MSI CLAW Vs ROG Ally | Can MSI Keep Up?

In the fast-evolving world of handheld gaming consoles, the competition is fierce as companies strive to deliver cutting-edge technology in portable packages. The ASUS ROG Ally has been a standout player, but at CES 2024, MSI unveiled their contender, the MSI Claw. As reported by The Verge, the Claw aims to shake up the market with its Windows-based platform and Intel’s latest 12th gen Core Ultra processors. Let’s dive into a comprehensive comparison of these two innovative devices across various critical aspects.

Design Attributes

At first glance, both the ROG Ally and the MSI Claw exude distinct aesthetics. The ROG Ally sports a futuristic design with honeycomb cutouts for ventilation and customizable RGB lighting, weighing in at 608 grams. On the other hand, MSI opts for a more understated matte black finish for the Claw, slightly heavier at 675 grams. Despite the differences, both devices prioritize portability and ergonomic comfort for extended gaming sessions.

ASUS ROG Ally - 7' FHD IPS, AMD Ryzen R1 Extreme, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, iGPU, Windows 11 Home - International Version
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ASUS ROG Ally - 7" FHD IPS, AMD Ryzen R1 Extreme, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD, iGPU, Windows 11 Home - International Version
  • 7-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) 16:9, Gorilla Glass DXC, Gorilla Glass Victus, 120Hz Refresh Rate
  • Windows 11 Home
  • 512GB PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD (2230) Storage
  • 16GB LPDDR5 (6400MT/s dual channel) RAM

Display Quality

Both handhelds feature 7-inch LCD screens with Full HD 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rates, ensuring smooth and immersive visuals. The ROG Ally boasts a bright display with 500 nits of brightness, while specific brightness details for the Claw have not been disclosed. Nevertheless, both devices promise an exceptional visual experience whether gaming on the go or at home.

Performance Specifications

Under the hood, the ROG Ally is powered by AMD’s latest Ryzen Z1 processors and RDNA 3 graphics, while the Claw utilizes Intel’s 12th gen Core Ultra chips with XE architecture and AI-enhanced upscaling. The ROG Ally demonstrates smooth gaming performance, handling demanding titles like Ghostrunner at over 100 FPS. However, Claw’s Intel platform offers potential advantages in upscaling optimization, potentially future-proofing gaming experiences as titles become more graphically demanding.


Storage Capacity

In terms of storage, the ROG Ally supports up to 512GB of PCIe 4.0 storage, while the Claw offers a massive 1TB of PCIe 4.0 storage. Both devices also provide microSD expandability, ensuring ample space for extensive game libraries.

Battery Life

MSI claims that the Claw’s 53Wh battery can deliver up to 2 hours of intensive gameplay, even with flagship titles running at maximum settings. While precise estimates for the ROG Ally’s battery life are not provided, its smaller 45Wh battery suggests a potentially shorter runtime compared to the Claw. This makes the Claw a compelling choice for gamers seeking extended play sessions on the go.

Software Experience

One significant difference between the two handhelds lies in their software platforms. The Claw runs on Windows, offering flexible app and game support, while the ROG Ally utilizes an adapted Linux environment. This distinction may sway buyers based on their preferences for software compatibility and ecosystem.

Price and Value Proposition

Both the ROG Ally and the Claw come with premium price tags, starting at $699. Considering their high-end components and engineering, both devices offer substantial value for avid gamers seeking desktop-level performance in portable form factors.


Choosing between the ROG Ally and the Claw ultimately depends on individual preferences and priorities. The ROG Ally impresses with its polished design, AMD-powered performance, and Linux-based software environment. On the other hand, the Claw presents an enticing alternative with its understated design, Intel-powered performance, Windows compatibility, and potential future-proofing with AI upscaling technology. Regardless of the choice, both ASUS and MSI have achieved remarkable feats in delivering extraordinary handheld gaming experiences for enthusiasts who demand power on the move.

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