This laptop with a programmable Touch Bar is what the MacBook Pro should have been

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

Is Corsair’s Voyager A1600 one of the most underrated laptops right now? Possibly. This high-end gaming laptop features an AMD Ryzen 7 6800HS processor, 32GB of RAM, a 1TB SSD, and an AMD Radeon RX 6800M graphics card. And while this is a very respectable build for gamers and content creators, where the Voyager A1600 really shines is the integration with the Elgato Power Covera feature that makes the device equally attractive to office and creative professionals.

Above the Voyager A1600’s keyboard are 10 hotkeys that function as an integrated Stream Deck. (Think fully programmable shortcuts at your fingertips.) With the Stream Deck app, you can set up nearly endless profiles for everything from streaming and video production to photo editing and even Zoom call controls. You can even open the Stream Deck overlay while in full-screen programs like games to launch apps or check hardware performance.

Also: 5 Ways Stream Deck Can Optimize Your Workflow

Stream Deck buttons can perform simultaneous functions such as activating the microphone, turning on the camera, and sending a tweet as soon as it goes live on Twitch for seamless audience introductions and alerts. You can also use each button to nest folders within profiles so you can set up soundboards, automate social media posts, or RGB mood lighting that’s ready when you are.

Close up of the display of the Corsair Voyager a1600.  Displays the Stream Deck overlay and the iCUE desktop application.

This is what the Stream Deck overlay looks like on the laptop.

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The Stream Deck section of the laptop also has a small display located between the buttons that allows you to quickly view battery life, CPU and GPU performance, current time or GIFs, and custom logos to display branding or personal style. Having GPU and CPU performance ready to see at the push of a button goes a long way in catching and resolving issues before they can cause major issues with work or gaming sessions.

A composite image of the Corsair Voyager a1600 HUD.  Shows CPU, GPU, time, and battery level.

The LED display can show your CPU/GPU load, battery level, and more.

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The rest of the Voyager A1600 is designed with comfort and ease of use in mind. It has a built-in Corsair Slipstream chip so you can use a wireless mouse and headset without a USB dongle, which is perfect because the laptop only has one USB 3.0 port and three USB-C inputs. Not a major complaint, especially if you’ll be using the laptop for typical office work during the day. But when it’s time to play, some users may need to invest in a USB hub to connect all their wired peripherals, or in wireless peripherals to take advantage of the built-in Slipstream chip.

Plus: MacBook Air alternative weighs less and does more

The Voyager A1600’s keyboard and trackpad will take some getting used to, especially if you typically use smaller laptops. The touchpad measures just over 7 inches diagonally, which is much larger than what you’d see on a more casual or office laptop. However, double-tapping the top-right corner turns off that half of the trackpad, and tapping the top-left corner turns off the entire trackpad. This gives you much more freedom about as you control your laptop while you play or work. And the ability to disable the touchpad means you’re less likely to accidentally delete your work or launch programs with your forearms as you type.

Close up of the touchpad and keyboard of the Corsair Voyager a1600

There are two indicators in each of the top corners to let you know when you want to disable the touchpad.

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

And speaking of which: the keyboard on this laptop is one of the most comfortable I’ve come across. While it doesn’t feature a 10-key section, it still feels like a full-size desktop keyboard with plenty of room for comfortable, sustained typing as well as game controls. The keyboard also features mechanical switches for better reliability while remaining quiet enough not to disturb anyone you share a work or gaming space with. And of course, with the iCUE app, you can customize the RGB lighting for both the keyboard and Stream Deck buttons, as well as the HUD display and Slipstream chip settings.

Also: The 5 Best Ergonomic Keyboards You Can Buy

And now we come to the part that everyone wants to know: is it a game? And the answer is: games beautifully. I’m still rocking a gtx1060 in my custom built tower, and while it can still handle most titles, the Radeon RX 6800M The Voyager A1600’s graphics card completely outperforms it. I picked up children of the forest to play with friends, and the laptop handled early access gameplay just fine, meaning I spent a lot more time hoarding rocks and sticks and less time dropping rubber bands in the water and getting eaten by sharks while running from the Four-Woman with legs and their very hungry friends.

I also played my favorite express from Hot Mess the long journey, which also handled itself smoothly, rendering landscapes procedurally with minimal stutter and frame rate drops. And to take advantage of the 16-inch UHD screen, I looked up games like persona 4 golden, sayonara wild hearts, Katamari Damacy: Rerolland Neofeud to get the best visual performance of each title’s dynamic style.

Close up of the display of the Corsair Voyager a1600.  It shows a scene from the game, Sayonara Wild Hearts

Game: Sayonara Wild Hearts

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

Close up of the display of the Corsair Voyager a1600.  It shows a scene from the game Persona 4 Golden

Taylor Clemons/ZDNET

Whether you’re looking to invest in a high-end gaming laptop or want a machine that can handle the transition between work and play, you should keep in mind that the Voyager A1600 isn’t cheap. The basic configuration starts at around $1,600 through either Amazon either Best Buyand it can cost up to $4500 with the most powerful versions.

However, considering that the Voyager A1600 is a laptop that can function as a dual work/play machine and features Stream Deck integration to give you full control over your workflow and gaming experience, it’s worth it. worth its high asking price. Especially considering that the top-tier components and UHD screen ensure the laptop will give you at least five years, if not more, of solid use before you need to start thinking about upgrading.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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