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MSI officially announced the Claw A1M handheld with Intel

By - | Views: 40,590

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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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

Do we have any sales figures for these Windows handheld? Judging by the Steam hardware survey, they may be cannibilizing one another for a small fraction of the handheld market, leaving the Steam Deck untouched with the vast majority of that market. Not sure it would make sense to Microsoft to invest in a custom handheld os, if that's the case.


Last edited by Mohandevir on 9 January 2024 at 4:52 pm UTC
Why are these vendors afraid to embrace SteamOS? Windows is an objectively terrible operating system for a handheld device.
CatKiller Jan 9
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Quoting: MohandevirDo we have any sales figures for these Windows handheld? Judging by the Steam hardware survey, they may be cannibilizing one another for a small fraction of the handheld market, leaving the Steam Deck untouched with the vast majority of that market. Not sure it would make sense to Microsoft to invest in a custom handheld os, if that's the case.

The estimates I've seen are that the Deck has sold its "multiple millions" and the Ally has sold ~500k - but they might have had 499,999 returns. None of these other devices have enough users to show up in the Steam Hardware Survey, but the Deck does.

The value to Microsoft isn't in hardware sales (just like it isn't for Valve); it's to say "Windows is a gaming OS, honest!" Same as for the DirectX-box.
CatKiller Jan 9
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Quoting: Mountain ManWhy are these vendors afraid to embrace SteamOS? Windows is an objectively terrible operating system for a handheld device.
Microsoft will give them a big bag of money; Valve will not give them a big bag of money.

(plus they already have a business relationship with Microsoft and they don't with Valve, and they have experience slapping Windows on their hardware and they don't with Linux)


Last edited by CatKiller on 9 January 2024 at 5:04 pm UTC
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: MohandevirDo we have any sales figures for these Windows handheld? Judging by the Steam hardware survey, they may be cannibilizing one another for a small fraction of the handheld market, leaving the Steam Deck untouched with the vast majority of that market. Not sure it would make sense to Microsoft to invest in a custom handheld os, if that's the case.

The estimates I've seen are that the Deck has sold its "multiple millions" and the Ally has sold ~500k - but they might have had 499,999 returns. None of these other devices have enough users to show up in the Steam Hardware Survey, but the Deck does.

The value to Microsoft isn't in hardware sales (just like it isn't for Valve); it's to say "Windows is a gaming OS, honest!" Same as for the DirectX-box.

No doubt, but with minimal investment up to this point. I don't know if they intend to change strategy, but hardware sales doesn't seem to be a reason to do so, yet.

Like you said, Xbox handheld make more sense. That's where they would probably invest, imo too.
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QuoteIn our commitment to enhancing the gaming experience for our users, we aim to address market pain points

Also

QuoteOperating System: Windows 11

Uhuh.
elmapul Jan 9
steam machines, big flop, 14 companies tried with steamOS.
steam deck, big success, only one company is using steamOS (valve) everyone else is using windows...
that is disapointing, if more vendors keep using windows then soon or later we will strugle to compete.
valve had the oled screen as an triumph card to give the deck more time to shiny, i wonder what they will do with the steam deck 2, i mean the midle gen upgrade they will do...
Quoting: Brokattthe 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.

I’m old too. It must make people better gamers and without rgb, how else would people know you’re a gamer? /s

I feel like rgb has run its course.
All these handhelds and they all have same problem - expensive compared to Steam Deck.

I'll happily take slightly less power over paying through the nose for a rushed device which is obviously trying to get a piece of the handheld cake.
elmapul Jan 9
Quoting: CatKiller
Quoting: Mountain ManWhy are these vendors afraid to embrace SteamOS? Windows is an objectively terrible operating system for a handheld device.
Microsoft will give them a big bag of money; Valve will not give them a big bag of money.

(plus they already have a business relationship with Microsoft and they don't with Valve, and they have experience slapping Windows on their hardware and they don't with Linux)

not only that, but microsoft can use the other devices as an leverage.

microsoft used to charge for "computer sold" not for "computer with windows sold", in other words, if you purchase an device from, lets say, Dell computer with windows, you had to pay the windows licence anyway! not to mention, canonical would also want some money, so you ended up paying more for the same device, that is one of the reasons why microsoft keept their dominance.

if you sell 1 million of devices with windows per year (among all desktops and notebooks you sell) then you pay much less for the licence than an brand that ship 10.000 per year, relasing yet another device with windows is just another cheap licence, but if you decide to go with linux, microsoft may charge extra for everything else you are selling. so unless this device alone sell more than evertything else msi sells, its a bad business move for then.

i think that everyone else will be forced to use windows, unless some companies like system76 or maybe cd project red enter the game, or this market grow to the proportions of android and every company that went with windows regret their decision just like they did with windows phone.
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