MSI Claw Handheld | Can It Compete?

Unveiling the Challenger: MSI Enters the Arena

The gaming handheld market witnesses a new contender as MSI unveils its latest innovation: the MSI Claw. Positioned as a formidable opponent to the reigning champion, the ROG Ally, the Claw boasts a combination of ergonomic design, stunning visuals, and monstrous specs. But can it truly compete? Let’s delve into our early impressions and investigations.

MSI Claw Handheld

Design: Ergonomic Excellence

One glance at the MSI Claw and gamers are immediately captivated by its design. The handheld is aptly named, featuring uniquely contoured handles along the back, promising unparalleled grip and comfort during extended gaming sessions. Our hands felt cradled by the textured plastic side panels, while the triggers, buttons, and joysticks fell naturally under our fingertips. Despite a minor issue with accidental presses on the macro buttons, the Claw sets a new standard for gaming handheld comfort.

Portability and Power: Finding the Balance

Weighing in at 1.48 pounds and 0.85 inches thick, the Claw strikes a balance between portability and power. Positioned between the lighter ROG Ally and the beefier Legion Go, it seems primed for optimal gaming on the go. Its sleek chassis houses a beastly mix of next-gen Intel processing power, with configurations reaching up to an Intel Core i7 Meteor Lake processor, 16GB RAM, and 1TB SSD storage.

Visual Experience: Immersion Amplified

Peering through the Claw’s 7-inch, 1080p touchscreen reveals a vivid gaming world. With a 120Hz refresh rate and 500 nits of brightness, games flow smoothly, and colors pop vibrantly. Although its display falls slightly short of the Legion Go’s resolution, the Claw’s 100% sRGB color reproduction promises to showcase games in graphic glory.

Connectivity and Software: The Technological Edge

The Claw uniquely boasts Wi-Fi 7 and Thunderbolt 4 support, making it potentially the most future-proof Windows handheld in terms of connectivity. Its software, MSI Center M, offers centralized organization of game libraries, one-click access to major launchers, and customizable settings. Integration of Android apps through MSI App Player and intelligent battery optimization backed by AI further elevate the user experience.

The Road Ahead: Challenges and Potential

While our early tinkering uncovered some software lag, the Claw’s robust hardware suggests smoother performance upon launch. If MSI can address these minor hiccups and deliver on promised performance and battery life, the Claw could emerge as the apex gaming predator on the go.

Conclusion: Anticipation Builds

As the launch of the MSI Claw approaches in the second half of 2024, anticipation builds among gamers. With its unconventional design, drool-worthy specs, and promising software features, MSI may indeed have a real contender on their hands—one ready to claw for the top spot among Windows handhelds. Stay tuned as we eagerly await the final verdict on whether the Claw can truly compete in the fiercely competitive gaming handheld market.

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