The MSI Claw is a handheld gaming PC with a 7 inch, 1920 x 1080 pixel IPS LCD display with a 120 Hz refresh rate that’s sandwiched between a set of game controllers with RGB backlit analog sticks and hall-effect triggers.
But, as expected, what sets it apart from most devices in this ever-expanding category is what’s inside. The MSI Claw features support for up to an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor with Intel Arc integrated graphics. It’s expected to ship in the first half of 2024 with prices starting at $699.
Among other things, that means that this little computer should have graphics performance that can rival some of the most powerful AMD-powered handhelds to date.
It also means that you get features like Intel XeSS upscaling, an integrated neural processing unit that enables the MSI AI Engine (for intelligent performance tuning), and a Thunderbolt 4 port (rather than the 40 Gbps USB4 ports that are found on many AMD models, which lack official Thunderbolt certification).
MSI’s handheld also features optional support for WiFi 7 (models without it will ship with WiFi 6E), a 53 Wh battery, stereo 2W speakers, a fingerprint sensor in the power button, a 6-axis vibration motor, a microSD card reader, and a 3.5mm audio jack. The system features dual fans for cooling, plus an air vent that MSI says is “over 50% larger” than those on other handheld gaming PCs.
There are two Macro keys on the back of the handheld that supports key recording, allowing you to use the button for various actions.
The MSI Claw ships with Windows 11 and features MSI’s software for launching games and adjusting settings. There are also four dedicated hardware keys for launching Quick Settings, menus, the MSI Center, or in-game menus, among other things.
MSI has also partnered with BlueStacks to include an Android App Player that lets you install and play Android games available from the Google Play Store as well as Windows games.
The company will also offer an official docking station, although the specs and design for that haven’t been finalized yet.
|MSI Claw specs
1920 x 1080 pixels
Up to 500 nits brightness
Up to Intel Core Ultra 7 155H
16-cores / 22 threads
6 P-cores up to 4.8 GHz
28W processor base power
8 Xe cores
|Up to 1TB
PCIe Gen 4 x4
|1 x Thunderbolt 4
1 x 3.5mm audio
1 x microSD card reader
Intel Killer WiFi 7 BE1750 (optional) w/BT 5.4
|2 x 2W speakers
Up to 2 hours “under heavy workload”
|65W USB-C PD 3.0
|6-axis IMU vibration motor
Fingerprint sensor (power button)
BlueStacks Android App Player
|294 x 117 x 21.2mm
While the Claw is MSI’s first handheld gaming PC, the company has been making gaming laptops for years, which makes its entry into the handheld space interesting.Up until recently the handheld gaming market was dominated by small Chinese companies like the folks behind the GPD Win, ONEXPLAYER, and AYA Neo line of devices. Then Valve launched the Steam Deck and Asus and Lenovo joined in the action with the ROG Ally and Legion Go handhelds.These newer models from companies with a bigger presence in Western markets tend to come with better customer support and service, as well as lower price tags.
MSI says it plans to offer three models at launch, with prices starting at $699 for a model with an Intel Core Ultra 5 processor, 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, making that model competitive with the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go. A top-tier model with a Core Ultra 7 155H chip will sell for $799.
Update: YouTuber Dave2D has a pretty detailed hands-on video with a prototype.