Apple ditched the capacitive touch strips on the top of its MacBook Pro decks last year, giving Corsair the option of offering a similar input bar. Corsair seems to think it’s found a suitable use for the design, incorporating it into its first laptop, which it built with a heavy emphasis on streaming.
Corsair has made a name for itself in gaming desktops, but the Corsair Voyager a1600 AMD Advantage Edition announced Monday marks the gaming brand, also known for PC peripherals and DIY components, first foray into computers. Corsair laptops. The move comes about two years after the acquisition of PC maker Origin.
In its announcement, Corsair said the 16-inch clamshell is designed for “the budding content creator, avid gamer, or full-time streamer.” Thus, it is equipped with a 1080p resolution webcam with a physical shutter flanked by four microphones with ambient noise cancellation and a colored “macro bar with central LCD screen” as well as a colored programmable soft-touch keyboard.
The bar has 10 keys for programming often-used features of the Elgato Stream Deck software, which Corsair also owns by acquisition. One-touch access to things like changing scenes, adjusting volume levels, or launching media or a game macro can be a lifesaver in the stressful world of live video, and the laptop even makes the controls usable if the clamshell is closed. The versatility of Elgato Stream Deck also means you can find use for these buttons outside of the streaming world, such as controlling smart bulbs, taking a screenshot, opening an app, or zoom control. Remember which number key corresponds to which function.
Hard to miss is the bar’s glowing battery meter. It provides a clear readout of battery status; although, as this is a power-hungry gaming laptop, you’ll probably have it plugged in when you’re doing something serious like streaming or gaming.
Corsair’s Voyager a1600 joins the Dell XPS 13 Plus in reviving Touch Bars on keyboards, to the Apple. Corsair is taking a more niche approach, focusing on the new era of live streamers and gamers open to flashy, potentially trendy tech, and who may already be using things like Elgato Stream Deck hardware or macro keyboards. . Nor is Corsair forcing the Touch Bar on a beloved product.
Perhaps there’s wider appeal in the Voyager a1600’s built-in wireless receiver. It’s like having a Corsair wireless dongle built into the laptop, which means up to three peripherals using Corsair’s Slipstream-branded wireless USB-A dongle technology to work without a dongle. This requires a greater commitment to the Corsair ecosystem than most, but it’s still a new concept that I’d like to see expanded, especially if Corsair runs it successfully without annoying lags or dropped connections.
Otherwise, Corsair built the Voyager a1600 as a solid AMD gaming PC with an 8-core, 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor running up to 4.7GHz, AMD Radeon RX 6800M graphics, 32GB of (brand Corsair) DDR5 RAM and 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. Those specs will cost $3,000, but the laptop will start at $2,700.
Corsair’s PC also features a speedy 16:10 IPS display with 2560×1600 pixels and a 240Hz refresh rate. advanced compact vapor chamber cooling that distributes heat evenly, reaching lower temperatures with a thinner profile than traditional cooling methods.”
The laptop is expected to debut this summer.