MacBook Touch Bar-style keys mark Corsair’s first laptop

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MacBook Touch Bar-style keys mark Corsair's first laptop

Corsair Voyager a1600 open

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Apple ditched capacitive touch strips on the top of its MacBook Pro decks last year, giving Corsair an opportunity to offer a similar input bar. Corsair seems to think it’s found a fitting use for the design, incorporating it into its first laptop it built with a heavy focus on streaming.

Corsair has made its mark 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, for its first foray into Corsair-branded laptops. The move comes about two years after it acquired boutique PC maker Origin.

Corsair's Voyager a1600 laptop will start at $2,700.
Enlarge / Corsair’s Voyager a1600 laptop will start at $2,700.

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In its announcement, Corsair said the 16-inch clamshell is made for “the aspiring content creator, avid gamer, or full-time streamer.” So it’s equipped with a 1080p resolution webcam with a physical shutter, flanked by four ambient noise-cancelling microphones and a colorful “macro bar with LCD display in the center” and a colorful, programmable soft-touch keyboard.

The bar has 10 buttons for programming common features of the Elgato Stream Deck software, which Corsair also has through purchase. One-touch access to things like changing scenes, adjusting volume, or launching media or a gaming macro can be a lifesaver in the stressful world of live video, and the laptop even makes the controls usable, when the clamshell is closed. Elgato Stream Deck’s versatility also means you can use these buttons outside of the streaming world, e.g. B. to control smart lightbulbs, take a screenshot, open an app or control Zoom. Just don’t forget which number key is for which function.

The laptop will weigh 5.29 pounds, Corsair said.
Enlarge / The laptop will weigh 5.29 pounds, Corsair said.

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Hard to miss is the bar’s bright battery indicator. It provides a clear indication of battery status; However, since this is a power-hungry gaming laptop, you’ll probably have it plugged in if you’re doing serious stuff like streaming or gaming.

Corsair’s Voyager a1600 joins the Dell XPS 13 Plus in reviving touchbars on keyboards. a la Apple. Corsair takes a more niche approach, focusing on the new age of live streamers and gamers who are open to flashy, potentially trending tech and may already be using things like the Elgato Stream Deck hardware or macro keyboards. Nor is Corsair forcing the Touch Bar on a beloved product.

The Voyager a1600’s built-in wireless receiver may have broader appeal. It’s like having a Corsair wireless dongle built into the laptop, meaning up to three peripherals can work without a dongle using Corsair’s Slipstream-branded USB-A wireless dongle technology. This requires a greater commitment to the Corsair ecosystem than most, but it’s still a novel concept that I’d love to see expanded – especially if Corsair successfully implements it without annoying lags or dropped connections.

Otherwise, Corsair has the Voyager a1600 like a solid AMD gaming PC with up to 8-core 16-thread AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS CPU up to 4.7 GHz, an AMD Radeon RX 6800M graphics card, 32 GB ( Corsair brand). DDR5 RAM and 2TB PCIe 4.0 SSD storage. Those specs cost $3,000, but the laptop starts at $2,700.

Corsair’s PC also features a snappy 16:10 IPS display with 2560×1600 pixels and a 240Hz refresh rate. Corsair didn’t go into specifics, but did claim that the laptop will use an “advanced compact vapor chamber cooling system that distributes heat evenly.” and achieves lower temperatures with a thinner profile than traditional cooling methods”.

The laptop is slated to hit the market this summer.

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