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May 22, 2024

MSI’s Claw Gaming Handheld Leaks Ahead of CES 2024 Reveal

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Jan 5, 2024

MSI is poised to unveil its first handheld gaming PC, codenamed “Claw,” at CES 2024 next week, but details and images have already leaked, giving us an early look at this Steam Deck competitor.

Specs Reveal Powerful Intel CPU and GPU

Leaked benchmarks and promotional images reveal that the Claw will pack some serious processing power thanks to Intel’s latest mobile processors and integrated graphics.

Key specs based on the leaks:

Spec Details
CPU Up to Intel Core i9-13955HX (24 core/32 thread)
GPU Intel ARC A770M or A730M
RAM Up to 32GB LPDDR5
Storage 1TB PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSD
Display 1080p touchscreen

With a top-end Intel Raptor Lake mobile CPU with up to 24 cores and 32 threads, plus Intel’s Arc discrete-class integrated graphics, the Claw should offer performance rivalling higher-end gaming laptops.

The inclusion of PCIe 4.0 storage and fast LPDDR5 memory will also aid performance, making the Claw a portable powerhouse.

Premium Design with Ergonomic Grips

In leaked promotional images, the Claw sports an angular design with customizable RGB lighting across the chassis. The most striking aspect is the set of built-in grips, true to this device’s beastly namesake.

This ergonomic handle design seems intended to alleviate hand strain during longer gaming sessions compared to holding a flat handheld like the Steam Deck. The grips connect to the main chassis via a central hinge, likely allowing for some adjustability to accommodate different hand sizes.

An analog stick, D-pad, face buttons, and triggers are all clearly visible in the leaks, showing MSI isn’t skimping on physical controls. There also appears to be a row of customizable macro buttons beneath the right grip.

Targeting High-End Handheld Gaming Market

With its cutting-edge Intel silicon and premium design, the Claw is clearly aimed at the burgeoning high-performance handheld gaming market.

The starting price isn’t yet known, but based on the specs it will almost certainly cost more than the $399 Steam Deck. This positions the Claw as a premium alternative for gamers who want maxed-out performance in a portable form factor.

MSI likely sees an underserved niche among PC gamers who want desktop-class power for triple-A gaming in a handheld package. The Claw could be an intriguing option versus gaming laptops for people who value portability and form factor over screen size.

Ramping Up Competition in Handheld Gaming PCs

The Claw is entering an increasingly crowded market, with Valve’s popular Steam Deck and the recently announced ROG Ally from Asus.

Its slick design and focus on raw performance differentiates it from those devices. But MSI has its work cut out when it comes to support infrastructure, accessories, and game compatibility versus the established Steam Deck.

Still, more competition is great news for consumers. Having multiple manufacturers experiment with high-performance handheld gaming PCs will fuel innovation and bring down prices.

The Claw may also pressure Valve to refresh the Steam Deck hardware more frequently by raising performance expectations in this product category.

What We Still Don’t Know

Since full details won’t come until CES next week, there’s still much we don’t know about how the Claw will operate and what software experience MSI plans to deliver.

Some key open questions:

  • Operating system – Will it run Windows for broader game compatibility or a custom Linux environment? Dual boot option?
  • Controls & ergonomics – How natural do those grips actually feel for long play sessions? Can the controls be customized?
  • Docking capabilities – Will it be able to connect to external displays and peripherals for a desktop-like experience?
  • Battery life – The powerful specs likely demand active cooling and high energy draw. What will runtime look like?
  • Release timeline – When will customers actually be able to buy one and how constrained will supply be?

Hopefully MSI will reveal specifics on these fronts at CES 2023 alongside hands-on demos. Even without those details, what we’ve seen so far suggests the Claw could become a compelling high-end alternative in the handheld PC gaming market through 2023 and beyond.

Outlook: More Options for Mobile Gamers

Between the Steam Deck, ROG Ally, and now MSI Claw, 2023 is shaping up to be a pivotal year for handheld gaming PCs. This segment seems poised for explosive growth after over a decade of stagnation following devices like the short-lived Razer Edge Pro.

For gamers who want desktop-quality experiences outside the confines of their desk, the options have never looked better. And this is likely just the beginning, as rival manufacturers react with their own handheld gaming PCs in the coming years.

Nvidia and AMD will also be pressured to keep pushing the power efficiency of their mobile GPUs to better compete with Intel’s integrated advantage in compact form factors. Exciting times are ahead as this product category sees a Cambrian explosion thanks to Moore’s law bringing true high-end gaming performance to handheld packages.

The leaks ahead of CES 2023 have provided an early glimpse of this future with the MSI Claw. But many questions remain unanswered about its full capabilities. Stay tuned for more details as the Claw gets its time in the spotlight next week at technology’s biggest trade show.

AiBot

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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