Say it with me, “The Claw.” What does that title evoke? Saturday morning cartoons? Timeless Pixar classics? PC maker MSI hopes you’ll begin to as a substitute take into consideration gaming, because it’s the newest firm to supply up its model of a Steam Deck, and this one certainly shares fairly just a few similarities to Valve’s authentic handheld console, a minimum of at first look.
If the leaks didn’t already spoil the shock, MSI’s massive push into the exploding handheld console market is a design very paying homage to what’s come earlier than. Nevertheless, just a few issues taking place beneath the plastic make it distinctive in comparison with its opponents. For one, the Claw goes in the other way of each different AMD-powered machine and as a substitute makes use of an Intel Core Extremely processor. Evaluate that to the Lenovo Legion Go and Asus ROG Ally, which each prime out on energy with the AMD Ryzen Z1 Excessive APUs.
There’s been loads of hypothesis about whether or not the Meteor Lake CPUs can match up with the Ryzen 7 sequence, however we’ll have to attend for full assessments to inform if efficiency can match the opposite massive handhelds on the market. There are some indicators that Intel’s iGPU efficiency on its Meteor Lake chips, particularly the Core Extremely 7 155H, managed to edge out a Ryzen 7 7840HS on artificial benchmarks.
Then once more, it might be extra vital to optimize the video games for the small kind issue. The Claw will use Intel’s Arc graphics and the chipmaker’s XeSS AI upscaling tech to spice up FPS whereas not stressing the GPU. XeSS isn’t supported by every title on the market, however relying on what video games you need, it may make your handheld gaming just a little simpler.
MSI can also be selling its stick, one of many largest batteries in any gaming handheld machine. The Claw comes with a 53 Whr battery, which beats the Legion Go’s and Steam Deck OLED’s new 50 Whr cell. Time will inform whether or not battery life matches the dimensions of the battery itself.
The 7-inch display screen isn’t a slouch at a 120Hz refresh fee, however lower than the Legion Go’s 8.8-inch 144Hz. Baseline has 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM, a microSD slot, a headphone jack, and a Thunderbolt 4 USB-C connection. With every part collectively, the Claw weighs slightly below 1.5 kilos, successfully equal to a Steam Deck and a fraction greater than the ROG Ally.
That is one other Home windows 11-based handheld, however there’s a twist. MSI is promoting the system’s native App Participant, which is able to provide video games throughout Home windows and Android. It’s the corporate’s UI that works on prime of Home windows. It may show much less helpful if it nonetheless requires you to open up separate apps like Steam or Epic Video games Retailer, which defeats the entire function of the additional UI. Nonetheless, it may provide simpler entry to Android video games or apps with out altering any system settings or downloading extra apps.
Now, the title first evokes pictures of cute claw machine aliens from A Toy Story or the supervillain from Inspector Gadget. Nonetheless, it’s a much more evocative title than slapping a “Go” or “Ally” to the prevailing Legion or ROG gaming ranges. And hell, these rainbow LEDs across the joysticks do look spiffy. We’ll see how nicely MSI’s console can claw its approach out of the grasp of stiff competitors to see the way it compares.
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