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Steam Deck OLED vs Legion GO – which handheld is better?

The handheld console market gets yet another competitor
Last Updated on November 23, 2023
Compare the features and performance of the Steam Deck OLED and Legion Go gaming devices.
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Today, we’re comparing two of the newest portable gaming PCs out there and putting the Steam Deck OLED vs Legion GO head-to-head. The handheld gaming market has been revolutionized with the introduction of powerful gaming devices such as the new Steam Deck OLED and the Lenovo Legion GO, that allow gamers to take their PC gaming experience with them on the go.

Following the recent launch of the Legion GO, Steam announced the Steam Deck OLED, which offers a few necessary upgrades to its original Deck in terms of display and chip power. In this article, we will compare the specifications, pricing, and features of both consoles to determine which one takes the top spot in the world of handheld gaming.

Steam Deck OLED vs Legion GO specs

SpecificationsSteam Deck OLEDLegion GO
Display7.4″ Diagonal display8.8-inch IPS
Resolution1280 x 800 HDR OLEDQuad HD+ (2560×1600)
Processor6 nm AMD APUAMD Ryzen Z1 (6 cores, 12 threads, up to 4.9GHz, 16MB L3 cache)
AMD Ryzen Z1 Extreme (8 cores, 16 threads, up to 5.1GHz, 16MB L3 cache)
Refresh rateUp to 90Hz144Hz
Storage512 GB or 1TB GBPCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 2242, SSD: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB
Steam Deck OLED vs Legion GO specs comparison

Steam Deck OLED vs Legion GO features

Now that you’ve got a feel for each device’s specs, let’s check them out one after the other, including their features.

Steam Deck OLED: A refreshed gaming experience

Valve’s Steam Deck OLED is the much-anticipated upgrade to the original Steam Deck, designed to provide gamers with an enhanced gaming experience. The release date for this highly anticipated device is set for November 16, 2023. With improved hardware and features, the Steam Deck OLED model aims to take portable PC gaming to the next level, in the familiar form of the Steam Deck.

Enhanced display

The Steam Deck OLED features a stunning 7.4-inch HDR OLED display, providing vibrant colors and improved contrast. With a resolution of 1280 x 800 x RGB, games on the Steam Deck OLED will burst into life with stunning visuals, at a peak brightness of 1,000 nits. The device also boasts an improved refresh rate of up to 90 Hz compared to the 60 HZ of the Steam Deck LCD, ensuring smooth gameplay without any lag or stuttering.

Improved performance

Powering the Steam Deck OLED is a 6 nm AMD APU, offering improved performance and efficiency compared to its predecessor. Its CPU is based on Zen 2 architecture, while its GPU uses RDNA 2. Combined with 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM, this handheld gaming device is capable of running even the most demanding games seamlessly. Additionally, gamers can expect faster download speeds and better online gameplay performance thanks to the Wi-Fi 6E module integrated into the device. However, while the display and efficiency have gotten a boost, the Steam Deck OLED doesn’t offer big improvements in terms of its raw performance.

Storage options and controllers

The Steam Deck OLED comes in two storage variants: 512 GB and 1 TB. The 512 GB model provides ample storage for games, while the 1 TB variant offers even more space for gamers with larger game libraries. Both models feature two full-size analog sticks with capacitive touch and haptic feedback, providing precise control for gaming on the go.

Legion GO: The Lenovo challenger

The Legion GO by Lenovo is another formidable competitor in the handheld gaming market, launched as a competitor to the Steam Deck and the Asus ROG Ally. While it might seem a bit more on the expensive side for a console. the Legion GO aims to provide gamers with exceptional gaming that goes beyond other handhelds.

Powerful display

Equipped with an 8.8-inch display with a 16:10 aspect ratio, the Legion GO offers a larger screen compared to its competitors. The Quad HD+ resolution of 2560×1600 ensures sharp visuals and vibrant colors. With an impressive 144Hz refresh rate and 97% DCI-P3 color coverage, the Legion GO delivers an immersive and visually stunning gaming experience. It also positions it as the most powerful device amongst its competitors, the Steam Deck and the Asus Rog Ally.

Enhanced performance

Under the hood, the Legion GO features an AMD Ryzen Z1 or a Ryzen Z1 Extreme processor, providing ample processing power for a handheld gaming console. Paired with 16 GB LPDDR5 RAM, the Legion GO can handle demanding games with ease. The device also comes with a 50Whr battery, offering up to 12 hours of gameplay, depending on the content being played. Furthermore, Xbox Game Pass for PC is natively supported on the Legion GO, meaning that 400 plus games are available right away, as long as you’re equipped with a Game Pass subscription.

Detachable controllers

One standout feature of the Legion GO is its detachable controllers. Similar to the functioning of the Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Cons, with the push of a button, gamers can separate the controllers from the main body of the device, allowing for a more comfortable and flexible gaming experience. The right controller even includes an optical mouse sensor, providing precise control for first-person shooter games not found in the Steam Deck OLED.

Steam Deck OLED vs Legion GO price

The Steam Deck OLED is competitively priced, with the 512 GB model priced at $549, and the 1 TB model priced $100 more expensive, at $649. On the other hand, the Legion GO does see a bit of a price jump, with the base model starting at $700. However, it’s obvious from its size and performance benchmarks that you absolutely get what you pay for with the Legion GO, which is a powerful yet portable alternative entryway into PC gaming.

Is the Steam Deck OLED better than the Legion GO?

When it comes to choosing between the two, it ultimately depends on individual preferences, priorities, and budget. Gamers looking for a device with a vibrant display and improved performance may lean towards the Steam Deck OLED, especially if they favor Steam’s interface and gaming options. On the other hand, those prioritizing a larger screen and unique controller features may find the Legion GO more appealing.

Additionally, the Legion GO utilizes Windows 11 OS, giving users the potential to do pretty much whatever they want with the device, and leverages access to Xbox Game Pass, the Epic Games Store, etc. For those looking for a true portable gaming PC and have a little more to invest, the Legion GO looks to be one of the most exciting consoles of this year.

Marla writes across a wide range of topics across PC Guide, including AI, PC hardware, and news on the latest tech releases. She's a passionate writer that's interested in the future of technology.