Gaming on the go has many forms these days (like Stadia), and the LaVie Mini from Lenovo and NEC has dreams and aspirations of being apart of that world.
Today as part of a joint CES 2021 announcement from both brands, the LaVie Mini handheld PC was unveiled to usher in an age of portable PC gaming that has so far found little footing on solid ground.
The LaVie Mini would hardly be the first device to try and tackle this part of the market. And in actuality it won't be necessarily be the latest device to enter it. Because as of right now the LaVie Mini is a concept device that is not in production nor is it planned to be anytime soon. That means it's not possible to buy one. At least for now. As it's always possible that Lenovo and NEC could eventually produce these devices and sell them to consumers.
The LaVie Mini is actually a compact laptop that transforms into a gaming machine
Out of the box, this device would be a compact laptop. So you'd be able to pick it up or see it on a table and not know it was designed with portable gaming in mind.
But as a concept Lenovo and NEC envisioned it coming with an attachable gaming controller. With controls on both the left and right side of the display. Making for a Nintendo Switch-like handheld setup.
Or similar to using phones with controllers like the Razer Kishi or the GameSir X2. Where the phone sits in the middle and has controls on either end.
The keyboard meanwhile can flip around 180 degrees so it rests against the back of the display lid. Putting the laptop into a tablet mode where you can then attach the controllers to the sides.
Portable power that could pack a surprising punch
Although this isn't a real device that Lenovo and NEC already make, it could be a powerful little unit. At least it certainly has the potential.
It has an 8-inch touchscreen with a resolution of 1920 x 1200, and runs on an 11th-gen Intel CPU with Xe graphics. It also has a roomy little keyboard with a touch sensor on the front that can be used like a trackpad.
It even has an optional dock that you could slot the laptop into much like the Switch does when you connect it to a TV. Thus turning it into a couch gaming PC instead of a portable one. Should you want that.
As of right now there are no plans to sell this device. But if you are looking for something that delivers this kind of portability in PC gaming, maybe your dreams will come true if Lenovo sees enough demand.