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MSI Claw finally has a release date and it's sooner than you think

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MSI is the most recent company to have thrown its hat into the burgeoning PC handheld gaming market, with the MSI Claw being revealed and receiving plenty of information this year. But now we’ve finally got an official release date for the handheld.

According to a pricing listing from Newegg, the Claw will be released on March 8, 2024 in the US in three variants, with the $749 model coming out that day and the $699 and $799 models launching a week later on March 15. It’ll either be equipped with the Core Ultra 7 155H or the Core Ultra 5 135H processors. Some versions also have 512GB or 1TB storage options.

The MSI Claw is the first of the portable PC handhelds to use the Intel Core Ultra series. The Core Ultra 7 155H features 16 CPU cores and the Intel Arc graphics features 8 Xe-Core. The Core Ultra 5 135H comes with 14 CPU cores and 7 Xe-Cores.

The MSI Claw could be in trouble 

It’s rather bizarre that the release date and preorders for the MSI Claw have been revealed so close to launch. It’s such a waste of precious promotional time during which the preorder period could have been used to better advertise the handheld in the first place.

On top of that, while the specs for the MSI Claw are extremely impressive, that all comes at a steep price which could affect its future sales. Because of what components it’s packing, the cheapest model available is still an incredibly pricey $699, which is higher than the pricing for its competition.

Another issue is that its build is quite similar to both the Steam Deck and Levono Legion Go, which makes it harder to sell any sort of unique quality. Especially since it’s more expensive than other options, which hardly would convince anyone to invest when it’s perceived to be more or less the same system.

This means that the Claw is coming in at a distinct disadvantage in terms of awareness, aesthetics, and cost, which could seriously hurt its long-term success. It would be a shame too, as it’s clearly the most ambitious of the PC gaming handhelds thus far. Hopefully, it can find its footing in the market and prove my doubts wrong, but we can only wait and see.

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