CES 2024 officially kicks off next week, but some companies aren’t waiting until then to make big announcements. Today Dell unveiled its new line of XPS-branded thin and light laptops, Microsoft announced that Windows PC makers will begin including a dedicated Window Copilot button on their keyboards, and Qualcomm announced a new chip for higher-performance VR and AR headsets.

Meanwhile, MSI is announcing things to come: the company posted a very short Instagram video showing the outline of an upcoming product, and it sure looks like a handheld gaming PC. Update: Yep, that’s what it is. Not long after MSI posted a teaser, internet sleuths uncovered more images, benchmark results, and some specs of the MSI Claw handheld gaming PC with an Intel Meteor Lake processor. 

MSI handheld

While there aren’t many details in the Instagram post, the handheld gaming PC space has gotten a lot more crowded over the past few years. Once dominated by small Chinese brands like GPD, AYA, and One Netbook, these days you can find handhelds from companies with a much wider presence in the West, including Asus, Lenovo, and Valve.

It’ll be interesting to see what MSI’s entry into this space can offer that helps set it apart from the many, many existing options.

A whole new breed of MSI Dragon is coming [MSI / Instagram]

MSI has posted a brief teaser of an upcoming device that sure looks like the company’s first handheld gaming PC, with RGB backlit analog sticks. No word on screen size, processor, or other specs yet, but with CES just a few days away, we shouldn’t have to wait long to find out more. 

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by MSI Gaming (@msigaming)

Asus teases dual-display laptop similar to Lenovo Yoga Book 9i ahead of CES 2024 launch [NotebookCheck]

Meanwhile Asus, which was one of the first companies to launch a laptop/tablet with a 17 inch foldable display seems to be taking a page out of the Lenovo playbook and hedging its bets with a dual-screen model that features “2 full-size OLED screens” plus a detachable full-size keyboard.

More details should be unveiled during an Asus press event on Monday, January 9 at 9:00AM. 

Windows 11 Insider Preview Build 26020 (Canary Channel) [Windows Blogs]

After announcing that WordPad was a deprecated Windows feature, Microsoft says that starting with preview build 26020 (canary channel), it will not be included with a clean install and cannot be installed later. In a future build, it will be removed upon upgrade.

Razer updates Blade 16 and 18 with new displays [The Verge]

Razer announces display upgrades for its gaming laptops, with the Razer Blade 16 getting a 240 Hz, 2560 x 1600 pixel OLED display and the Blade 18 getting a 4K LED display with a 165 Hz refresh rate.

Kioxia reportedly kills off 30-year-old Plextor brand [Tom’s Hardware]

After nearly four decades of Plextor-branded storage devices, the company that owns the rights has decided to kill off the brand. Future products will reportedly be marketed under the Solid State Storage Technology trademark. To be fair, Kioxia isn’t the same company that made the Plextor products that were popular decades ago. It acquired the Plextor brand name when it bought Lite-On’s solid state storage a few years ago… and Lite-On licensed the Plextor name from the Japanese company that originated it in 2010.

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  1. Word pad has always been half-baked, on purpose, so people would buy Office instead. Like for example, you can’t do a page break in Word. Which many who like to write need. Microsoft knows this.

    Apache OpenOffice is enough for me in this case.

    @Grant Russell; definitely the success of the Steam Deck has brought many onboard into this segment. I think that’s really good. I’m really excited for Lenovo’s offering personally, but I just wish that handheld makers would give us 32GB RAM options for future-proofing.

    AMD’s onboard graphics are no slouch. They’re pretty decent performers for what they are.

  2. I’m excited about the MSI handheld announcement. We need more Taiwanese PC brands in this segment.

    I hope they have a better eGPU solution than Asus. And by better I mean something not as absurd as a 4090. The 6850 XT was a decent option but it appears to have been discontinued.

    1. The fact that Asus only uses their proprietary connector rather than just USB 4 is just horrendous lmao. I’d wager that MSI will have a USB 4 port or Thunderbolt 4 (If it’s Meteor Lake that is), so it may likely be better in that sense. I wouldn’t think they’d do Oculink though, but that’d be cool.

      1. The benefit of the XG Mobile interface is that it allows the eGPU to be used on the device’s own screen. Thunderbolt and USB4 eGPUs don’t allow this, they need to have an external screen connected to the eGPU.

        However, this feature probably isn’t so much of a benefit on the Ally, it makes more sense for their laptops that share the same interface.

        My biggest complaint about the XG Mobile GPU design is that it is very dependent on software and drivers to work, which comes from Asus directly, not Nvidia or AMD. Thunderbolt and USB4 is just more reliable. Lots of reviews on Youtube of the Ally with the XG Mobile GPUs show how frustrating and unreliable it is.