This Handheld Gaming PC Beats the Steam Deck OLED in Two Major Ways
Not bad for its first-ever gaming handheld.
MSI just one-upped both Valve and Asus with its first-ever gaming handheld.
After a leak detailing the device, MSI has officially announced the Claw at CES 2024. The surprise may have already been spoiled, but the confirmed specs give us a lot of hope that MSI could stand a real chance in this growing market of handheld gaming PCs.
Powered by Intel
The Claw will run off Intel’s Core Ultra 7 Processor 155H, which also brings integrated Intel Arc graphics. Most handhelds have been running AMD’s Ryzen Z1 Extreme processors, but MSI joins some companies that have opted for Intel’s latest mobile processors instead, including OneXPlayer’s upcoming X1.
Inside, MSI went with 16GB of memory instead of the 32GB that was noted in the leaks. While this means the Claw doesn’t beat out the Steam Deck or ROG Ally on RAM, it’s still powered by a 53Wh battery that MSI says will get you 50 percent more battery life compared to the competition. That’s a bold claim but could be a major selling point for the Claw, especially considering the battery life complaints with the original Steam Deck.
On the outside, the Claw bears a strong similarity to the ROG Ally since they share a seven-inch touchscreen display with a 120Hz refresh rate. The two handhelds both have an asymmetrical joystick layout with RGB halos, but MSI decided to also deck out its ABXY buttons in RGB lighting. On the back, the Claw has Hall effect triggers and two programmable back buttons for your personalized macros. At the top, MSI even included a microSD card reader, an audio combo jack, and a Thunderbolt 4 port. Despite the striking design resemblance, MSI went with all-black for its handheld, unlike Asus’ white-out styling.
Three Models to Choose From
MSI didn’t mention the Claw’s release date or pricing in the official announcement, but the company has been telling media outlets at CES 2024 that the Claw will come in three configurations starting at $699 for the base model that comes with 16GB of memory and 512GB of storage and going up to $799 for the premium model that comes still comes with 16GB of memory and 1TB of storage. MSI also says that the Claw is expected to launch around this spring.
Compared to the other popular handhelds, you’ll be spending more on the Claw, but justifiably so since it promises more battery life and high-end specs. We’ll have to wait and see how the latest Intel mobile chips perform with gaming handhelds, but we have a feeling the Claw will be the first of many that will pass over AMD’s Ryzen processors.
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