2023 saw a quiet revolution in PC gaming. Previously, if you wanted a handheld PC gaming experience, you had a choice of a Steam Deck or going without. But last year saw the release of the likes of the ROG Ally or Lenovo Legion Go to offer gamers choice. CES 2024 has already delivered us another one, and it has a very special difference.
The MSI Claw (Insert Toy Story joke here) is the newest gaming handheld on the market and it sounds like a bit of a monster. Of course, as an MSI product, they were always going to give the design a bit of pizzaz, and the RGB lights and ice-cool blue face buttons certainly do that.
It's under the hood however that the MSI Claw really sings. This is the first gaming handheld to be powered by the new Intel Meteor Lake processors, these 14th-generation Intel Core Ultra processors are a serious step up. The Claw features Intels XeSS technology which enhances the FPS of even AAA titles and helps deliver a smooth gaming experience.
Battery-wise, MSI has packed in a 53Whr unit, the biggest in its class, but battery life is still a problem for these devices. Running at full pelt, MSI estimates around 2 hours of play. In truth, this is about the same for even the best (and much bigger) gaming laptops. As for the display, you get a 7-inch touchscreen with a refresh rate of up to 120Hz, which should do justice to most games. Interestingly the Steam Deck only supports 60Hz so that could be a big winner for gamers who want the smoothest possible experience.
In terms of price and internal storage, we don't have any information yet but hopefully, it's enough to store some of the best games rather than just stream titles from the cloud.
With the Nintendo Switch 2 still absent, these super-powered handhelds are looking very tempting indeed.