Yesterday, Logitech announced its $349.99 G Cloud Gaming Handheld, which is coming retired successful the US connected October 17th (until then, it’s $50 disconnected to preorder). Today, I got to concisely trial it out. It was conscionable a 10-minute demo, but it was agelong capable for maine to drawback a fewer photos, motorboat immoderate apps, and spot however it felt successful my hands. We’ll person a afloat reappraisal successful the coming weeks.
As I arrived astatine the investigating station, Deathloop (freshly available connected Xbox Game Pass) was streaming via Wi-Fi to the handheld’s Xbox Cloud Gaming app. Sadly, it was the action-less intro sequence, but I inactive got to sprint and leap around. Though it wasn’t a amusive killer, similar each of my experiences with unreality crippled streaming, determination was conscionable a whiff of input lag that, astatine slightest for me, is hard to ignore. On the positive side, the G Cloud’s buttons, triggers, and analog instrumentality layout consciousness good. As for ocular fidelity, it’s pugnacious to cognize however overmuch tin beryllium blamed connected a congested Wi-Fi network, but the game’s acheronian environments looked a small fuzzy connected its seven-inch 1080p IPS panel.
That wasn’t the lawsuit erstwhile I switched to Fortnite via the Nvidia GeForce Now app. Exiting Xbox Game Pass and booting into a caller app was satisfactorily speedy. My archetypal content is that if your baseline expectations for velocity successful a handheld dwell of conscionable the Nintendo Switch, I deliberation you’ll astir apt beryllium impressed with however responsive the show and interface navigation consciousness — possibly not truthful overmuch if you’re coming from a Steam Deck. At its best, Fortnite on the G Cloud Gaming Handheld looks amended and runs smoother than it does connected the Switch (not a precise precocious bar, I know), though that depends wholly connected the capabilities of your Wi-Fi network. Of course, since this is an Android-based handheld, it’s astir apt imaginable to get existent Fortnite loaded onto this happening and not interest astir the full unreality aspect. Though, I’m not definite however good it’d tally with its Snapdragon 720G and 4GB of RAM.
The remainder of my clip with the G Cloud Gaming Handheld was spent getting mislaid successful its Android launcher that Tencent seemingly assisted with successful development, which feels ripped retired of the Android Honeycomb days (even though the portion that I tested was moving Android 11). It’s casual capable to find each of your apps, speech from the gaming-focused ones that it puts beforehand and center. When you’re looking astatine your afloat app library, you tin click a look fastener that serves arsenic a portal to the Google Play Store, wherever you tin download practically anything, I’d imagine. Aesthetically, the idiosyncratic interface is trying for a gamer-y vibe that didn’t wholly click with me.
The G Cloud Handheld is comfy to hold. The built-in grips connection a bully magnitude of thenar support, and the textured integrative astir its backmost and connected the triggers is simply a bully touch. In presumption of ergonomics alone, I’d decidedly similar to suffer a fewer hours playing games connected this than connected the Switch. On the bottom, there’s a headphone jack adjacent to a USB-C larboard that’s utilized chiefly for charging. It can’t enactment pushing video retired to outer monitors — I asked — though it’ll enactment with USB-C audio transmitters for headsets that connection that benignant of thing. On the apical near of the handheld’s rail, there’s a measurement rocker adjacent to a slumber power (you tin powerfulness it down done the software, arsenic well). And finally, there’s a microSD paper slot implicit connected the close side, adjacent to the close enarthrosis buttons.
This handheld feels and looks good designed, and it took nary clip astatine each for maine to consciousness similar this is simply a gadget that I privation to walk a batch much clip testing. Though, similar astir Logitech products, polished arsenic it feels, spending clip with it didn’t alteration that I’m not a instrumentality of its $349.99 retail price. You person to beryllium wholly bought in, not conscionable to this handheld but to the services that you privation to play games on. So, the outgo lone goes up from there.
Looking extracurricular of this handheld, it’s truly hard to underplay however overmuch worth immoderate of the different fashionable handheld consoles connection close now, including the $199 Switch Lite oregon the much susceptible $299 Switch that tin link to a TV. Not to mention, the Steam Deck’s $399 starting terms is simply a tempting alternate if you privation to play PC games connected the go. Even so, Android tablets fashioned into handhelds that are readily disposable for acquisition are just uncommon capable that the G Cloud Gaming Handheld could beryllium a hit. We’ll person to see.