MSI is gearing up to launch its latest gaming handheld, the MSI Claw A1M, with a feature that sets it apart from its competitors, including the popular Steam Deck. The Claw A1M is confirmed to have a variable refresh rate (VRR) display, a crucial feature that is notably absent in the current models of the Steam Deck.
Variable refresh rate technology represents a significant leap in gaming display capabilities. VRR allows a screen’s refresh rate to dynamically match the frame rate of the content being displayed.
This synchronization leads to a vastly improved viewing experience, eliminating common gaming annoyances like screen tearing and stutter. These issues, which disrupt the visual fluidity and can detract from the gaming experience, are especially noticeable in fast-paced or graphically intensive games.
The inclusion of VRR in the MSI Claw A1M, operating between 48 and 120Hz, demonstrates MSI’s commitment to enhancing the gaming experience on handheld devices. While it’s a common practice to lock the display refresh rate to reduce power consumption and extend battery life, the option of VRR offers gamers the flexibility to choose between battery efficiency and a smoother gaming experience.
The Steam Deck, Valve’s popular handheld gaming PC, currently requires connection to an external display to utilize VRR. This limitation has been a point of contention among Steam Deck users, particularly since the introduction of the ROG Ally, another handheld gaming device featuring a native VRR display. The Legion Go, while part of the big three handheld gaming devices, does not include this feature.
The MSI Claw’s launch with a native VRR display is a notable advantage in the handheld gaming market. Although it may not boast an HDR OLED display like some of its competitors, the inclusion of VRR is a compelling selling point. For many gamers, a smoother, more consistent visual experience is a priority over other display features.
Valve, having missed the opportunity to incorporate VRR into the current Steam Deck models, faces increased competition from devices like the MSI Claw and ROG Ally. While each device has its unique strengths, the importance of VRR in enhancing the gaming experience cannot be understated.