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The MSI Claw price creates a headache for the ROG Ally and Legion Go

It's safe to say that the PC gaming handheld market seem to share the same view on pricing, as the MSI Claw A1M joins the $699 club.

MSI Claw price revealed

While we don’t yet have benchmarks for the MSI Claw A1M, on paper, it appears to offer double the power of the Legion Go, ROG Ally, and Steam Deck. Taking this into account, and the fact it’s the first Intel Core Ultra handheld to hit the market, an original price point may have been up for discussion. Instead, the MSI Claw falls into the safety of $699.99, the same as the Go and Ally, but more expensive than the Steam Deck OLED.

Time – and rigorous testing – will tell whether or not the MSI Claw can compete as one of the best handheld gaming PCs, but it’s off to a strong start. Despite not matching the screen quality of the Steam Deck OLED, it can beat it for power, if the specs perform as advertised.

Debuting a brand-new handheld in an already-established market is undoubtedly a tough task. The MSI Claw not only has to justify why existing owners of a handheld might also buy the device, but it also has to pull prospective buyers’ attention away from the established names already on sale. Our MSI Claw preview shows that it does beat some of its competitors, but not all of them.

Launching at $699.99 might be considered safe, but the pre-benchmark hardware specs are mightily impressive, and carrying the Intel Core Ultra mark of quality is a big advantage.

If, and it’s a big if, the MSI Claw can overshadow the ROG Ally and Legion Go from a performance perspective like our preview suggests, launching at the same price will be considered the right move.

It forces Asus and Lenovo to reconsider its stances on price, and either hold firm, asking for the same money as a device twice as powerful, or move the Ally and Go to a cheaper price point, essentially blinking in an intense staring contest with MSI.

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Check out our MSI Claw hands on preview for more details and our thoughts on the new handheld. Stick with us for more of the latest news, previews, and interviews from CES 2024 as we check out the show live in Las Vegas.