A gaming handheld made by MSI, with a colorful blue background

MSI’s new Claw handheld runs Windows with an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor.


The success of Valve’s Steam Deck has already inspired similar PC gaming handhelds like the Asus ROG Ally and Lenovo Legion Go, but competition is heating up. Announced at CES 2024 this week, a new PC gaming device from MSI called the Claw that uses an Intel processor could be one of the most powerful portable PC gaming devices yet.

The Claw looks very much like the Steam Deck or the Asus ROG Ally handheld, but has specs that appear to be a cut above: an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor with Intel Arc graphics (the latest Meteor Lake chip technology); 16GB of RAM; a 7-inch, 1,920×1,080-pixel, 120Hz IPS display; Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4. There’s also a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C port, a microSD card slot and a power button with a fingerprint reader.

Like the Lenovo and Asus devices, this handheld runs Windows 11. There’s a 53-Wh battery onboard, with battery life at full performance mode estimated to be around two hours. All that adds up: This beefy handheld weighs 675 grams (nearly 1.5 pounds).

I haven’t played anything on the MSI Claw yet, but what it symbolizes may be even more important than what it does. Intel is joining the party on new handheld-ready gaming chips, which suggests that hardware manufacturers should be even more able to create Steam Deck-like handhelds running Windows. 

I still love the Steam Deck, especially the new OLED model. Microsoft likely needs to help optimize game handhelds to work even better as manufacturers make more Windows-running Steam Deck-alikes. But at this point, I’d expect this to just be the beginning of where PC handheld gaming is going. The MSI Claw looks familiar, but in a very good way.

For more coverage of CES 2024, take a look at our favorite products from CES so far, and check out the coolest AI tech we’ve seen at the electronics show.

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