Corsair’s first-ever gaming laptop has a touch bar

Corsair, after decades of leadership in desktops, releases its first-ever gaming laptop. The new Voyager a1600 is an AMD powerhouse, equipped with both Ryzen 6000 series processors and AMD Radeon RX 6000 series. The device is Corsair’s first venture into mobile hardware after its acquisition of enthusiast PC builder Origin in 2019.

We don’t know for sure what this device will look like yet, as the photos Corsair provided us are just renders, and we only got a brief glimpse during AMD’s Computex keynote. Still, take a look and one feature you will probably notice: there is a touch bar.

A look inside a real Corsair Voyager.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

This row of keyboard shortcuts above the keyboard deck isn’t exactly called a “touch bar,” of course. Corsair specifically described it to me as “ten easily accessible S-key customizable shortcuts.” The good thing is that this row of 10 easily accessible customizable S-key shortcuts adds extra keys to the keyboard — it actually doesn’t. to replace the function row, a choice some…other manufacturers have made with mixed reception.

These S keys are powered by Elgato Stream Deck software, meaning you’d probably use them for a variety of live streaming controls, including switching scenes, launching media, and adjusting audio. 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, too.

It also turns out that you can access these touch controls while the laptop is closed. I like that you can see the battery indicator before opening the thing, but I wonder if buttons might be bumped while the laptop is in a backpack or something. We’ll know more about how these buttons work when we get our hands on the device (which should be sometime in July, Corsair says).

Elsewhere, the Voyager will feature a full mechanical Cherry MX low-profile keyboard with per-key RGB backlighting, as well as a 1080p FHD webcam. I see what looks like a physical webcam shutter in these renders, which could be a good sign that Corsair is making some effort in this area (which not all game manufacturers do).

Potential Voyager buyers can choose between a Ryzen 7 6800HS and a Ryzen 9 6900HS – both configurations come with a Radeon 6800M GPU. You can get up to 64GB of RAM (Corsair Vengeance DDR5) and 2TB of storage, of course. 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 connection.

It’s not surprising to see Corsair following in the footsteps of Razer, another gaming hardware company that grew into the avid laptop sphere after a building and buying frenzy. Corsair has made a number of recent acquisitions, including peripheral manufacturer Scuf Gaming and Origin, Elgato, and it seems poised to expand its reach to users who don’t necessarily want to build their own systems.

The quality and success of this laptop could be our first clue as to how well that expansion will fare. Origin has made decent PCs in the past and is particularly notable for the customizability of the systems they sell. It will be interesting to see how configurable the new Corsair machine is and how well these design choices transfer into the enthusiast space.