You choose a service game, get hooked, and keep coming back like a glutton for punishment whenever you find a glorious moment of free time. Handhelds turned me onto gems like Core Keeper, Vampire Survivors, and even let me re-visit icons like Batman Arkham Knight. It broadens your horizons and gets you out of a rut.