MSI Claw Review: Analysis and Performance Evaluation

Kimberly Perez

MSI Claw Handheld

The MSI Claw gaming handheld has sparked curiosity among gaming enthusiasts eager to discover how it fares against competitors. With a 7-inch LCD display and a design reminiscent of popular devices like the Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally, it’s clear that MSI is aiming to make a mark in the gaming handheld space. It manages to offer solid performance at a competitive price point, making it an attractive option for budget-conscious gamers.

Performance-wise, the MSI Claw stands out in its category. During testing, it ran demanding games like Doom Eternal at 30 to 40 frames per second on medium settings at 1080p resolution. This shows that the Claw can handle modern titles, albeit with some compromise in graphical settings. Its battery life and cooling system are crucial aspects to consider, ensuring that gamers can play for extended periods without overheating issues.

When it comes to design, the MSI Claw is compact and sturdy, measuring 0.8 by 11.5 by 4.6 inches. While it lacks certain features like an additional touch panel, it compensates with analog controls that appeal to traditional gamers. This blend of design and functionality makes the Claw a viable contender in the growing market for portable gaming PCs.

MSI Claw Gaming Handheld: A Deep Dive

Design and Build

The MSI Claw stands out with its unique design. It features two controller-like grips, making it comfortable to hold during extended gaming sessions. The 7-inch 1080p display is bright and vibrant, offering a decent visual experience. It comes with a 1TB M.2 SSD and 16GB of RAM for storage and performance, and its Thunderbolt 4 port allows for a wider range of peripherals and accessories.

Performance

The MSI Claw is powered by an Intel Core i7-1265U processor and an Intel Arc A370M GPU. While it promises decent performance on paper, in real-world testing, it struggles with demanding games. Some users have experienced frame rate drops and overheating issues, especially when playing at higher settings.

Battery Life

Equipped with a 53Wh battery, MSI claims the Claw can last up to two hours under heavy gaming loads. However, in real-world usage, battery life falls short of expectations. This might be a concern for gamers who plan to use the device on the go.

Software and User Experience

The MSI Claw runs on Windows 11, offering a familiar interface for PC gamers. The built-in software allows for customization of performance settings and RGB lighting. However, some users have reported software bugs and stability issues, which can be frustrating.

Pros and Cons

ProsCons
Comfortable ergonomic designStruggles with demanding games
Bright and vibrant displayOverheating issues
Fast SSD and ample RAMBelow-average battery life
Thunderbolt 4 connectivitySoftware bugs and stability issues
Customizable performance settings

Overall Assessment

The MSI Claw shows promise with its unique design and powerful hardware. However, it falls short in terms of game performance, battery life, and software stability. If MSI can address these issues with future updates, the Claw has the potential to be a compelling handheld gaming device. For now, it might not be the best choice for gamers looking for a seamless and high-performance experience.

Key Takeaways

  • Compact and sturdy design makes the MSI Claw appealing to traditional gamers
  • Solid performance with 30 to 40 fps on medium settings at 1080p resolution
  • Competitive price point for budget-conscious gamers

Design and Build Quality

The MSI Claw features a sleek and practical design. It measures 0.8 by 11.5 by 4.6 inches (HWD), making it compact yet robust. The device weighs 675 grams, giving it a sturdy feel without being overly heavy.

Ergonomics are well-considered. The textured grips help reduce slipping during intense gaming. The bumpers and triggers are responsive, providing precise control in games.

In terms of ports, the MSI Claw is equipped with essential connectivity options. This includes USB ports and audio jacks, ensuring compatibility with various accessories.

Despite its slightly wider frame, the layout supports long gaming sessions comfortably. The device’s 7-inch LCD display is clear and vibrant, enhancing the gaming experience significantly.

In conclusion, the MSI Claw’s design focuses on delivering comfort and functionality, balancing form and utility.

Technical Specifications and Performance

The MSI Claw offers substantial features including an Intel Core Ultra CPU and a 7-inch LCD display. It excels in connectivity options while delivering decent gaming performance.

Hardware and Storage

The MSI Claw houses an Intel Core Ultra processor, which ensures strong performance for most gaming needs. It includes 16GB of RAM, which provides smooth multitasking. For storage, the Claw has a built-in 512GB SSD.

A MicroSD slot allows storage expansion. Cooling is managed by an efficient system that prevents overheating. The lack of detachable controllers might be a drawback for some users, yet its overall hardware setup is commendable.

Display and Graphics

The device features a 7-inch LCD display with a resolution of 1080p. This screen delivers crisp visuals, which enhances the gaming experience. In performance mode, it can handle demanding games like Doom Eternal at 30 to 40 fps at 1080p resolution.

At 720p, the frame rate increases to a bit over 60 fps. The integrated GPU, although not the latest, performs adequately for portable gaming. This combination makes it a viable option for gamers seeking performance on the go.

Connectivity and Battery Life

For connectivity, the MSI Claw is equipped with Wi-Fi 7, Bluetooth 5.4, and a Thunderbolt 4 port. It also includes multiple USB-C ports which ensure versatile connectivity for various devices.

Battery life, often a critical factor for handheld gaming devices, is one of the Claw’s strong points. It provides hours of gameplay without needing frequent recharges, making it suitable for extended use.