The handheld PC market was exhilarating in 2023, showcasing groundbreaking devices like the ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go, AYN Loki, Steam Deck OLED, and more. As we shift our gaze to 2024, anticipation mounts as a new contender prepares to enter the arena. Recently announced, the MSI Claw has stirred considerable interest among enthusiasts, who eagerly await its capabilities and features.

The MSI Claw has the following specs listed on their website:

CPUUp to Intel® Core™ Ultra 7 processor (Series 1)
OSWindows 11 Home
Display7” FHD (1920×1080), 120Hz, IPS-Level


Audio2x 2W Speaker
CommunicationIntel® Killer™ BE Wi-Fi 7 + Bluetooth 5.4
GraphicsIntel® Arc™ Graphics
Audio Jack1x Mic-in/Headphone-out Combo Jack
I/O Ports1x Type-C (USB / DP / Thunderbolt™ 4) with PD charging

1x Micro SD Card Reader

ControlRGB ABXY buttons

RGB L & R analog sticks


L & R Hall Effect analog triggers

L & R bumpers

View button

Menu button

MSI Center M button


2x Assignable grip buttons

HD haptics

SecurityFingerprint Security

53 Battery (Whr)

AC Adapter65W PD adapter
Weight675 g
Dimension (WXDXH)294 x 21.2 mm
Dimension (WXH)117 Depth (mm)


Setting itself apart from its AMD-powered counterparts, The Claw stands out with its Intel-based architecture. MSI emphasizes the potential for seamless gaming graphics, even with those demanding AAA titles. MSI is said to be using variable refresh rate as well like the ROG Ally. This is a great feature that is not included with the Steam Deck or Lenovo Legion Go.There is also RGB lighting on the analog sticks as well, so the performance will get a small improvement there of course.  Maybe something inspired by the TRDR, this device uses Artificial Intelligence. I am interested in seeing how that is implemented into the device. 

The grip and ergonomics of the device look great and very similar to the Steam Deck although The Claw is a few grams heavier. The back of the device also is very open allowing a ton of airflow. Having hall sticks and triggers is a nice touch as well. I do notice that the SD card reader is close to a vent like in the ROG Ally. Hopefully this won’t have similar sd card and reader issues that the ROG did as well. There is 512GB of storage included though if you don’t want to use SD cards. 

The ergonomic design of The Claw appears impressive, bearing a resemblance to the Steam Deck, albeit slightly heavier by a few grams. Notably, the device’s rear has an open layout facilitating ample airflow—a thoughtful design element. The inclusion of hall sticks and triggers adds to its appeal. However, I’ve observed that the SD card reader’s proximity to a vent mirrors the setup seen in the ROG Ally, hopefully The Claw can avoid concerns about potential issues akin to the ones experienced with the ROG. Nonetheless, the device offers 512GB of onboard storage, providing a substantial amount of storage for anyone cautious of using SD cards.

The standout feature for me is the battery. The website claims it offers 50% more battery life than the market average. Historically, one of the major gripes with Windows Handhelds has been their limited battery longevity. I am curious if this device can match the performance of the Steam Deck at lower wattages. Notably, it offers a turbo mode, capable of functioning at 35W when unplugged and 40W when plugged in. The potential breakthrough in battery life, as advertised, could be a game-changer for many, including myself. If it lives up to these claims, it’s bound to pique the interest of numerous people in the community.

The starting price for the device is reportedly set at $699, with MSI also offering an optional dock sold separately. What’s your take on the MSI Claw? Are you planning to get one or holding out to see what else hits the market? The landscape of PC handhelds seems poised to become increasingly competitive this year. As consumers, we’re in for an exciting time exploring all these advancements. Hopefully, our team at CES can get some hands-on experience with these devices this week!