The Touch Bar is alive – in a PC

Corsair has equipped a Noteook with a “Macro Bar”. The gaming device should make gambling easier. There is only one Touch Bar on the Mac.

 The Touch Bar lives - in a PC

Actually, