MSI Claw: the version based on the "small" Meteor Lake CPU does rather well

Written by Guillaume
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1711900820*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
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It's the surprise of the day: on paper less powerful, the MSI Claw Core Ultra 135H doesn't disappoint in the least.

Since the launch of Valve's Steam Deck two years ago, many manufacturers have been trying to capitalize on the success of this portable console. Quite a few more or less well-known Chinese companies have tried their hand at it, but ASUS and Lenovo will be remembered above all as major players in the IT world. A third "heavyweight" has recently made an appearance... MSI. The Taiwanese company took advantage of CES 2024 in Las Vegas to unveil the Claw, a console whose main novelty is that it relies on Intel - rather than AMD - for its central processor.

Alas for MSI, the attempt to kick-start the market backfired, as the Claw's performance is quite clearly inferior to that of a machine like ASUS's ROG Ally, a machine whose design and features are otherwise quite comparable. What's more, the Claw can't make up for this by offering better autonomy, and its launch price is equivalent to that of ASUS' machine... almost a year ago. As you'd expect, the ROG Ally has come down in price since then, and is now available at significantly more attractive prices.

An overview of the two MSI Claws compared with the two ASUS ROG Ally © VideoCardz

Recently, however, the Youtube channel Retro Tech Dad was able to get its hands on an inferior version of the MSI Claw, a version that swaps the Core Ultra 155H for a Core Ultra 135H of the same generation, but with fewer CPU cores (from 16 to 14) and fewer GPU cores (from 8 to 7). However, these losses on two levels don't seem to have a major impact on the machine's gaming results. Overall, the two variants of the MSI Claw can be said to be on a par, despite the fact that the smaller model is priced at $50 less. Perhaps MSI would have done better to promote this slightly more affordable variant?