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MSI Claw preview: a bold step for MSI and Intel in an increasingly crowded field
12:55 am | January 10, 2024

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Gaming Computers | Tags: | Comments: Off

MSI Claw: One-minute review

The MSI Claw is the latest PC gaming handheld to hit the scene since the release of the Steam Deck a couple of years ago, but it's core distinction — being the first Intel-powered device in this category — makes it both exciting as well as somewhat perilous for both MSI and Intel. 

Given the strong showing that AMD has had with its AMD Z1 and Z1 Extreme chips powering the Asus ROG Ally, Lenovo Legion Go, and likely many others to come, Intel can't afford to miss out on this fast growing market. 

Meanwhile, MSI is taking a chance on the new Intel Core Ultra processor line that is powering many of the best laptops announced at CES 2024, and as yet, these chips are just getting into the hands of reviewers so it's too soon to tell if the integrated Arc graphics in the MSI Claw will have the same level of performance as the RDNA 3 graphics in the AMD Z1, especially since the MSI Claw and more recent AMD-powered handhelds feature full 1080p displays with high refresh rates.

If there was one thing I've consistently heard here at CES from both MSI and other laptop manufacturers betting their laptop lines on the new chips is that the Intel Arc graphics in the Core Ultra processors is absolutely up to the task and in my limited amount of time messing around with the MSI Claw, I can see why they'd be so confident.

The number of titles I was able to test out on the Claw was limited, but they played brilliantly all the same, and with several major advantages for Intel's iGPU over AMD's competing Z1 series, the MSI Claw might not just be an important beachhead for Intel in a very critical PC gaming market, it can also serve as powerful showcase for what its chips are capable of doing.

MSI Claw: Price & availability

An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

There's no firm pricing or release date yet for the MSI Claw, but I've been told by MSI that it should launch between the middle of February and the middle of March, and it will be available in a few configurations, which will dictate its sale price. 

The base configuration, with an Intel Core Ultra 5 135H processor and 512GB SSD, is expected to sell for $699 (about £560, AU$980), while the Core Ultra 7 165H processor with 1TB SSD storage configuration is expected to top out at $799, with the Core Ultra 5, 1TB SSD option costing somewhere in between.

Currently, there will only be a 16GB LPDDR5 memory option regardless of configuration, but I expect that depending on the success of the initial production run of the device, the spec configuration range might grow to include more memory as well, but MSI has no official plans for a 32GB memory option at this time.

MSI Claw: Specs

An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

MSI Claw: Design

An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

On the design side of things, the MSI Claw will be very familiar to anyone who has used one of the new PC gaming handhelds, but there are some design choices that are pretty solidly MSI.

With a very strong gaming laptop pedigree, MSI's Claw is very much in line with many of its best gaming laptops in terms of aesthetic and agressive gamer styling, but there are some functional differences between the Claw and its competitors as well that aren't purely for looks.

The cooling system on the MSI Claw is larger than on the ROG Ally, making for a somewhat thicker device, and the more open venting on the back of the Claw ensures that enough air is being pulled through to keep the Core Ultra processor cool.

Image 1 of 4

An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)
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An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

There are also two buttons on the back of the device that are for programming your own macros into the device as well, something missing on its competitors, and the choice of FHD resolution and 120Hz refresh makes for a slightly less crisp looking picture than the QHD display on the Legion Go, but with such a small-sized screen, 1080p is way more than you probably even need and looks fantastic in practice.

Weight-and-size-wise, the MSI Claw is heavier than the Steam Deck, but it's not inordinantly bulky or unwieldy, at least not any more than its competitors. The buttons along the front could be explained a bit better, since the buttons around the screen that control things like opening the MSI Center M interface or opening the settings screen are important, but it doesn't help of you if you can't remember of immediately tell which button does what.

I will say that the MSI Claw did run somewhat hot under load, but it is hardly alone on that front, and it does an admirable job of helping bleed heat from the device at least.

