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MSI Claw takes on Steam Deck and ROG Ally with Intel Core Ultra power

Taiwanese tech company MSI has used CES 2024 to announce the MSI Claw, the first handheld gaming PC to use an Intel Core Ultra chip.

We’ve seen a flurry of portable gaming PCs since the launch of the original Steam Deck, but they all have one thing in common: there’s an AMD processor powering them all along.

The MSI Claw is the first such device to try something different. It’s “the world’s first gaming handheld powered by Intel Core Ultra Processor,” according to the company.

Featuring ARC graphics with up to 8 Xe cores, the MSI Claw utilises Intel’s XeSS AI super-sampling technology to upscale graphics. Together with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, MSI claims that the Claw can provide smooth gameplay at 1080p resolutions and medium settings, even in demanding AAA titles.

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It promises to be sustained performance too, thanks to MSI’s Cooler Boost Hyperflow technology. Dual fans and heat pipes combine to draw heat away from those punchy new internal components.

MSI Claw

The MSI Claw looks competitive in the stamina stakes too. It comes with a large 53Whr battery, offering a claimed two-hour battery life under a full workload.

Around front there’s a 7-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS LCD display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 500 nits top brightness. It won’t be as punchy or flat out gorgeous as the Steam Deck OLED’s screen, then, but it will be more fluid.

At 675g, it’s pretty heavy within its class. The Steam Deck OLED weighs 640g, while the Asus ROG Ally weighs 608g. And yes, it does feature RGB lighting around the analogue sticks and under the buttons, because PC gaming.

Many a handheld gaming PC comes undone at the software stage, but MSI is claiming that its Center M UI will provide easy access to your games, key features and settings. The MSI App Player, meanwhile, provides access to both Windows and Android mobile games.

There’s no news on a release date or pricing as yet, but we’ll keep you posted.

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