MSI’s sequel to the Claw handheld is an entire redesign, and I noticed it within the flesh

The new MSI Claw sitting in a display case.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

I used to be important of the MSI Claw once I reviewed it, and I wasn’t alone. MSI’s push into the world of handheld gaming PCs wasn’t sleek, with missing efficiency, subpar battery life, and loads of software program quirks marring the expertise. With all of the backlash in opposition to the system, it could have been straightforward for MSI to throw within the towel. Instead, the corporate’s doing the alternative. Just six months after the unique Claw was proven to the world, MSI is already engaged on its subsequent model of the Claw and is seeking to proper its wrongs. I acquired a have a look at it at Computex 2024.

Considering it’s simply the second era, it would shock you to seek out out that this isn’t only a refresh of the unique Claw. The Claw 8 AI+, because it’s known as, is an entire {hardware} redesign that features one in all Intel’s new Lunar Lake CPUs. I used to be invited out to the corporate’s headquarters in Taipei, Taiwan, to get an early have a look at the brand new system and discuss by what it is perhaps able to.

An early reboot of the Claw

The edge of the new MSI Claw.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

There’s quite a bit new right here. Specs-wise, MSI confirmed it’s a Lunar Lake chip, however wouldn’t say particularly which one. Intel itself hasn’t confirmed any Lunar Lake fashions at this level. MSI confirmed another specs, although. You can stand up to 32GB of LPDDR5x at 8.5 Gbps speeds, in addition to a 1TB SSD. MSI says it’s utilizing an M.2 2280 SSD, much like the brand new ROG Ally X, making upgrades simpler.

Elsewhere, MSI added twin Thunderbolt ports to the highest of the system, and it redesigned the triggers and exterior shell. I wasn’t capable of truly contact the hand-held — or any Lunar Lake system, for that matter — however the bigger physique sure appears to be like extra snug than the unique’s. It additionally supplies room for the 8-inch display screen. It’s bigger, however MSI says it’s nonetheless a 1080p panel working at 120Hz.

Along with the brand new specs, MSI says it’s utilizing an 80 watt-hour battery with the Claw 8 AI+, which, once more, matches the brand new ROG Ally X. That’s a big bounce up from the 53 watt-hour battery within the authentic, which offered some fairly disappointing longevity.

The announcement comes simply months after MSI launched the Claw initially, exhibiting how a lot floor it’s attempting to make up within the aggressive world of handhelds. MSI tells me that, though it is a new era of system, it’s not giving up on the present Claw. It’s persevering with to work with Intel to launch driver updates for the hand-held, one in all which launched since I’ve been on the bottom in Taipei.

The first Lunar Lake handheld

The MSI Claw sitting inside a display case.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Even with that, MSI certainly has a number of floor to cowl. Lunar Lake is perhaps the important thing to that, nevertheless. Intel hasn’t been shy concerning the “radical low-power architecture” that’s Lunar Lake, which has a number of implications for a handheld gaming system. There’s additionally the considerably improved built-in graphics, which undertake Intel’s Battlemage structure. Details are sparse, however Intel is definitely speaking an enormous sport when it comes the graphics.

Then once more, we’ve been right here earlier than. Although the unique MSI Claw has some points exterior of the processor, there’s little doubt that the Meteor Lake CPU performs a big position in its pitfalls. In retrospect, it’s no shock that the Claw was the one handheld to undertake the chips, with different gadgets choosing AMD.

MSI didn’t share pricing particulars with me, but it surely mentioned that the brand new system ought to launch in September. That may change, as MSI was clearly exhibiting off a prototype once I visited its Taipei headquarters. Although it’s exhausting to say how a lot the Claw 8 AI+ will price, MSI hinted {that a} value drop on the unique model could also be on the way in which quickly.

I’m pleased to see MSI and Intel proceed to push the envelope on this thrilling new kind issue for PC gaming to offer AMD and Asus a little bit of competitors.

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