Corsair, after being a leader in the desktop space for decades, is launching its first gaming laptop. The new Voyager a1600 is a powerful AMD, equipped with both Ryzen 6000 and AMD Radeon RX 6000 processors. The device is Corsair’s first mobile hardware venture since acquiring the 2019 computer enthusiast.
We still don’t know for sure what this device will look like, as the photos provided by Corsair are just renderings and we only got a brief look at AMD Computex’s speech. However, take a look and one feature will probably pop up: there is a touch bar.
This row of keyboard shortcuts isn’t actually called “touch bar,” of course. Corsair described it to me in particular as “ten easy-to-customize S-key shortcuts.” The good thing is that this line of 10 easy-to-customize S-key shortcuts adds extra keys to the keyboard – not really replace the functional order, which is a choice that some … other manufacturers have made with mixed acceptance.
These S-keys are powered by Elgato Stream Deck software, which means you’ll probably use them for a variety of live streaming controls, including scene switching, media startup and volume control. We wouldn’t necessarily expect a laptop to be the device of choice for many streamers, but it’s still an interesting idea that’s unusual in the gaming space – and can work well as a Zoom meeting controller.
You also seem to have access to these touch controls while the laptop is closed. I like that you can see the battery indicator before you open the thing, but I wonder if the buttons can be hit while the laptop is in the backpack or something. We’ll find out more about how these buttons work when we get the device (which should be somewhere in July, says Corsair).
Elsewhere, Voyager will include a full-size Cherry MX low-profile mechanical keyboard with RGB backlight for each key, as well as a 1080p FHD webcam. I see what looks like a physical prison on a webcam in these images, which may be a good sign that Corsair is making some effort in this area (which not all game makers do).
Potential Voyager buyers will be able to choose between the Ryzen 7 6800HS and Ryzen 9 6900HS – both configurations come with a Radeon 6800M GPU. You can get up to 64 GB of RAM (Corsair Vengeance DDR5, of course) and 2TB of storage. The device has a 16-inch 2560 x 1600, 240Hz display and two Thunderbolt 3 USB 4.0 ports, one USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C, one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, one SDXC 7.0 card reader and one audio jack.
Not surprisingly, Corsair is following in the footsteps of Razer, another gaming hardware company that has expanded into the field of laptop enthusiasts after construction and purchase. Corsair has made a number of recent acquisitions, including Elgato, a maker of Scuf Gaming peripherals and Origin, and appears poised to expand to consumers who don’t necessarily want to build their own systems.
The quality and success of this laptop may be our first idea of how well this extension will work. Origin has made decent computers in the past and is particularly notable for being able to customize the systems they sell. It will be interesting to see how configurable the new Corsair is and how well these design choices perform in the enthusiast space.