MSI Claw: Handheld Gaming PC Challenging the Steam Deck (2024)

The handheld gaming landscape is witnessing a fierce battle, with new contenders emerging to dethrone the reigning champion, the Steam Deck. Among these challengers is the MSI Claw, a sleek and powerful handheld PC aiming to redefine portability in the gaming world. This comprehensive guide dives deep into the Claw’s features, specifications, and comparisons to its competitors, empowering you to decide if this innovative device deserves a place in your gaming arsenal.

MSI Claw: Unveiling the Features and Specifications

MSI Claw Handheld Gaming PC
MSI Claw Handheld Gaming PC Challenging the Steam Deck (2024)

1. Processing Powerhouse:

At the heart of the Claw lies the latest generation of Intel® Core™ Ultra processors, ensuring smooth performance for even the most demanding games. Choose between the Intel Core Ultra 5 135H for everyday gaming or the more powerful Intel Core Ultra 7 155H for those craving top-tier performance.

2. Immersive Visual Experience:

Get engrossed in vibrant visuals with the Claw’s 7-inch, 1080p IPS-level LCD. Boasting a 120Hz refresh rate, the display delivers buttery-smooth gameplay, minimizing motion blur and ensuring a visually stunning experience.

3. Seamless Multitasking and Ample Storage:

The Claw comes equipped with 16GB of LPDDR5-6400 RAM, enabling efficient multitasking and smooth operation of multiple applications simultaneously. Whether you’re switching between games or running background programs, the RAM ensures a lag-free experience. Additionally, you can choose 512GB or 1TB of PCIe Gen4x4 M.2 storage, providing ample space for your extensive game library and essential files.

4. Enhanced Graphics and Performance:

Experience elevated visuals with Intel® Arc™ Graphics and Intel® XeSS technology. This potent combination delivers high-quality graphics while maximizing performance and battery life, allowing you to enjoy extended gaming sessions without compromising on visuals.

5. Windows 11: A World of Possibilities:

The Claw operates on Windows 11 Home, granting access to a vast library of PC games through popular launchers like Steam and Epic Games Store. This extensive compatibility opens doors to a diverse gaming universe, satisfying your thirst for adventure, strategy, or any other genre that piques your interest.

6. Unwavering Connectivity:

Stay connected with friends and online games with the Claw’s advanced Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4 support. Experience blazing-fast internet speeds for seamless online gaming and effortless file transfers, ensuring you’re always in the loop and connected to your gaming community.

7. Design and Additional Features:

The Claw boasts a comfortable and ergonomic design that prioritizes long gaming sessions without fatigue. Built-in speakers deliver immersive sound, while a headphone jack caters to personalized audio preferences. Additionally, a microSD card slot allows for expandable storage, further enhancing the Claw’s versatility.

MSI Claw vs. Steam Deck: A Side-by-Side Comparison

The MSI Claw and the Steam Deck are formidable contenders in the handheld gaming arena, offering similar screen sizes, resolutions, and storage options. However, some key differences set them apart:

  • Processor: The Claw utilizes Intel’s latest processors, while the Steam Deck uses AMD’s. This can lead to slight variations in performance depending on specific games and tasks.
  • Operating System: The Claw runs on Windows 11, offering wider game compatibility compared to Steam Deck’s custom Linux-based OS. This can be crucial for gamers with specific game preferences that are not readily available on Linux.
  • Price: The Claw starts at a slightly higher price point than the Steam Deck.

The Verdict: Unleashing the Gaming Beast Within

The MSI Claw emerges as a compelling addition to the handheld gaming market, delivering a potent combination of powerful hardware, a vibrant display, and the versatility of Windows 11. Whether you’re a seasoned gamer seeking a portable powerhouse or a newcomer to the handheld gaming scene, the Claw offers a compelling option.

However, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons against competitors like the Steam Deck to find the perfect fit for your needs and budget.

Beyond the Basics: Optimizing Your MSI Claw Experience

  • Software Optimization: Consider exploring performance optimization software specifically designed for portable gaming PCs. These tools can help fine-tune settings and maximize performance without compromising battery life.
  • External Accessories: Enhance your gaming experience with additional accessories like a wireless gamepad, portable mouse, or external keyboard. These options offer enhanced control and comfort, especially for games that benefit from traditional input methods.
  • Community Engagement: Join online communities dedicated to handheld gaming and the MSI Claw specifically. This allows you to connect with other gamers, share experiences, troubleshoot issues, and discover new

Conclusion: A Worthy Contender in the Handheld Gaming Arena

The MSI Claw has established itself as a formidable competitor in the ever-evolving handheld gaming landscape. Its powerful processing capabilities, stunning display, and Windows 11 compatibility make it a compelling option for gamers seeking a versatile and portable gaming experience.

While the slightly higher price point compared to the Steam Deck may be a consideration, the wider game compatibility and potential performance edge through Intel’s processors offer a compelling alternative. Ultimately, the choice between the Claw and its competitors depends on individual preferences, budget, and specific gaming needs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. What are the release date and price of the MSI Claw?

The MSI Claw is set to be released in the United States on March 8, 2024. The base model with an Intel Core Ultra 5 135H processor and 512GB storage starts at $699, while the more powerful version with an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor and 1TB storage costs $799.

2. How does the battery life of the MSI Claw compare to the Steam Deck?

MSI hasn’t officially revealed the exact battery life of the Claw yet. However, they claim it will last for “several hours” on a single charge. The Steam Deck boasts 2-8 hours battery life depending on usage and settings.

3. Can I play non-Steam games on the MSI Claw?

Yes, the Claw runs on Windows 11, allowing you to access and play games from various launchers like Epic Games Store, GOG Galaxy, and Ubisoft Connect, in addition to Steam. This wider compatibility opens doors to a diverse library of games beyond Steam’s offerings.

4. What are some recommended accessories for the MSI Claw?

While the Claw is fully functional on its own, consider investing in a wireless gamepad, portable mouse, or external keyboard for enhanced control and comfort, especially in games that benefit from traditional input methods. Additionally, a carrying case is recommended to protect your Claw while on the go.

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