MSI Claw Quick Review: Intel Meteor Lake in Compact and Lightweight Body

MSI Claw is the first handheld PC model to own the Intel Meteor Lake platform introduced since CES 2024. Please note that the version reviewed here is a sales sample, not the official version, so the firmware may not be complete. Nevertheless, this handheld gaming model shows promise, as it boasts the powerful Intel Meteor Lake platform with Intel Arc GPU. It is expected to become a strong competitor to the AMD Ryzen Z1 series, offering improved battery life, a feature in which MSI is confident.

MSI Claw Review: Intel Meteor Lake in Compact and Lightweight Body

MSI Claw Quick Review

The MSI Claw is one of the early adopters of Intel’s Meteor Lake platform, joining the ranks of other handheld PC models like AYANEO. While it shares similarities with other models, the MSI Claw stands out with its distinct design, featuring company-specific enhancements such as RGB Mystic Light LED, the Dragon logo and wallpaper, and the MSI Center M interface.

Holding experience

MSI Claw Review: Intel Meteor Lake in Compact and Lightweight Body

My first observation when holding the Claw was how lightweight it felt. At 675g, it’s slightly heavier than the ROG Ally (608g) but much lighter than the Legion Go (854g). For comparison, the MSI Claw is slightly heavier than both the OLED and LCD versions of the Steam Deck. Here are the dimensions of the MSI Claw, ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go, and Steam Deck:

  • MSI Claw: 294 x 117 x 21.2 mm.
  • ROG Ally: 280 x 111 x 21.2 mm.
  • Legion Go: 298.83 x 131 x 40.7mm.

When it comes to handheld gaming devices, weight is crucial. Unlike laptops, a device that is too heavy can become uncomfortable during long gaming sessions. The Legion Go serves as an example of this.

The Claw features two speakers on both sides with a capacity of 2x2W and Hi-Res Audio certification. However, I experienced an issue where the entire device vibrates like a massage machine with the light mode on when I turn on the speakers to play games or listen to music. If used for a long time, my hands start to go numb. Hopefully, this is only a problem with the test version.


The Claw has a plastic outer shell, but the matte black paint provides a good grip and prevents it from looking dirty or worn out, unlike the white paint on the ROG Ally, which easily accumulates stains that are difficult to clean.

MSI Claw Review: Intel Meteor Lake in Compact and Lightweight Body

The joystick buttons have a Hall Effect design to prevent drifting, and the ABXY buttons are slightly pointed in the center. MSI has added RGB LEDs to enhance the appearance of these buttons, and the D-pad is in a single cluster.

However, I found that the placement of the right joystick is a bit low. When I raise both thumbs, I feel some tension. Compared to the ROG Ally, Legion Go, and Steam Deck, it requires more thumb bending to play comfortably. I’m not sure if this would be comfortable for people with smaller or larger hands. I have small hands and still find it slightly uncomfortable.

One of the selling points of the MSI Claw is its USB-C Thunderbolt 4 port, which is a result of its Intel platform. It also has a microSD card slot located next to it, above the heat sink. However, it remains unclear how durable it will be. Additionally, the power button comes with a fingerprint sensor for easy unlocking.


MSI Claw features a 7″ screen with FHD resolution, 500nits brightness, 100% sRGB, and a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz. When it comes to gaming, this screen is exceptional and doesn’t have any issues. It is a standout feature when compared to the Steam Deck. Screen has a glossy glass layer without an anti-glare coating, but you can purchase a separate screen protector if desired.


MSI Claw offers various configuration options, with the highest configuration featuring an Intel Core Ultra 7 155H and 16GB of RAM. The Core Ultra 7 155H, equipped with the Intel Arc graphics platform and new architecture, aims to deliver high-performance gaming capabilities for the Claw.

MSI Claw Review: Intel Meteor Lake in Compact and Lightweight Body

Although I haven’t had a chance to experience the official commercial version, during a 45-minute gameplay session of “Sons of the Forest” on ultra-low settings and a resolution of 1600 x 900, the battery only drained about 15%.

With a battery capacity of 53Wh, the MSI Claw’s battery life could potentially surpass other handheld PC models, providing a significant advantage for Intel. Additionally, the Claw’s battery is larger than that of the ROG Ally (40Whr), Ayaneo 2S (50.25Whr), or Legion Go (49Whr), while maintaining a thinner body compared to the Lenovo model.

In terms of connectivity, while the main competitors are still equipped with Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.1, the Claw already supports Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4.

Heat dissipation

In terms of heat dissipation, MSI incorporates 2 radiator fans and two heat sinks in the Claw. The back of the device features a well-ventilated design and utilizes MSI’s CoolerBoost HyperFlow technology to optimize airflow and prevent overheating, even during intensive use. Whether you’re sitting or lying down while gaming, the device will stay cool and comfortable.


The Claw features MSI Center M, software for control and performance management. This software is accessible through a side button similar to ROG Ally or Lenovo Legion Go. However, in its current state, the interface appears somewhat blurry and lacks a clear layout. MSI claims that the final version of Center M will have an optimized interface specifically designed for the Claw and future MSI handheld devices.

The main interface of Center M showcases a visually appealing and user-friendly design. It integrates popular platforms such as Steam, Xbox, Origin, and EA, allowing users to quickly launch games directly from the software. It’s worth noting that as the software is not yet complete, there may be changes in the commercial version. Additionally, Claw’s integrated App Player not only provides a library for Windows games but also supports mobile games (Android).

Presently, the MSI Claw runs on the latest version of Windows 11, which is optimized for gaming. However, the touchscreen functionality on Windows is generally subpar.

With Center M, similar to the MSI laptop version, users can select from various performance modes. The simplest option is to choose the AI Engine and let the machine handle everything. From this perspective, the Claw naturally appears stunning.

Final line

When examining the current handheld gaming market, MSI Claw stands out among its competitors due to its utilization of the latest Intel Meteor Lake platform. Users are eager to know how well this platform will perform with AAA games and if it can rival models that use the more powerful iGPUs of the AMD platform.

Another concern is the battery life. Despite the presence of industry giants like Asus and Lenovo in the market, MSI is determined to establish its presence and not be left behind.

MSI Claw price and release date

At present, I am eagerly awaiting the commercial release of the product to conduct a thorough performance assessment. The device is currently listed on and for $749.99; however, the manufacturer has not yet announced an official release date. As such, it remains unclear when the commercial version will become available.

About Ankeet Solanki

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