MSI Claw: Performance

An MSI Claw at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

Given the limited amount of time I had with the MSI Claw, the last thing I'd have been able to do is put the device through any kind of formal battery of benchmarks, and the number of games I had access to were limited to a select few like Sonic Superstars and Assassin's Creed: Mirage, both of which played fantastic with little to no issues.

I spent most of my time playing Sonic as it terns out since I wanted to focus on a game where the speed of the onscreen elements would really show off the 120Hz refresh rate, and it was definitely the right choice. While not necessarily the most taxing title, the Sonic and friends (and enemies, and frenemies) all looked so crisp I kept thinking that the display was a higher resolutions than it was (it was 1080p), or that the display was OLED (it's not). Meanwhile, flying through a level with rings, structures, characters, and much more flew past Tails as I sped towards the end of the course and I couldn't produce any screen blur, ghosting, or screen tearing.

The Intel Arc integrated GPU features 8 Xe cores, which is the same as the Intel Arc A380, though the power draw of the iGPU in the Core Ultra 7 165H is naturally a much lower wattage (I was told it drew about 30-35W). This still manages to deliver some solid graphics performance, however, and the improvements that Intel has made for its Arc graphics driver over the past year has considerably improved my confidence in Arc GPUs. Older games will still likely run into problems though, especially anything from the DX9 era or earlier, so if you're hoping to do a lot of retro gaming on the go with this handheld, well, that is the risk with relying on an Arc GPU going forward. Anything DirectX11 or higher will play much better, however, and this likely includes most of the games that everybody is playing anyway.

The audio was also fairly robust for a handheld, so if you're planning on playing without a headset, you'll be absolutely fine. I only had about 20 minutes of total playing time with an MSI Claw, so I am very happy to report that the 53WHr battery did not noticeably diminish much in that time. How long it will actually last will need to wait until I do a formal review in a few weeks time, but MSI and Intel say that the battery should get you about a two hours of play time with full performance.

MSI Claw: Early verdict

An MSI Claw on display at CES 2024

(Image credit: Future / John Loeffler)

While a full evaluation of the MSI Claw will have to wait for more rigorous benchmarking and extended play time, everything I saw was very promising, especially for a chip that's relatively new to the scene. Intel Arc has very strong hardware fundamentals, especially the hardware AI cores that power XeSS super sampling to boost frame rates and visual quality. It should be much easier hitting much higher frame rates on the MSI Claw than on the Asus ROG Ally (for those games that support it) as a result.

The price is a tad too high for my liking, but it's definitely in line with the market, and the MSI Claw is unmistakably an MSI device in terms of aesthetics. The MSI Center M also seems to have learned from the foibles of the ROG Ally and Legion Go's UI and kept things much simpler.

With nothing but my eyes and my gut to go on, I dare say that MSI and Intel have pulled off a hell of a device that is really going to distinguish itself from an increasingly crowded field of devices. Ultimately, February or March will tell the tale of whether Intel's new Core Ultra processors are up to the task of powering the next generation of PC gaming handhelds, or whether AMD can keep its current leadership position in the market.

MSI Prestige 13 Evo review: MSI goes for the premium ultrabook crown
1:37 pm | September 22, 2023

Author: admin | Category: Computers Computing Gadgets Laptops | Tags: , , | Comments: Off

MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Two-minute review

Make no mistake: the MSI Prestige 13 Evo is a premium laptop. This almost feels like the blueprint for the best ultrabooks, a supremely lightweight but still powerful laptop with a whole host of features and a sleek, minimalist aesthetic.

Coming in either white or gunmetal gray colorways, the Prestige 13 Evo is equipped with almost everything you could want from an ultrabook; a wide variety of physical ports, a large, responsive trackpad, and a selection of useful security features.

Weighing in at just 0.99kg (2.18lbs), this laptop sits in the same weight class as the popular LG Gram, and it's even lighter than the eminently portable M2 MacBook Air. With a 13.3-inch display and a thickness of just 1.7cm, it's phenomenally easy to pick the Prestige 13 Evo up and take it wherever you go - in fact, the AC adapter is also very lightweight, but you won't need to bring that everywhere since this ultrabook also offers some impressive battery life.

