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:
|Up to Intel® Core™ Ultra 7 processor 155H
|LPDDR5 onboard, 16GB, dual channel
|7" FHD (1920 x 1080), 120 Hz Refresh Rate, Touch Screen, 120 Hz Refresh Rate, 100% sRGB(Typical), 500nits(Typical), IPS-Level panel
|Intel® Arc Graphics
|1 x NVMe M.2 2230 SSD by PCIe Gen 4 x4
|6-Axis IMU Vibration Motor
|Intel® Killer™ Wi-Fi 7 BE1750, Bluetooth v5.4
|2 × 2W Speakers / 1× Audio combo jack / Hi-Res Audio readyk
|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
|6-Cell, Li-Polymer, 53Whr / 65W USB Type-C PD 3.0
|294 (W) x 117(D) x 21.2(H) mmn
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.