New Steam Deck rival looks like a serious gaming machine – with a price to match

Why $800 isn't too much for a handheld

MSI The Claw
(Image credit: MSI)

As a child I remember wincing at the £120 (ish) price of the Nintendo DS. That was the first time I was really aware of gaming as an expensive habit, luckily that child never had to see the price of the upcoming Steam Deck rival, the MSI Claw. 

The Claw (cue Toy Story joke) has had its official US pricing revealed and those hoping for something to match the $549/£479 price of the Steam Deck OLED will be sadly disappointed. The Claw's most expensive variant will set you back $799 which is around £635. But I have to admit, I don't think that's an unfair price. 

For a start, that makes it cheaper than the hefty Lenovo Legion Go (at least in the UK) but on top of that the specs speak for themselves. The Claw's 7-inch display isn't as large as the Steam Deck OLED's 7.4-inch effort but it does support a 1080p resolution unlike Valve's handheld. On top of that it has a 120Hz refresh rate, twice that of the Steam Deck. That should make games run a lot smoother and allow for a framerate of up to 120FPS. 

MSI Claw

(Image credit: MSI)

Underneath that display, the magic continues. The Claw is the first handheld gaming device to feature Intel's new Core Ultra processors. The Meteor Lake chipset is seen by many as a significant step up in both performance and efficiency to their AMD rivals. The Claw will be available with a choice of an i5 or i7 processor, but with the i7 model just $50 more, I see little reason to opt for the i5 edition. 

In all honesty, while it may be easier to compare them to the likes of the Nintendo Switch, devices like the Claw and Steam Deck are actually alternatives to one of the best gaming laptops which can cost two or three times the price. If you want to get into PC gaming, with a ready-made console-style setup, they are a great way to get started. 

Andy Sansom
Staff Writer

Andy is T3's Tech Staff Writer, covering all things technology, including his biggest passions such as gaming, AI, phones, and basically anything cool and expensive he can get his hands on. If he had to save one possession from a fire it would be his PlayStation 5. He previously worked for Tom’s Guide - where he got paid to play with ChatGPT every day. When it comes to streaming, Andy will have his headphones glued in whilst watching something that will make him laugh. He studied Creative Writing at university, but also enjoys supporting his favourite football team (Liverpool), watching F1, teaching himself guitar, and spending time with his dog.