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo ultrabook pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

My immediate comparison point for any compact ultrabook like this is the Dell XPS 13, which has long sat among the best laptops out there. MSI's laptop is actually a bit closer in price to the XPS 13 Plus, which I recently reviewed - and I think it just about edges out Dell's competitor thanks to slightly better average performance and a more practical physical design.

The 13th-gen Intel Core CPU at the heart of this laptop more than pulls its weight, giving you the option of some light gaming and creative work alongside the usual productivity tasks we test for on ultrabooks. I was impressed by the smooth, responsive user experience and generally strong performance in our benchmarking suite - more on that later.

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo ultrabook pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

While the stripped-down appearance might not appeal to everyone (the XPS 13 Plus certainly has this one beat purely in terms of aesthetics), it's function over form here; and I personally like the straightforward design choices made by MSI.

If I had to level some criticisms at the MSI Prestige 13 Evo, they'd probably focus on the pricing. At $1,499 (£1,399.99, about AU$2,350) with apparently only one configuration available (though the baseline specs vary a bit between regions), it's undeniably expensive, matching the XPS 13 Plus model I reviewed. At this price point, the Prestige's relatively run-of-the-mill FHD+ display pales a bit in comparison to the 3.5K OLED screen of the Plus - and I mean pales in a literal sense, since it simply can't match the OLED's brightness and rich color density.

Other than the somewhat lackluster display, though, I have very little to dislike here; MSI has knocked it out of the park with this one, and I almost wish I could keep the Prestige 13 Evo forever - my own daily laptop is starting to look a little tired...

MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Price & availability

  • How much does it cost? $1,499.99 / £1,399.99 / about AU$2,350
  • When is it available? Available now
  • Where can you get it? Available in the US and UK, no official Australian release yet

MSI's pricing can be somewhat arcane at the best of times, but I've done my best to work this one out for you. There appears to be only one standard model of the MSI Prestige 13 Evo available in western territories, but it's not quite identical across every region.

It looks like my review unit is a UK-only model, but the only significant difference here is that it uses 16GB of DDR5 memory instead of the 32GB found by default in the US-spec version. I've only listed the review model's specs below, but bear in mind that you'll be getting some extra RAM if you buy this laptop in the States.

Since MSI doesn't maintain its own storefronts in the US and UK, you'll need to purchase the Prestige 13 Evo from a reseller like Amazon - for any British readers, you should absolutely check out this deal at, which puts the laptop down to just £779.99, a frankly ridiculous deal. Over in the US, the 32GB version is mildly discounted to $1,299.99 at Amazon at the time of writing.

There doesn't appear to be any immediate availability in Australia, so my commiserations go out to our friends down under - your only option will be to import one.

  • Price score: 4 / 5

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo ultrabook pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Specs

As I noted above, our review unit appears to be UK-only; you can't buy the 32GB version here, and I couldn't find the 16GB model for sale anywhere in the US. I've listed the UK spec below, but other than the RAM, it's identical to the US model in every way.

The Intel Core i7-1360P processor has become a staple of many premium ultrabooks recently, and you get plenty of high-speed storage thanks to the 1TB M.2 SSD. Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 ensure you're getting the best in wireless connectivity too. Barring the middling display, this is a solid selection of specs.

  • Specs score: 4.5 / 5

MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Design

  • Minimalist exterior
  • Lots of ports and security features
  • Display really should be a bit better

As far as ultrabooks go, the MSI Prestige 13 Evo isn't particularly exciting - but that's not to say it's bad. The design is straightforward, with a robust screen hinge that gently angles the keyboard towards you when opened and a large touchpad at the bottom.

The exterior construction is plastic (to further serve the goal of reducing the overall weight) but thankfully it doesn't feel cheap, with sturdy rubber feet and minimal flex in the casing when you press firmly on the keyboards.

