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MSI officially announced the Claw A1M handheld with Intel

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Well there it is! MSI Claw A1M is the official name of the next big vendor to jump into the handheld gaming space to take on the likes of the Steam Deck, ROG Ally and the Lenovo Legion Go. Unlike the Steam Deck which runs SteamOS Linux, once again we have a vendor going with Windows 11.

From the press release: "In our commitment to enhancing the gaming experience for our users, we aim to address market pain points and dedicate efforts to the handheld space,” said Eric Kuo, the Executive Vice President& NB BU GM of MSI. “We have fine-tuned specific designs tailored exclusively for gamers, debuting our very first handheld, Claw, which redefines the standards in the handheld market."

MSI say it offers MSI Cooler Boost Hyperflow technology, featuring dual fans and heat pipes that efficiently dissipate heat, and that the intraflow thermal design optimizes airflow to cool internal components "ensuring top gaming performance". They're also bringing their "MSI Center M UI" to it giving quick-access to various features and settings like a game launcher. So once again, it's another UI being slapped on top of Windows.

The official specs sheet is below:

Claw A1M
Processor Up to Intel® Core™ Ultra 7 processor 155H
Operating System Windows 11
Chipset Integrated SoC
Memory LPDDR5 onboard, 16GB, dual channel
Display 7" FHD (1920 x 1080), 120 Hz Refresh Rate, Touch Screen, 120 Hz Refresh Rate, 100% sRGB(Typical), 500nits(Typical), IPS-Level panel
Graphics Intel® Arc Graphics
Storage Slot 1 x NVMe M.2 2230 SSD by PCIe Gen 4 x4
Sensor 6-Axis IMU Vibration Motor
Communication Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 7 BE1750, Bluetooth v5.4
Audio 2 × 2W Speakers / 1× Audio combo jack / Hi-Res Audio readyk
I/O Ports 1 x Thunderbolt™ 4 / DP/ USB Type-C (w/ PD 3.0 Charging)
1 x microSD Card Reader
1 x Audio combo jack
1x Power button with Finger Print Sensor
Battery/Adapter 6-Cell, Li-Polymer, 53Whr / 65W USB Type-C PD 3.0
Dimension 294 (W) x 117(D) x 21.2(H) mmn
Weight 675 g

I'm always happy to see more competition for the Steam Deck, but it remains to be seen just how it will perform. And it will come in multiple different configurations with different storage. In terms of performance, from what I've seen from YouTube videos like Dave2D it's quite limited as they weren't allowed to do much yet on benchmarking but it's somewhat comparable to the ROG Ally. Again though, it seems another case of it needing to draw more power for better performance.

The MSI Claw releases sometime in the first half of 2024.

Article taken from GamingOnLinux.com.
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I am the owner of GamingOnLinux. After discovering Linux back in the days of Mandrake in 2003, I constantly came back to check on the progress of Linux until Ubuntu appeared on the scene and it helped me to really love it. You can reach me easily by emailing GamingOnLinux directly. Find me on Mastodon.
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47 comments
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Pengling Jan 9
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  • Supporter
Claw?


"I'll get you next time, Gadget! NEXT TIME!"

CatKiller Jan 9
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Quotewe aim to address market pain points and dedicate efforts to the handheld space

They haven't, though. It's still got an awful layout and no trackpads. Even in the saddled with an OS that's absolutely awful for a handheld PC sector of the handheld PC market they haven't fixed anything. Maybe this one can avoid destroying its own SD cards, but that's not a given.
Brokatt Jan 9
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New devices are cool but I don't like the design. Too many sharp edges and all the RGB makes it look like something for the Fortnite generation. Maybe that's the target audience, in which case best of luck to them, or maybe I'm just old.

In any case the specs look good and it will be interesting to see how the Intel chip performs. But I can't find any info on price. Like the old saying goes: "There are no bad products only badly priced products."
grigi Jan 9
Quoting: CatKiller
Quotewe aim to address market pain points and dedicate efforts to the handheld space

They haven't, though. It's still got an awful layout and no trackpads. Even in the saddled with an OS that's absolutely awful for a handheld PC sector of the handheld PC market they haven't fixed anything. Maybe this one can avoid destroying its own SD cards, but that's not a given.

It's MSI. They have a history of releasing a product that looks great on spec lists, but badly thought out and with impotent follow up.
My MSI A4DEK has not received a single BIOS update in its lifetime. To make it worse the product string in the DMI is wrong. Looking at timelines it's for a product that got released a month earlier.

I can't wait to finally get rid of this disaster of a device.
eldaking Jan 9
Well they finally addressed the main complaint by gamers about those handhelds: no multicolored LEDs.
  • Supporter Plus
"redefines the standards in the handheld market."

Graphics: Intel® Arc Graphics

LoL
M@GOid Jan 9
The more things change, the more they stay the same. This thing will burn trough chargers without any remorse. 45W on a gaming handheld?

For over 30 years Nintendo had proven that most consumers buy handhelds for the price and the battery life first, then came other considerations. Every Nintendo competitor bet on more graphical power to lure consumers away, and every single one lost badly.

Now that Valve's Steam Deck is the PC handheld to beat, what every competitor do? More price, more power. And what is worse for MSI? They are coming last to the market with hardware that is worst both in power consumption AND gaming performance. But hey, more competition is better right...
tfk Jan 9
Core ultra 5, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $699
Core ultra 7, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD: $750
Core ultra 7, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD: $800

According to PCWorld
lejimster Jan 9
With all these Windows handhelds being released I wonder how long it will be before Windows introduced a custom OS that competes with SteamOS.

My hope is it won't be for sometime as Valve have an advantage here and I want to see the last hold outs in Antic-cheat cave in and support Linux. It's always that last few percent of popular games that is used as an excuse not to embrace the platform even if it is better than Windows in most other ways.
CatKiller Jan 9
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Quoting: lejimsterWith all these Windows handhelds being released I wonder how long it will be before Windows introduced a custom OS that competes with SteamOS.

I think that if it happens - if the Windows also-rans that Microsoft have paid for don't do the trick of blunting the Deck's effectiveness as a Linux gaming demonstration device - then it will be Xbox-branded rather than Windows-branded and will only play games from the Microsoft Store. No Steam, no EGS, no GOG, no Itch, but you will get Game Pass, Activision, Blizzard, id, Bethesda, Arkane, and all the other games studios they've bought. Whether the market would go for that - especially if getting your games from the Microsoft Store also let you use them on iOS and Android - I couldn't say.
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