Corsair’s first gaming laptop has a touch bar

Corsair, after being a leader in the desktop field for decades, has launched its first-ever gaming laptop. The new Voyager a1600 is an AMD power core, equipped with both Ryzen 6000 series processors and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series. The device is Corsair’s first venture into the mobile field after acquiring enthusiast Origin PC builder in 2019.

We don’t know for sure what this device will look like just yet since the images Corsair gave us are only photos, and we only got a peek during AMD’s Computex keynote. However, take a look and one feature will probably jump out at you: There is a touch bar.

A closer look at the actual Voyager pirate.
Snapshots from Sean Hollister/The Verge

Of course, this row of shortcut buttons above the keyboard deck isn’t called the Touch Bar. Corsair Lee, specifically, described it as “ten accessible and customizable S-key shortcut buttons.” The good thing is that this row of 10 customizable, easy-to-access S-key shortcut buttons adds extra keys to the keyboard – it actually doesn’t Replace Job description, a choice some other manufacturers have made with a mixed reception.

These S-keys are powered by Elgato Stream Deck software, which means you’ll likely use them for many of your live broadcast’s controls, including scene switching, media playback, and volume tuning. We wouldn’t necessarily expect a laptop to be the device of choice for many streaming devices, but it’s still an interesting and unusual idea in the gaming space – and it could also work well as a Zoom meeting controller.

Also, it appears that you can access the touch controls while the laptop is closed. I’d love to see the battery indicator before opening the thing, but I’m wondering about buttons potentially bumping while the laptop is in a backpack or something. We’ll learn more about how these buttons work when we get our hands on the device (which should be sometime in July, Corsair says).

Elsewhere, Voyager will include a full-size Cherry MX compact mechanical keyboard with per-key RGB backlighting as well as a 1080p FHD webcam. I see what looks like an actual webcam shutter in these renderings, which might be a good sign that Corsair is putting some effort into this area (which not all gaming manufacturers do).

Prospective Voyager buyers will be able to choose between the Ryzen 7 6800HS and the Ryzen 9 6900HS – both configurations that come with a Radeon 6800M GPU. You get up to 64GB of RAM (Corsair Vengeance DDR5, of course) and 2TB of storage. The device has a 16-inch screen with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and 240 Hz, two Thunderbolt 3 USB 4.0 ports, a USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C port, a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A port, an SDXC 7.0 card reader, and one audio jack.

It’s no surprise to see a hacker following in the footsteps of Razer, another gaming hardware company that expanded into the laptop enthusiast after a build-and-buy spree. Corsair has made a number of recent acquisitions, including Elgato, the maker of Scuf Gaming peripherals as well as Origin, and it seems ready to extend its reach to users who don’t necessarily want to build their own systems.

The quality and success of this laptop may be our first clue as to how successful this expansion has been. Origin has made decent computers in the past and they are especially good at customizing the systems they sell. It will be interesting to see how configurable the new Corsair machine is and how good these design options are in the enthusiast space.

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