Speaking of the keyboard - it's a little cramped for my liking, with the bottom-right keys in particularly feeling a tad squished together, but I'm conscious that I have pretty large hands (I'm 6'3", if you were wondering) and most users probably won't have any trouble typing on the Prestige 13 Evo. My partner - who has regular-sized hands - tried it out, and reported no problems with the keyboard. The keys themselves have a good amount of travel and the touchpad feels firm and responsive.

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo ultrabook pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

I mentioned higher up that the display here is sub-par. For the avoidance of doubt, I don't mean it's a poor-quality display exactly, because the maximum brightness and color reproduction are more or less what I'd expect from an IPS panel at this resolution. The anti-glare coating works fine in well-lit environments and I definitely do like the 16:10 aspect ratio, which gives you more screen space for scrolling and the esoteric 1200p resolution.

My beef is more with the fact that if I spend this much on a laptop, I'd expect a slightly better display. Plenty of ultrabooks at this price point offer either higher-resolution screens or superior panel types like OLED or AMOLED; with its bog-standard 60Hz refresh rate and middling contrast, this one failed to impress me even if it was fine in practice for everyday work.

At least the screen bezels are pleasingly thin - with just enough room along the top for a 1080p webcam, something that I did lampoon the Dell XPS 13 Plus for lacking in that review. At this price point, 720p just doesn't cut it. The microphone array and dual speakers are also good, if not mind-blowing.

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo ultrabook pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Mediocre screen aside, the Prestige 13 Evo excels in virtually every other area when it comes to design. MSI has pleasingly declined to worship at the altar of the MacBook and instead opted for a wide range of physical ports: no USB hub required here, as we've got two Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports, one conventional USB-A, HDMI video out, a microSD card reader (an increasingly rare inclusion on ultrabooks) and of course the humble 3.5mm audio jack.

The only thing missing here is an Ethernet port, but that shouldn't be necessary thanks to best-in-class WiFi 6E and the latest Bluetooth 5.3 for wireless connectivity. Wired internet is mostly reserved for gaming laptops these days, anyway.

Lastly, the Prestige 13 Evo rounds out its feature set with a selection of excellent privacy and security add-ons. We've got a fingerprint scanner built into the power button, an IR camera for facial recognition logins via Windows Hello, and dedicated buttons for shutting off your webcam and microphone - backed up by a physical shutter you can slide over the webcam itself for maximum digital privacy.

These features will best serve professional users who use their laptops to handle potentially sensitive data, but shouldn't be overlooked by less security-focused users; the speedy convenience of Windows Hello is always good.

  • Design score: 4.5 / 5

MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Performance

  • Intel Core i7-1360P is strong
  • Slightly outperforms some rivals with similar specs
  • Light gaming definitely an option here
MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Laptop benchmarks

Here's how the MSI Prestige 13 Evo performed in our suite of benchmark tests:

3DMark Night Raid: 18,320; Fire Strike: 5,419; Time Spy: 1,772
GeekBench 6: 2,458 (single-core); 9,643 (multi-core)
25GB File Copy:
Handbrake 1.6: 10m 41s
CrossMark: Overall: 1,665; Productivity: 1,617; Creativity: 1,746; Responsiveness: 1,577
Sid Meier's Civilization VI: Gathering Storm (1080p, High): 37.9fps; (1080p, Low): 54.2fps
Web Surfing (Battery Informant): 12 hrs 3 mins

I was thoroughly impressed with the performance of the MSI Prestige 13 Evo - even though I've seen the same Intel Core i7-1360P CPU powering other laptops I've reviewed.

Here, the processor seems to be operating at its maximum potential: I saw strong performance across the board in both synthetic benchmarks and practical tests, with the processor even managing to offer some entry-level gaming capabilities in Civilization VI and Valorant - both relatively undemanding titles in terms of hardware requirements, but still great games.

