MSI claws its way back into the top tier of gaming handhelds with its Intel Lunar Lake-powered console

MSI Claw ergonomic grips.

MSI Claw has ergonomic grips and offset buttons to make it more comfortable to play with. 

(Image credit: Rebecca Spear / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • MSI just announced the MSI Claw 8 AI+, a handheld gaming console powered by Intel's new Lunar Lake processors.
  • The MSI Claw 8 AI+ has an 8-inch screen, a USB-C port that supports Thunderbolt 4, and an 80Wh battery.
  • MSI also announced a special edition of the original MSI Claw that features designs from the Fallout franchise.

MSI unveiled a new handheld gaming console at Computex 2024. The MSI Claw 8 AI+ is the first handheld console powered by Intel's Lunar Lake processors, which are the second wave of Intel Core Ultra chips. Lunar Lake chips promise up to 48 TOPS (Tera Operations per Second) of performance and have an Xe2 GPU. Those new chips combined with other improvements seen in the MSI Claw 8 AI+ come together to make a device that could compete with the best gaming handhelds.

There's a lot that we do not know about the MSI Claw 8 AI+. Pricing details about the console are unknown at this time. We didn't even know what the device looked like until Digital Trends managed to get a few shots at Computex. We still don't know the exact processor that will power the gaming handheld apart from the fact that it will be an Intel Lunar Lake chip. But what we do know about the MSI Claw 8 AI+ looks promising.

The original MSI Claw had a lot going for it, including Hall Effect Joysticks, VRR and XeSS support, and comfortable ergonomics. But it drew criticism for its poor battery life and software. MSI's handheld got second place when compared to the ASUS ROG Ally. With the ROG Ally X on the way and the handheld console space growing by the month, MSI needed to step up its game. The company appears to have addressed the biggest concerns of the MSI Claw when creating the second generation of the device.

The MSI Claw 8 AI+ runs on an Intel Lunar Lake chip and has up to 32GB of LPDDR5x RAM and 1TB of SSD storage. The console also features an 8-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, which is a full inch larger than the original MSI Claw's screen. 

The screen isn't the only thing that got bigger between generations. The MSI Claw 8 AI+ has an 80Wh battery, which is much larger than the 53Wh battery in its predecessor. That battery and the new Intel Lunar Lake processor should go a long way in addressing one of the biggest complaints about the original MSI Claw. The Xe2 GPU seen in Lunar Lake chips is more efficient than Intel's Meteor Lake processors.

The announcement of the MSI Claw 8 AI+ comes only a few months after initial reviews of the original MSI Claw. It seems MSI is eager to shake off any issues from the original with its quick refresh.

MSI Claw Fallout Edition

The MSI Claw x Fallout features designs inspired by the iconic series. (Image credit: MSI)

MSI announced a second version of the MSI Claw at Computex, but it doesn't run on an Intel Lunar Lake processor. Instead, it's a custom version of the original MSI Claw that features Fallout branding. The MSI Claw x Fallout is a limited edition handheld console with designs based on Fallout's vaults, Pip-Boys, and robots.

It's a bit strange to see the original MSI Claw get the Fallout treatment rather than see MSI use that branding partnership to push the MSI Claw 8 AI+. But perhaps we'll see a price drop on the older MSI Claw once its successor ships, making the original MSI Claw and potentially its Fallout edition more attractive.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at