We Check Out the MSI Claw at CES 2024



By: Jason Siu


3 min read

Home » Features » We Check Out the MSI Claw at CES 2024
MSI Claw at CES 2024 | Photo credit: Jason Siu, FullCleared

We prefer to run an ad-free site, so this post may contain affiliate links. If you wish to support us and use these links to buy something, we may earn a commission. Learn more here.

One of the product debuts we’re most excited about at CES 2024 is the MSI Claw. Unlike other handheld gaming PCs in the market powered by AMD, such as the Steam Deck OLED, ASUS ROG Ally, and Lenovo Legion Go, the MSI Claw features an Intel Core Ultra processor and ARC graphics. We had an opportunity to visit MSI at CES 2024 and spend time with the Claw handheld, leaving us excited about another competent option in the market. After all, competition is always great and pushes each manufacturer to do bigger and better things.

The first thing we noticed was the MSI Claw’s overall design similarity to the ASUS ROG Ally, right down to the RGB rings around the thumbsticks. While we don’t have confirmation, we wouldn’t be surprised if the outer shell and display came from the same vendor given its likeness. MSI does boast that there’s a “robust HyperFlow” cooling system, but what’s most impressive is the large 53Wh battery. This is a noticeable increase compared to the ASUS ROG Ally’s 40Wh, and even larger than the Legion Go’s 49.2Wh and the Steam Deck OLED’s 50Wh. Since all the units were plugged in, it wasn’t possible for us to test the unit’s overall battery life. MSI claims the Claw offers a two-hour battery life under full workload.

MSI Claw at CES 2024 | Photo credit: Jason Siu, FullCleared

If you’ve handled the ASUS ROG Ally before, the MSI Claw feels nearly identical in your hands. Under the hood however, it uses MSI Center M that includes a quick game launcher and easy access to key features and settings. The Claw also supports the MSI APP player, which allows users to also enjoy Android mobile games. Like the Ally, the Claw features a seven-inch IPS display (1920 x 1080) with up to 120 Hz refresh rate and 500 nits brightness. The similarities stop there however, because inside the Claw it’s all Intel components.

Buyers can choose up to an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor 155H and options between Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro. The unit does come with 16GB LPDDR5 RAM and has a single NVMe M.2 2230 SSD slot. As mentioned before, it uses ARC graphics featuring up to 8 Xe cores and advanced XeSS technology to deliver smooth gameplay at 1080p resolution.

Unlike the Lenovo Legion Go, which has the detachable controllers, the MSI Claw doesn’t have any sort of gimmick. It’s essentially the ASUS ROG Ally with Intel hardware instead of AMD. Testing the various models that were available to us, the MSI Claw feels very snappy while in Windows and the menus pulled up without a hitch. We didn’t notice much of a difference in performance compared to the ASUS ROG Ally, and even MSI’s UI isn’t that different compared to ASUS’s Armoury Crate.

MSI Claw at CES 2024 | Photo credit: Jason Siu, FullCleared

We did get to spend some of our hands-on time playing Assassin’s Creed Mirage and found its performance similar to what you’d expect from the ROG Ally or even the Steam Deck OLED. Visually, the display is crisp and responsive, but again, that’s something we already knew after our time spent with the Ally. Given the similarities between the two devices and the limited software we could test, it’s hard to say if the MSI Claw really offers something the ROG Ally doesn’t. What we’re more curious about is if the cooling enhancements addresses some of the ROG Ally’s issues, including the microSD problem.

MSI will also offer a desktop stand that doubles as a Thunderbolt hub, charging the handheld and providing an HDMI port and two USB connections. The base model of the MSI Claw, featuring the Intel Core Ultra 5 135H CPU and 512GB of SSD storage, will launch at $699. The more powerful model with the Intel Core Ultra 7 155H will cost $749 with a 512GB drive or $799 with 1TB storage. No release date has been confirmed, but MSI representatives told us it will launch in the coming months. We look forward to spending some significant time with the MSI Claw and comparing it to our ASUS ROG Ally.

MSI Claw CES 2024 Gallery

Like our content?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get video game news, features, and deals straight to your inbox.

This newsletter may contain advertising, deals, or affiliate links. Subscribing to the newsletter indicates your consent to our Privacy Policy. You may unsubscribe from the newsletter at any time.

With over 20 years of online publishing experience, Jason Siu is currently the Content Director at VerticalScope and used to spend most of his time writing about cars. His work can be seen on websites such as AutoGuide, EV Pulse, FlatSixes, Tire Authority, and more. As the former co-founder of Tunerzine.com and West Coast Editor of Modified Magazine, he has also authored two books for CarTech Books. In his spare time, he founded FullCleared to indulge in his passion for writing about games. Although Jason is a variety gamer, he generally prefers RPGs.

Latest News