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo ultrabook pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

General use is speedy and lag-free; I could open a dozen tabs in Google Chrome with Steam and Spotify running in the background and didn't experience any slowdown whatsoever.

In synthetic benchmarks like GeekBench 6, the i7-1360P demonstrated excellent single-core performance and solid multi-core results, putting it head and shoulders above its 12th-generation Intel counterparts. The SSD is also relatively speedy at about 1.65GB/s - not the fastest laptop drive I've ever seen, but quick enough to make moving files around a breeze.

It's probably worth noting that the 32GB version available in the US might benefit from its larger memory in certain RAM-intensive workloads, so if you're aiming to do stuff like code compiling, that might be a good pick over ultrabooks with the standard 8GB or 16GB of memory.

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo ultrabook pictured on a wooden desk.

(Image credit: Future)

Naturally, the lack of a dedicated graphics card means you won't be doing any high-end gaming or 4K video editing tasks on this laptop, but that's fine - it's a small sacrifice to make for the incredibly thin-and-light design.

Thermal performance is also excellent here; the Prestive 13 Evo has a large perforated section on the underside for venting excess heat, and the interior thermal solution clearly works well - it barely even got warm throughout our testing process.

  • Performance score: 5 / 5

MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Battery

  • Solid battery life, not quite best-in-class
  • More than 10 hours of regular use
  • Compact charger

Battery life is a make-or-break area for many ultrabooks, but thankfully the Prestige 13 Evo delivers. You can get more than 10 hours of everyday use on a single charge, and using features like Windows 11's built-in battery saver mode can let you stretch that time even further.

The battery does drain a little faster if you're doing anything more demanding - for example, playing videos at maximum brightness with the speakers turned up - but overall I was very pleased with the longevity of this ultrabook. It doesn't quite match up to Apple's MacBooks, but it's at least in the same ballpark as the M1 MacBook Air.

The bundled AC adapter is relatively compact too, connecting via USB-C. Strangely, the Prestige 13 Evo also has a proprietary power connector, which was compatible with a different MSI laptop charger I had lying around. With the EU aiming to make USB-C the standard for charging our devices, that sort of port will soon be a distant memory.

  • Battery score: 4 / 5

The MSI Prestige 13 Evo pictured on a wooden desk with AC adapter.

(Image credit: Future)

Should you buy the MSI Prestige 13 Evo?

Buy it if...

You want solid Windows performance
Barring the powerful M-series silicon found in Apple's MacBook Air, this is some of the best performance you can get from a compact ultrabook - good job putting Intel's 1360P to work, MSI.

You don't want to use a USB hub
If laptop makers could stop removing everything except USB-C ports from their devices, I'd be very grateful. The port selection on offer here is strong, with HDMI output for connecting a second display being particularly welcome.

Don't buy it if...

You want a great display
While it's far from a complete disaster, at this price point I was really hoping to see a better screen than this. The maximum brightness is good but colors look a little bit washed out compared to other laptops I've seen in the same price range.

MSI Prestige 13 Evo: Also consider

If the MSI Prestige 13 Evo has you considering other options, here are two more laptops to consider...

How I tested the MSI Prestige 13 Evo

  • Replaced my everyday laptop
  • Tested productivity work, web browsing, gaming
  • Used for a full day on battery power

As usual, I swapped out my normal HP Spectre x360 for the MSI Prestige 13 Evo as my everyday work laptop, doing all my typical tasks on it - word processing, video meetings, and web browsing - for several days. I only ever charged it overnight, and didn't run into any battery-related difficulties whatsoever.

I also used it casually, taking it out into the backyard on a nice evening to watch some Netflix with my partner and on a different occasion using it to play some Into The Breach, a game I will probably always be quietly addicted to.

We pride ourselves on our independence and our rigorous review-testing process, offering long-term attention to the products we review and making sure our reviews are updated and maintained - regardless of when a device was released, if you can still buy it, it's on our radar.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed September 2023

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Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , | Comments: None

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Author: admin | Category: Cameras | Tags: , , , | Comments: None

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