Danish Kapoor
Danish Kapoor

MSI expands its Claw series: New devices with Lunar Lake support and future plans

MSI is preparing to increase competition in the portable game consoles market. In addition to the MSI Claw model it announced recently, the company also announced two new devices that will be released this fall. It is also stated that a new model may be introduced at CES 2025 next January. These new devices will offer significant performance and battery life improvements using Intel's more efficient Lunar Lake chips.

Besides the 8-inch MSI Claw 8 AI Plus model introduced at Computex, MSI also announced that a 7-inch version will be released at the same time. MSI Claw product management director Clifford Chun revealed in an interview with PCWorld that these new devices will be equipped with Intel's more efficient Lunar Lake chips and will be released this fall.

Lunar Lake chips deliver up to 50% more GPU performance than existing Meteor Lake chips while consuming significantly less power for the same performance. One of the first tests showed that Lunar Lake chips consume 10 watts less power, which could mean a significant increase in battery life. The Claw 8 model will feature a larger battery pack with a capacity of 80 watt-hours, which is a significant improvement compared to the 53-watt-hour battery of the original model.

Every Claw 8 model in the US will come with this 80-watt-hour battery pack. However, according to Chun, this feature will be optional in other regions.

Both new models will come with revised bumpers, more sensitive Hall effect joysticks, two Thunderbolt 4 ports and more easily replaceable SSDs. SSDs will still be the small M.2 2230 type, but with the fan removed from underneath. Additionally, Chun stated that they will ship with better Intel drivers this time. It is not yet clear whether the new 7-inch model will have the same 80Wh battery.

MSI's future plans

MSI announced that it is fully committed to the portable game consoles market and that Claw 2, Claw 3 and Claw 4 models are also planned. Chun stated that MSI will continue to work on new form factors, new ideas, and perhaps new CPUs over the next two years. However, he added that there are no plans yet to switch to AMD, but perhaps AMD chips could be considered in the Claw 3 or Claw 4 models.

It is stated that the dimensions of MSI's future portable gaming devices may be similar or larger. Chun stated that five-inch devices are too small and ten-inch devices are too heavy, and said that a six-inch model may be possible. Chun also said, “Six inches, seven inches – you can't really feel the difference.”

Chun stated that the poor performance of the original Claw model was a surprise for MSI. “We thought the seventh model was perfect at launch,” Chun said, adding that MSI listened to user feedback and wanted to make corrections quickly.

MSI maintains its belief in handheld consoles and continues to constantly improve its devices based on user feedback. While this may be little consolation to owners of the original Claw, it could mean better devices in the future in a competitive market.

Danish Kapoor