Transforming your gaming PC into a portable console is simply MSI’s promise with its new portable console: the MSI Claw. A machine with an ergonomic and durable design that has several tricks up its sleeve to make video gaming fun wherever you are.

Source: Chloé Pertuis for Frandroid

Gamers who are constantly on the go can already count on MSI laptops to have fun wherever they want. But as with all laptops, they also have disadvantages: they are often heavy and not really suitable for gaming on the road or on the couch.

To meet the needs of gamers who cannot sit still, MSI took inspiration from the world of portable consoles, to which the manufacturer added its know-how to design its first “portable PC console”. Presented at CES 2024, the MSI Claw is presented as a high-end portable console that offers an experience similar to that of a gaming PC, but at the same time more ergonomic and practical. It is available today from major French retailers.

A design that serves players

Designed to give gamers a new way to enjoy their hobby, the MSI Claw tries not to disrupt their habits. This therefore requires an intelligently designed and, above all, easy-to-use design. On this side, the challenge is easily met, as the MSI Claw has a large central screen, framed by two handles for the buttons and triggers.

An easy to use console.

Once in hand, the console immediately unleashes the player’s instincts thanks to the very natural placement of buttons, joysticks and triggers. We don’t destabilize their muscle memory, forged through years of practice. MSI has studied the market well, as the console’s triggers and joysticks use Hall effect technology, based on magnets, to prevent stick drift (a false contact that causes an unwanted action on the screen). Finally, on the back of the console are two ‘palette’ hotkeys that give you one-click access to a range of menus.

No risk of stick drift with the joysticks of the MSI Claw // Source: Chloé Pertuis for Frandroid

The chassis of the MSI Claw is littered with cutouts, and for good reason. Here too, MSI’s know-how in this area is evident, as these ventilation openings ensure effective cooling of the console. The Frandroid editors noted during the test that the MSI Claw benefits from an excellent cooling system. Better yet, the console is quiet while gaming, with a fan that’s barely audible even at full power. Your eardrums and your partner will appreciate it when it comes to playing in bed.

Cooling is at the heart of design // Source: Chloé Pertuis for Frandroid

The other strength of the MSI Claw’s design comes from its dimensions. If a gaming laptop PC can weigh up to 3 kg, the MSI console weighs only 675 grams on the scales. Not content with slipping easily into a backpack, it won’t tire your arms and hands even after a few hours of play.

A PC in your hands

Just like the ergonomics of the design, a portable console should stand out for its ability to play games (in fact, this is of utmost importance). For the visual aspect, the MSI Claw is adorned with a 7-inch IPS LCD screen. Good calibration allows the MSI console to display a Full HD image (1920 x 1080 pixels) with good brightness and careful colorimetry. And all without losing fluidity, thanks to a refresh rate that peaks at 120 Hz.

A particularly well-calibrated LCD screen // Source: Chloé Pertuis for Frandroid

Always with the aim of providing an efficient gaming experience, the MSI Claw runs on Windows 11. PC gamers are therefore on familiar territory, with an interface that they control. Above all, this operating system does not hinder the installation of PC games, whether they are on a third-party store or on Microsoft GamePass. Players can therefore link their gaming accounts in seconds and find all their favorite titles.

An instinctive interface // Source: Chloé Pertuis for Frandroid

To keep everything running, the MSI Claw has an Intel Core Ultra 5 or 7 chip, depending on the model, with storage up to 1 TB and 16 GB RAM. The graphics part is managed by an Intel Arc chip. A technical sheet that manages to run all recent games in good graphical conditions. Players are therefore not limited to indie titles such as Balatro or Dave the diver and can launch the latest games of the moment, such as Hell divers 2 or even the future DLC of Elden Ring.

One of the strengths of the MSI Claw is its endurance. MSI offers the portable console with the largest battery on the market: 53 Wh. An accumulator that allows the MSI Claw to last 2 full hours before needing to be recharged. A good point that allows you to start a game on public transport and then continue it in a waiting room, for example, without having to worry about finding a power socket.

A controlled price-quality ratio

More portable than a laptop PC, the MSI Claw manages to provide a gaming experience on par with some gaming computers while being more enjoyable to use on a daily basis.

Before its arrival on the market, the MSI Claw is available in 3 versions. The version with Intel Core Ultra 5 chip and 512 GB storage is sold for 799 euros. For the version with an Intel Core Ultra 7 processor and identical memory, the bill rises to 749 euros. Finally, the MSI Claw with Intel Core Ultra 7 and 1 TB storage has a price of 799 euros.

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