MSI’s new Claw tablet competes with Lenovo and Asus at $700

MSI has finally announced how much its upcoming handheld game PC, the MSI Claw, will cost. Lenovo and Asus should be careful now. This small PC runs on Intel and costs $700 on its own. The more powerful chip costs more.

Liliputing noticed that MSI has now put the official US price for the handheld on its own webstore. I haven’t seen any prices on the main UK store yet.

The next few months will bring us three new Claw models:

  • 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 Core Ultra 5 135H is an Intel Meteor Lake processor with four P-cores, eight E-cores, and two low-power E-cores. It comes with the $700 base model. This might not seem like the best choice since it has fewer P-cores than a game laptop or small computer based on AMD’s competing Ryzen 7 7840U or Z1 Extreme. The other two choices, which both use Ultra 7 processors with six P-cores, look better.

However, to be fair to the Ultra 5 chip, its GPU does have 8 Xe-cores, which is the same number of cores as the more expensive chips. That means the graphics speed isn’t terrible, as long as the CPU can keep up. We tested the 135H in a small gaming handheld/mini laptop from OneXPlayer, and even though we were skeptical at first about the number of cores, it has done well in most games. The 135H might not be a terrible choice for a 1080p small PC since the MSI Claw is expected to be the same.

MSI does have to compete with a great chip from AMD in the mobile market, though. The Z1 Extreme and the Ryzen 7 7840U are pretty much the same thing. They both have eight full-fat CPU cores and cost about the same as what MSI is asking for this one.

I quickly used the MSI Claw at MSI’s CES booth. It was a good machine, but I thought it lacked the finish of the Lenovo Legion Go, which I was reviewing at the time. On top of that, I left feeling like I wasn’t really affected.

The MSI will have a hard time getting people to buy it instead of the expensive Legion Go since both cost about the same. For the most part, it’s because of what you can get for $700: either the cheap 512GB MSI Claw or, thanks to a sale, the top-of-the-line Go with a 1TB drive and the Z1 Extreme chip.

There are some good things about the Claw that are worth talking about. There are some good things about these thumbsticks, and the Hall effect means you don’t have to change them on your own. Support for Wi-Fi 7 could also be useful one day, but you’ll need a network that works with Wi-Fi 7 first. The MSI also has a 53Whr battery, which is more than either Asus or Lenovo’s standard handhelds have right now.

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