MSI seems to have its own handheld gaming PC in the pipeline, with an official unveiling slated for CES 2024. Other than a few slick product shots it’s still wholly shrouded in mystery, though. And, as such, we have more questions than answers: will it sport an Intel Meteor Lake CPU or, perhaps, an AMD Hawk Point one (an updated Z1 Extreme, if you will)? What about its RAM — how fast will it be? Battery size? Will it sport an IPS display or, perhaps, an OLED one? What about its display, will it be a 90Hz panel or, perhaps a 120—144Hz one? Will it have Thunderbolt support or, perhaps, OcuLink?
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All of these things and nuances matter immensely. Based on what MSI opted to use and/or integrate, we might see a carbon copy of the ASUS ROG Ally or, perhaps, something a bit more unique. We’re obviously leaning more towards the latter (or hoping for it, rather), but we’re not all that optimistic.
Will This MSI Handheld Gaming PC Stand Out?
It’s still way too early to tell, but it’s probably not going to be all that original or unique. It does seem to have a rather slick chassis, but it may end up being a bit too edgy, depending on one’s preference. Its the internals that matter most, along with the quality of its display. MSI is by no means the first to come out with such a device which means that it has to conjure up something unique in order to gain traction. The handheld PC market has gotten a lot more competitive over the last year or so and, needless to say, these things are mighty expensive. They’re a luxury purchase, and Valve’s own Steam Deck is still, one could argue, the best option for most people.
For MSI’s handheld PC to stand out, it’ll need to tick many different boxes and also bring something truly unique to the table — to lure people in and make waves.
If it ends up being “more of the same” then it’s not going to sell in troves (or even close to it). In any case, we’re happy to see yet another “big player” join the fray. It’ll not only give potential buyers a wider gamut of options to choose from but also raise the bar and force other competing OEMs to both innovate faster and keep their prices down.