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The MSI Claw is the first handheld gaming PC from a major computer company to feature an Intel Meteor Lake processor. But when MSI first unveiled the handheld earlier this month, the company said that it would be available with up to an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor.

Now we know what you get for the $700 starting price… and how much more you’ll have to pay for a higher-performance chip. MSI has posted some details on the MSI Store website.

The starting price will get you a model with an Intel Core Ultra 5 135H processor, but it only costs $50 more to upgrade to Core 7 Ultra chip that should deliver at least a modest boost in CPU and graphics performance.

Here are the three prices/configurations that MSI will offer at launch:

Claw A1M-050USClaw A1M-051USClaw A1M-052US
ProcessorIntel Core Ultra 7 155HIntel Core Ultra 5 135H
GPU Intel Arc
8 Xe cores
Up to 2.25 GHz
Intel Arc
7 Xe cores
Up to 2.2 GHz
CPU cores / threads16 / 22
(6P + 8E + 2LP-E)
14 / 16
(4P + 8E + 2 LP-E)
P-Core max turbo4.8 GHz4.6 GHz
E-Core max turbo3.8 GHz3.6 GHz
LP-E Core max turbo2.5 GHz2.5 GHz
Display7 inches
1920 x 1080 pixels
120 Hz
M.2 2230
PCIe Gen 4 x4 NVMe
M.2 2230
PCIe Gen 4 x4 NVMe
WirelessIntel Killer BE
WiFi 7
BT 5.3
 Audio2 x 2W Speakers
1 x 3.5mm audio
Ports1 x Thunderbolt 4/USB-C
1 x microSD card reader
1 x 3.5mm audio
Battery53 Wh
Charging65W USB-C power adapter
Dimensions11.57″ x 4.6″ x 0.83″
Weight1.44 lbs

One thing to keep in mind is that when the MSI Store page went live on January 29, it incorrectly stated that the handheld gaming PC would have LPDDR5-4800 memory, while the product page on the MSI website said it would feature speedier LPDDR5-6400 memory.

An spokesperson tells me the latter is correct, and MSI plans to update the information on its store website.

via The Verge

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  1. I don’t get why these manufacturers are so obsessed with putting 120Hz refresh rate screens on these handhelds. The only games that would get 120 FPS on these devices would be older games (and older games are good) or esports titles that would require a keyboard and mouse to play competitively anyway. Seems like 90hz would be the better way to go, this allowing you to allocate the leftover budget elsewhere.

  2. I find MSI’s decision to release the Claw with two different SoCs kinda baffling. Asus did the same with the ROG Ally.

    Obviously they wanted to have “starting at $700” as a selling point, even if they expect very few people to buy the base model. But I think Valve have the more sensible approach—the Steam Deck OLED has the same SoC (albeit on a smaller 6nm process) as the original model. MSI can still release a Claw 2 when Intel’s Lunar Lake SoCs come out, but a single CPU & GPU specification within a generation would make life easier for developers and consumers. At least all the variants come with the same RAM.

    As-is, I think it’s a hard sell. Intel Arc drivers have improved a lot since launch, but they’re still playing catchup to AMD and nVidia. On desktop, they’re competing with aggressive pricing, and better raytracing than similar AMD cards. But they’re also less efficient. Maybe Intel fixed some Alchemist hardware bugs, so the efficiency of Meteor Lake’s iGPU tile might be closer to that of the Z1 Extreme or 7840U’s iGPU. And MSI put in a 33% larger battery (52Wh) than the 40Wh battery in the ROG Ally and original Steam Deck (the OLED model’s battery is 50Wh). But I will be surprised if the Claw has better gaming battery life than the ROG Ally (which is already pretty poor), though it should last longer for things like watching youtube videos.

    This needed to be cheaper than the ROG Ally (which is $700US for the Z1 Extreme version). I don’t think the larger battery and Hall effect joysticks justify the extra $50—they might cost that much as aftermarket mods, but MSI can surely source them for less.

  3. @liliputing_

    I'm not really sure this is going to shine on the GPU side of things since that is where I would assume a significant advantage exists for AMD and it is rather important for a device like this.

    Then again I'm not really convinced anything other than the Steam Deck is worth it in this space anyway.

  4. I hope one of the keyboarded clam shell gaming handhelds come out with an Intel variant (I use them more as UMPCs than gaming devices). I install a Linux distro on mine and I prefer Intel’s Linux support over AMD’s. I currently have a GPD Win Mini but I’d replace it for an Intel version. Too bad I’m in the minority among their target audience.

    1. I’m curious – what features of Linux on AMD/Radeon platform have most significant shortcomings and/or are missing compared to Intel?

    2. Same. I prefer Intel for Linux than AMD. My 7840U GPD device has sleep issues (other 7840U laptops has the same problems) and the GPU has degraded performance after wake sometimes where only a reboot fixes it (happens on Windows and also 6800U too).

      I like that Intel TDP control is part of the kernel sysfs interface + other things out of the box. No need for a 3rd party tool since it’s part of the kernel.

      TLP also breaks AMD devices while it works great on Intel to reduce power consumption without noticeably affecting performance. AMD just says “don’t use TLP”…

      Intel has upstreamed/contributed a lot to Linux centric open source software for a long time and continues to do so. AMD’s efforts are more recent but still not as much as Intel.

      There are a lot of other things to continue this rant but, yeah, I’d definitely replace my GPD device for an Intel variant if one came out even if it’s a lateral or even a bit lower performance.

    3. Man. 7840U has sleep/wake issues on Linux. Some have resorted to crappy hibernate which kind of kills a major use case for on the go handheld devices.

      Too bad Intel has crappy Windows drivers despite their great Linux ones. Since most users will use Windows, Intel isn’t a great choice for a gaming device.

  5. As someone who is interested in using a handheld like this as a desktop-replacement (that can also be used portably), I’ve been on the fence about the ROG Ally, mostly because of how janky the whole thing appears to be, based on reviews and comments I’ve read. The XG Mobile eGPU interface and drivers seem to be very problematic, and the overall experience seems poorly refined.

    Another problem is the poor selection of eGPUs for the Ally. Asus is currently only making their 4090 model. It seems the previous models were discontinued. So the only option is to buy a $2000 GPU that doesn’t even suit the performance of the Ally.

    If MSI offers a better experience, and a better eGPU interface (USB4, or Occulink), I would seriously consider getting one.

  6. This is a tough sell when performance of the device should, in theory, land near the Z1 Extreme in the Asus ROG Ally, which is on sale for $100 less. Aside from the Intel chip here, they two devices are very similar spec-wise. MSI is going to really have to knock this out of the park in performance, battery, and polish while at the same time making up for deficiencies like no VRR. I’ll reserve my judgement until we see reviews but I’m skeptical they can do it.