MSI is giving us THE CLAW with Intel inside

Coming to a Pizza Planet near you!

MajorLinux - Editor-in-chief

I really don’t know what MSI was thinking here. Maybe the engineering and marketing teams are full of millenials. They had to know we were all going to go with the obvious Toy Story reference, right?!

Anyway, at CES 2024, MSI has decided to enter the arena of handheld gaming PCs. Monday, we saw the announcement of the MSI Claw A1M. At first glance, the device looks like a colorway Asus ROG Ally. The device runs Windows 11. It has the same type of button layout. There is RGB lighting around the thumbsticks. But there’s more. The buttons also light up!

Okay, there actually is one big change to MSI’s handheld that we have yet to see in others. This one is actually running Intel inside. Other handhelds have been using AMD’s Ryzen APUs to power their devices. MSI decided to partner with Intel to use their new Core Ultra processors and integrated Arc graphics.

The Claw will be running a Core Ultra 5 CPU in its base model or an Ultra 7 in the premium version. You’re looking at 16GB of DDR5 memory. Storage can go up to 1TB via an upgradeable PCIe Gen4 M.2 slot. And of course you can get more storage via MicroUSB and Thunderbolt 4. Also, with Thunderbolt 4, your display options grow.

For the internal display, The Claw has a 7-inch IPS LCD display with 120Hz refresh rate. The controller layout is similar to the Xbox controllers with no touch pads. There are two extra triggers on the back, two less than what the Steam Deck offers. The speakers are also front facing to make sure your hands are obscuring the sound.

MSI has also packed a 53 watt-hour battery in The Claw. For comparison, the Steam Deck only has a 40Wh battery. The Lenovo Legion Go has a 49.2Wh. This should give it better battery life than the ROG Ally and Legion Go. I think it would give the Steam Deck a run for its money, too. That is if everything is tuned properly.

The MSI Claw exploded

Of course, The Claw also comes with a launcher system to help you get into your games quickly instead of fumbling around with the Windows 11 desktop. However, MSI wanted to do more. This is why they have added BlueStacks, the Android emulator, and the Google Play Store to the device. Now you can play mobile games that aren’t available for PC on the device. I don’t know of many Android games I’d like to play, but I wish I had that access on the Steam Deck.

You can get the MSI Claw A1M starting in February. It will start at $699.

Are you picking one up?

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By MajorLinux Editor-in-chief
Marcus Summers is a Linux system administrator by trade. He has been working with Linux for nearly 15 years and has become a fan of open source ideals. He self identifies as a socialist and believes that the world's information should be free for all.
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