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The MSI Claw gaming handheld is ready to battle the Steam Deck

In a nutshell: MSI’s handheld gaming PC has landed and is ready to go toe to toe with Valve’s venerable Steam Deck. Unveiled earlier this year at CES, the MSI Claw is powered by an Intel Core Ultra processor of your choosing. The handheld ships with a 7-ich FHD (1,920 x 1,080 resolution) touchscreen with 120 Hz refresh rate that covers 100 percent of the sRGB color space, and utilizes Hall Effect triggers and joysticks which should eliminate drift concerns.

Under the hood is a six-cell 53 Wh battery that’s reportedly good for up to two hours of full-bore use.

The entry level Claw, which is available to order now over on MSI’s website, includes a Core Ultra 5-135H alongside 16 GB of LPDDR5 memory and a 512 GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD, and is priced at $699.

Two higher-spec’d variants are also in the pipeline, including a model with a Core Ultra 7-155H CPU, 16 GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD for $749, and another that bumps storage up to 1 TB for $799. Both can be pre-ordered over on Newegg, and show a release date of March 15.

Those who order through Newegg will also receive a free copy of Ubisoft’s Skull & Bones and a free month of Xbox Game Pass.

MSI’s Claw is the latest in a growing list of handheld gaming systems, bumping shoulders with the Asus ROG Ally, the Lenovo Legion Go, the Steam Deck, and others. These machines owe their existence to the Nintendo Switch, the handheld that Nintendo gambled (and won big) with in 2017.

Nintendo is expected to ship a follow-up to the original Switch in early 2025. The Switch 2 hardware, which has reportedly been ready to go since late 2022, is expected to use a cost-optimized version of Nvidia’s Orin built on an 8nm process with some efficiency tweaks from Lovelace. It’ll also likely include a larger 8-inch display and as much as 16 GB of RAM (although 12 GB seems far more likely).

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