CES 2024: MSI Reveals MSI Claw A1M PC Handheld Console

At CES 2024, we got the chance to check out MSI’s latest headliner product, the MSI Claw A1M. The MSI Claw A1M is a handheld PC gaming device that is the first to use the Intel Core™ Ultra Processor. Beyond that, this device is armed with MSI’s Cooler Boost Hyperflow thermal technology, customizable macros, and a 53Whr battery capacity. The MSI Claw A1M looks to make a splash in the thriving gaming handheld market. Let’s dive into MSI’s newest handheld device to see what it brings to the table.

MSI Claw A1M Product Specs

Processor Up to Intel® Core Ultra 7 processor 155H
Operating System Windows 11 Home or Windows 11 Pro
ChipsetIntegrated SoC
MemoryLPDDR5 onboard, 16GB, 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
GraphicsIntel® Arc Graphics, 8 Xᵉ-Cores
Storage1TB NVMe SSD Gen4x4 2230 or 512GB NVMe SSD Gen4x4 2230
Sensor6-Axis IMU Vibration Motor
CommunicationIntel® Killer Wi-Fi 7 BE1750, Bluetooth v5.4
Audio2 × 2W Speakers / 1× Audio combo jack / Hi-Res Audio ready
I/O Port1 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/Adapter6-Cell, Li-Polymer, 53Whr / 65W USB Type-C PD 3.0
Dimension294 (W) x 117(D) x 21.2(H) mm
Weight 675 g

With processor options going up to the Intel® Core™ Ultra 7 processor 155H, the MSI Claw A1M looks to make the most of Intel’s XeSS technology. XeSS uses AI upscaling algorithms to accelerate the frames per second in which you run your AAA game titles. Meanwhile, MSI Cooler Boost Hyperflow helps to keep the unit cool throughout your longer gaming sessions.

As for how long, the Claw A1M’s 53Whr battery touts a max of two hours of battery life under maximum workload conditions. All of this sits behind a 7-inch 120Hz gaming display.

The MSI Claw A1M houses all of the buttons and controls that you would expect to see in a gaming controller today. You have dual analog sticks, a D-Pad, four face buttons, a View button, a start/menu button, two bumpers and two triggers. The rings around the analog sticks and LED’s within the ABXY face buttons feature customizable RGB lighting. Meanwhile, the left and right triggers house Hall Effect sensors for contactless actuation, a feature that we are seeing in more and more of our controllers nowadays.

On the top of the unit, you have volume buttons, a 3.5mm audio jack, a thunderbolt 4 port, tactile indicators, a Micro SD card slot, and a fingerprint power button. Near the rear handles you have customizable Macro Keys.

Additional front-facing buttons include the MSI Center M Button and the Quick Settings button, exclusive buttons for the Claw A1M. The MSI Center M Button brings up the MSI Claw A1M’s custom interface. Here, you can launch games, access gaming platforms, and manage the system’s various settings. Unlike the all-encompassing MSI Center, the Quick Settings button brings up a lighter overlay, where you can manage various settings without having to exit your game.

Interestingly enough, the MSI Claw A1M also goes beyond Windows-based games thanks to the MSI App Player. The exclusive App Player allows the console to also run and play Android games as well.

Having reviewed various PC handheld consoles ourselves, I was initially shocked when I felt how light the MSI Claw A1M was. Coming in at 675 grams, it was noticeably lighter than the Lenovo Go, whose weight is 854 grams when the controllers are attached. As such, the MSI Claw A1M was quite comfortable to handle. Gameplay looks nice on the 7-inch 120Hz screen and the customizable lighting in the ABXY buttons is a nice cosmetic touch.

We also got a glimpse of what the MSI Claw’s docking station would look like, even though its port configuration was not finalized at the time of the show.

With pricing yet to be determined, it appears that there will be three variants of the Claw A1M available for purchase, differing on CPU and storage options.

Manufacturer Part #CLAWA1050CLAWA1051CLAWA1052
CPUIntel® Core™ Ultra 7-155HIntel® Core™ Ultra 7-155HIntel® Core™ Ultra 5-135H
Storage1TB NVMe SSD Gen4x4 2230512GB NVMe SSD Gen4x4 2230512GB NVMe SSD Gen4x4 2230

If you want to hear more about the MSI Claw A1M, be sure to also check out Thunder E’s hands on video, here…