MSI Claw: Intel Core Ultra-Powered Gaming Handheld

MSI Claw: Intel Core Ultra-Powered Gaming Handheld

MSI Claw – the new gaming handheld powered by an Intel Core Ultra processor has just arrived. There are 3 variants, and all of them offer a lot compared to other popular gaming handhelds. Here are reasons to pick an MSI Claw.

MSI Claw ensures “a smooth and immersive gameplay experience even on AAA titles.”

MSI Claw Announcement

MSI first announced the Claw at CES 2024 in January. This gaming handheld is competing against the Steam Deck, ASUS ROG Ally, and Lenovo Legion Go.

Design and Build

MSI Claw’s design language is simple and yet feels really good in the hands. The overall semi-flatness of the device provides a good grip. It has a decent hump at the back. The power button is also a fingerprint scanner, which is nice. Speaking of buttons, MSI has literally brought the best ones. It is not just the A, B, X, and Y buttons that light up. They are well-built and durable as well.

Here is an interesting fact, the traditional thumbsticks and buttons on gaming handhelds use physical contact to register an input. This causes friction that leads to wearing off, resulting in a damaged button after a while, maybe a year or two.

However, MSI’s hall effect thumbsticks usually use magnets to register an input, which is certainly not triggered by any physical contact of the internal parts. As this causes little to no friction, the thumbsticks and buttons are prone to last longer. Plus, there are no stick drifts. Buttons do not feel weightless, which gives a more natural feeling. The buttons are clicky and decently placed for intense gaming. It is a gaming handheld, and you are going to use the buttons a lot. MSI picked the best thumbstick and button option, which makes the Claw durable and reliable.

Display and Screen

MSI Claw has a 7-inch (1920 x 1080p, 48-120 Hz variable refresh rate, touch support, 100% sRGB, and 500 nits peak brightness) IPS-level display panel. Contents look sharp and vibrant on the screen. Touch responsiveness is good. Not the best option for gaming outdoors, but it works.

Hardware and Software

MSI Claw is powered by Intel® Core™ Ultra chip (with 6 performance cores, 8 efficiency cores, and 2 low power efficiency cores), which makes the handheld interesting and unique from others. The base model features a 512-GB PCIe Gen 4×4 M.2 SSD with a 16-GB LPDDR5 6,400 MHz RAM. This entire setup also supports Intel® Arc™ Graphics.


The MSI Claw gaming handheld has 3 power modes. Super battery mode runs at 15W, balance mode uses 30W, and extreme performance mode rocks the device’s performance at 45W, which is 15W more than the ASUS ROG Ally. On top of that, there is “Cooler Boost,” which hits the fans really hard to keep the device super cool and enhances its performance. With all these going on under the hood, you may experience a great gaming experience while playing AAA titles. Here is some data for perspective.

Game \ HandheldMSI Claw at 30WROG Ally at 25W
Cyberpunk 20773633
Forza Horizon 56162
* FPS compared at 720p resolution

Communication and I/O Ports

I think MSI was very thoughtful while working in this department. The Claw has Intel® Killer™ BE Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4, extremely needed for a lag-free gaming experience and seamless communication. However, the Claw comes with a Type-C (USB, DP, Thunderbolt™ 4) port, which is also the only charging port, and a Micro SD Card Reader.

Audio and Sound

With Bluetooth 5.4, MSI Claw provides great audio quality. We have learned that it also features a 2 x 2 W Speaker along with a mic-in and headphone-out combo jack.

Battery Life

For any gaming handheld, the battery life plays a great role. Gaming handheld devices with very high specs are often avoided due to poor battery life. MSI Claw has a 6-cell 53-watt-hour battery. MSI claims that the Claw “lasts 50% longer compared to the market average.” According to our research and tests, this is possible if the Claw is used at 15W i.e. super battery mode.


MSI Claw, packing a lot of features and ensuring durability, has a decent price tag. There are 3 variants to choose from. Based on deals, you may get discounts or game passes. Here are the Claw A1M series prices per MSI.

Specs \ VariantsClaw 050-USClaw 051-USClaw 052-US
ChipsetIntel® Core™ Ultra 7 155H

1.4 – 4.8 GHz
Intel® Core™ Ultra 7 155H

1.4 – 4.8 GHz
Intel® Core™ Ultra 5 135H

1.2 – 4.6 GHz
Storage1 TB512 GB512 GB
* Considering all other specs to be the same

Wrapping up

MSI chose all the great hardware and features based on “thousands of sample data collected from around the world” for the Claw. I believe that the MSI Claw is a great gaming handheld to have. Stay tuned for a long-term review in 3-6 months.

Comment below what your thoughts are. Share with your family and friends if you find this article interesting. Let us know if you have any leaks or want to share something. You can suggest technology to be explained by Xplnrs. Stay tuned for more.

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