MSI Claw A1M announced with Intel Core Ultra processors

By Sanjeev 8 Min Read

MSI has just announced its entry into the mobile gaming PC category with the MSI Claw A1M. The MSI Claw handheld is set for release later this year and will go head-to-head against other notable contenders, including the Stam Deck, Asus ROG Ally, and Legion Go.

MSI Claw A1M Overview:

Intel Core Ultra Processors

Since it’s a gaming machine, let’s start with the performance.

The Claw is not the first of its kind handheld gaming peripheral, but it surely is the first to use the latest Intel Core Ultra processors.

There are two CPU versions up for grabs— Intel Ultra 5 Processor 135H and Ultra Core 7 Processor 155H.

The two processors feature the same number of E-cores (Efficiency-cores) and Low Power E-cores, 8 and 2, respectively.

The latter is a new variant of the CPU core built on a separate process to handle background tasks.

That aside, Ultra Core 7 Processor 155H features 6 Performance or P-cores against Ultra Core 5 Processor 135H’s 4. This should result in the MSI Claw with the 155H performing better, especially when it comes to AAA titles.

ARC Graphics and External GPU

Moving on, the Claw A1M comes with integrated ARC graphics with up to 8 Xe cores. The cores are clocked higher on the Ultra Core 7, but other than that, the two platforms have the GPU solution.

Fortunately, you can dock an external GPU to the MSI handheld by using the Thunderbolt 4 port.

What’s better is that you are not limited to using in-house solutions, which Asus does with the ROG Ally.

The Thunderbolt 4 on the Claw doesn’t offer the same bandwidth as the Thunderbolt 5 on the Ally, but it won’t matter unless you go for a really high-end GPU.

So MSI’s new handheld is better than Asus’ in this regard.

Internal Components and Upgradeability

The back of the Claw A1M is held together by six screws of the same size. Unscrew them, and you can just knock the panel off to reveal Claw’s internal.

The first thing you would notice is the dual fans and dual heat pipes. They are part of the MSI Coller Boost Hyperflow tech, designed for optimum airflow.

Sadly, the 16GB dual-channel LPDDR5 RAM is soldered into the board. But you can upgrade the M.2 SSD card.

The wireless module is also not soldered, but it’s less likely you would want to replace it as it supports Wi-Fi 7 and Bluetooth 5.4 out of the box.

MSI Claw A1M Internal Component

Battery and Charging

With a massive 53Whr battery inside, MSI Claw promises up to 10 hours of usage.

This is with the endurance mode turned on, which limits the TDP of the machine to just 10W.

Even with the A1M running at its full potential at 35W, you can expect an impressive 2-hour battery life.

As for charging, the handheld gaming PC supports Power Delivery 3.0 through the Thunderbolt 4 port.

Design and Display

As far as the design is concerned, the Claw A1M brings nothing new to the table. The exterior of the MSI handheld doesn’t look anything different from Steam Deck and Asus ROG Ally.

It weighs 675 grams and is available in a single all-black color option.

MSI has included a Hall effect joystick and triggers on its handheld gaming PC, which you can only get with third-party add-ons on its competitors like Stem Deck and Asus ROG Ally.

Coming to the display, it is a 7-inch IPS touchscreen with 120Hz refresh rate. It is an FHD panel with 500 nits of brightness and 100% sRGB coverage.

MSI has included two front-facing stereo speakers on the Claw A1m. In addition, the handheld features an audio combo jack and is Hi-Res audio-ready.

Software

MSI has tailor-made the Center M software interface to complement the powerful hardware that the Claw A1M packs.

This includes the Quick Settings and Quick Settings Editor. Moreover, you can use it to adjust Mystic Light (on analog sticks and ABXY buttons) and Macro Keys.

Depending on the game and workload, you can also toggle between GamePad mode and Desktop mode.

The Claw also comes with MSI App Player that lets users enjoy both Windows and Android titles — the best of both worlds.

MSI Claw A1M Casuals Price Release Date

MSI Claw A1M Specifications

  • Processor: Intel Core Ultra 5 Processor 135H / Intel Core Ultra 7 Processor 155H
  • Operating System: Windows 11 (Home / Pro)
  • Memory: 16GB LPDDR5 onboard, dual channel
  • Display: 7″ FHD (1920 x 1080), 120 Hz Refresh Rate, Touch Screen, 120 Hz Refresh Rate, 100% sRGB(Typical), 500nits(Typical), IPS-Level panel
  • Graphics: Intel Arc Graphics
  • Storage Slot: 1 x NVMe M.2 2230 SSD by PCIe Gen 4 x4
  • Sensor: 6-Axis IMU Vibration Motor
  • Communication: Intel Killer Wi-Fi 7 BE1750, Bluetooth v5.4
  • Audio: 2 × 2W Speakers / 1× Audio combo jack / Hi-Res Audio ready
  • I/O Port:
    • 1 x Thunderbolt™ 4 / DP/ USB Type-C (w/ PD 3.0 Charging)
    • 1 x microSD Card Reader
    • 1 x Audio combo jack
    • 1x Power button with Finger Print Sensor
  • Battery/Adapter: 6-Cell, Li-Polymer, 53Whr / 65W USB Type-C PD 3.0
  • Dimension: 294 (W) x 117(D) x 21.2(H) mm
  • Weight: 675 g
  • Color: Black

MSI Claw A1M Price and Release Date

The MSI Claw A1M starts at USD 699 for the base variant and goes all the way up to USD 799 for the high-end version. It will be available from the first half of 2024.

SNProcessorRAMSSDOfficial Price
1.Intel Core Ultra 5 135H16GB LPDDR5512GB PCIe Gen 4USD 699
2.Intel Core Ultra 5 155H16GB LPDDR5512GB PCIe Gen 4USD 749
3.Intel Core Ultra 5 155H16GB LPDDR51TB PCIe Gen 4USD 799
MSI Claw A1M Handheld Pricing in the US

Looking at the official pricing, it looks like the USD 749 offers the best value of the three.

Compared to the base variant, it features a better CPU. It has half the storage of the premium option, but you can expand it in the future.

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