MSI's new Claw handheld goes head to head with Lenovo and Asus at $700

Using the MSI Claw at CES 2024.
(Image credit: Future)

Lenovo and Asus better watch their backs as MSI has officially confirmed the pricing for its upcoming handheld gaming PC, the MSI Claw. This Intel-powered handheld PC will start out at a cool $700, though the more powerful chip will set you back more.

As spotted by Liliputing, MSI has now released official US pricing for the handheld on its own webstore. I'm yet to spot any pricing on the official UK store.

There are three Claw models headed our way in the near future:

  • Claw A1M-050US | 1TB SSD | Core Ultra 7 155H | $800
  • Claw A1M-051US | 512GB SSD | Core Ultra 7 155H | $750
  • Claw A1M-052US | 512GB SSD | Core Ultra 5 135H | $700

The cheapest model at $700 comes with the Core Ultra 5 135H, an Intel Meteor Lake processor with four P-cores, eight E-cores, and two low-power E-cores. With fewer P-cores than you might see on a gaming laptop today, and notably fewer than handhelds built around AMD's competing Ryzen 7 7840U or Z1 Extreme, this might appear a less desirable pick than the two other options powered by Ultra 7 processors with six P-cores.

Though to be fair to the Ultra 5 chip, it does come with the full compliment of 8 Xe-cores within its GPU component—the same amount found in the higher-end chips. That means it's not at a massive loss for graphical performance, providing the CPU can keep up. We've been testing the 135H within a compact gaming handheld/mini laptop from OneXPlayer, and despite early reservations regarding the core count it has performed well in most games. With the same likely to be true of the MSI Claw, I would suspect the 135H is not altogether a bad pick for a 1080p handheld PC.

Though it's true that MSI is competing with a fantastic chip out of AMD in the handheld market. The Z1 Extreme and Ryzen 7 7840U are effectively one and the same, and both come with eight full-fat CPU cores for roughly the same money as MSI is asking for here.

I've used the MSI Claw briefly over at MSI's CES booth and it was a decent machine in hand, but one I felt lacked the finish of the Lenovo Legion Go, which I was using for review at the time. I also walked away feeling little impression was made on me overall. 

With similar price tags the MSI has a tough battle ahead of it to sway gamers away from the somewhat overkill Legion Go. Most of all due to what that $700 gets you: either the budget 512GB MSI Claw or (thanks to an ongoing sale) the top-end model of the Go with a 1TB drive and the Z1 Extreme chip.

The Claw does have some benefits worth talking about, at least. The Hall effect thumbsticks are a plus and means you don't have to mod them onto your device yourself. Wi-Fi 7 support could come in handy one day too, though you'll need a Wi-Fi 7 compatible network first. The MSI also offers a 53Whr battery, which is higher than both Asus or Lenovo offer in their mainstream handhelds today.

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Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.