Why you can trust ZDNET
:ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission.Our process
'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?
ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.
When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.
ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.
Is Corsair's Voyager A1600 AMD Advantage Edition one of the most underrated laptops out 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 Stream Deck, a feature that makes the device just as appealing to office and creative professionals.
Above the keyboard on the Voyager A1600 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 almost infinite profiles for everything from streaming and video production to photo editing and even Zoom call controls. You can even bring up the Stream Deck overlay while you're in full-screen programs like games to launch apps or check hardware performance.
The Stream Deck buttons can perform simultaneous functions like unmuting your mic, turning on your camera, and sending a tweet as soon as you go live on Twitch for seamless intros and audience alerts. You can also use each button to nest folders within profiles, so you can set up soundboards, automate social media posts, or RGB ambient lighting that's ready to go when you are.
The Stream Deck section of the laptop also has a tiny screen nestled between the buttons which lets you quickly see battery life, CPU and GPU performance, the current time, or custom GIFs and logos to show off branding or personal style. Having the GPU and CPU performance ready to view with the push of a button helps immensely with catching and resolving issues before they can cause major problems with work or gaming sessions.
The rest of the Voyager A1600 AMD Advantage Edition is built with comfort and ease of use in mind. It has a Corsair Slipstream chip built-in so you can use wireless mice and headsets without a USB dongle, which is perfect because the laptop only has one USB 3.0 port and three USB-C inputs. It's not a major complaint, especially if you're going to use the laptop for typical office work during the day. But when it comes time to play games, some users may need to invest in a USB hub to connect all of their wired peripherals or in wireless peripherals themselves to take advantage of the built-in Slipstream chip.
The keyboard and touchpad of the Voyager A1600 will take some getting used to, especially if you typically use smaller laptops. The touchpad measures a little over 7 inches diagonally, which is much bigger than what you'd see on a more casual or office-use laptop. However, double-tapping the upper-right corner switches off that half of the touchpad, and tapping the upper-left corner disables the entire touchpad. This gives you much more freedom over how you control your laptop while gaming or working. And the ability to disable the touchpad means you're less likely to accidentally delete your work or launch programs with your forearms while typing.
And speaking of which: the keyboard on this laptop is one of the most comfortable I've ever encountered. While it doesn't feature a 10-key section, it still feels like a full-sized 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 still remaining quiet enough that you won't annoy anyone you share a work or gaming space with. And of course, with the iCUE app, you can customize RGB lighting for both the keyboard and Stream Deck buttons, as well as the HUD screen and Slipstream chip settings.
And now we get to the part that everyone wants to know: does it game? And the answer is: it games beautifully. I'm still rocking a GTX 1060 in my custom-built tower, and while it can still handle most titles, the Radeon RX 6800M graphics card in the Voyager A1600 absolutely blows it out of the water. I picked up Sons of the Forest to play with friends, and the laptop handled the very early-access game with zero issues, which means I spent way more time hoarding rocks and sticks and less time rubber-banding into the water and getting eaten by sharks while running from the Four-Legged Woman and Her Very Hungry Friends.
Whether you're looking to invest in a high-end gaming laptop, or you want a machine that can handle transitioning between work and play, you should note that the Voyager A1600 is not cheap. The base configuration starts at around $1,600 through either AmazonBest Buy, or directly through Origin PC and it can cost as much as $4,500 with the more powerful builds.
However, considering that the Voyager A1600 is a laptop that can serve as a dual work/gaming machine and features Stream Deck integration to give you total control over your workflow as well as your gaming experience, it is well worth its high asking price. Especially considering that the top-tier components and UHD display ensure that the laptop will give you at least five years, if not more, of solid use before you need to start thinking about upgrading.