What you need to know about The Claw from MSI

The Claw – What you need to know about MSI’s new gaming handheld

Handheld gaming devices are becoming increasingly popular and now MSI has entered the game with its “Grip and Go” The Claw. It’s a highly portable gaming console that’s based upon Intel’s brand-new Core Ultra processors and it’s the only device to natively play both Windows and Android games. MSI commissioned High Performance Laptops to tell you what you need to know about it.

MSI Skull and Bones offer

Specifications

The Claw has a 7-inch, Full HD, IPS touchscreen with a quick, 120Hz refresh rate to keep fast-moving objects rendered silky smooth.

The Claw
The Claw.

It’s powered by new, 14th-Gen Core Ultra processors which use the new Intel ‘Meteor Lake’ architecture that’s replete with a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) to add performance and power efficiency. It also makes use of Intel’s new, integrated Arc graphics processor meaning that 3D performance comes with much better power efficiency than devices using last-gen processors or power-hungry discreet graphics chips.

The CPU is flanked by 16GB of low-power-but-fast LPDDR5-6400 RAM plus a rapid NVMe solid-state drive.

Connectivity includes a Thunderbolt 4 port and a microSD card reader plus the latest Bluetooth 5.4 and Wi-Fi 7 wireless technologies for rapid, low-latency connections which are essential for high-performance gaming.

There are also two, Nahimic-augmented, 2-Watt stereo speakers – which also use Ai-based noise cancellation – to ensure on-board audio is well-rounded and punchy. Plus, there’s a 3.5mm audio jack for headphones. A fingerprint reader is present for security.

There’s a six-cell, 53Wh battery which is one of the largest in its category. It weighs just 675 grams and is available with a variety of optional accessories.

MSI Skull and Bones 2024 offer

Performance and Design

There are two variants of The Claw in Australia. The first, premium model (SKU: A1M-053AU) has an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H processor which has 16 cores: six Performance cores, eight Efficient cores and two Low Power Efficient cores that operate across 22 threads. They function between 700MHz and 4.8GHz. This variant comes with a 1TB SSD.

The MSI Claw
The MSI Claw weighs only 675g.

The Arc graphics operate at 2.25GHz and feature eight Intel Xe cores making it dramatically faster than Intel’s previous generation of integrated GPUs. It also makes use of Intel XeSS (Super Sampling) technology which adds Ai-enhanced upscaling to boost framerates while maintaining high resolutions at a minimal hit to quality. This all ensures that framerates are boosted significantly when playing compatible games.

The second variant (SKU: A1M-058AU) has an Intel Core Ultra 5 135H processor with four Performance cores, eight Efficient cores and two Low Power Efficient cores that run across 18 threads. They operate between 700MHz and 4.6GHz. This model comes with a 512GB SSD.

The integrated Intel Arc graphics on the Ultra 5 135H processor are very similar to its Ultra 7 sibling in that it has eight Xe cores (with XeSS) but it can operate at 2.2GHz instead of 2.25GHz.

Bespoke cooling from MSI’s efficient HyperFlow technology, with its two fans, two heat pipes and larger air vents, ensures everything stays cool and quiet to avoid thermal issues and minimise unnecessary battery drain.

A great deal of effort has gone into The Claw’s ergonomic design to ensure that hands and fingers stay fatigue and friction free for extended gaming sessions.

On the left is a directional button and an analogue joystick. These are joined by an MSI button to bring up the main, MSI Center M launch menu which provides access to your game platforms and libraries plus general settings and those that subtly adjust the behaviour, vibration strength and damping of the control sticks and buttons. It also provides access to screenshots and videos that you might capture. There’s also a ‘View’ button that operates according to the app or game that’s being used.

From here, you can also access the MSI App Player which links with your phone to play Android games.

MSI Skull and Bones 2024 offer

You can also adjust power settings to extend the battery life when required, you can set-up profiles for different games and game types plus you can adjust how you interact with the Windows Desktop. If you don’t want to mess around with manual settings, just sit-back and let the MSI Ai Engine optimise everything for you. There are also controls to configure the MSI Mystic Light RGB lighting flourishes that are scattered around the device.

The Claw will also let you live-stream your games by downloading OBS (Online Broadcasting Software). This will enable you to stream in conjunction with your camera and your phone.

On the right there are four buttons and another analogue joystick, a menu button plus another View button.

At the top are two bumper buttons and two analogue trigger buttons while, at the rear, there are two programmable Macro buttons. It all feels like a souped-up classic console controller.

Ergonomics

MSI says that The Claw, “Embodies MSI’s dragon spirit in a minimalist utilitarian design, ensuring the brand’s unique identity. It’s designed with anthropometry and achieves the ideal balance between feel and weight. It provides an ergonomic fit that suits your natural grip contours, your palm curvature, your finger positions and has optimal trigger force. This ensures comfortable gaming for extended periods.”

You can see it in action in the video, below…

MSI’s The Claw

Accessories

The Claw is also available with a high-quality protective Travel Carry Case that also acts as a stand. There’s also a special, branded lanyard to help prevent accidental drops, a cool-looking key-chain accessory, a 7-inch tempered glass screen protector plus, it’s compatible with the MSI Nest USB-C dock.

MSI The Claw with accessories
MSI The Claw with its accessories.

Price and Availability

The Claw starts at $1,399 and you can find both variants on sale at JB Hi-Fi and other stores right now!

MSI Skull and Bones offer

Leave a Reply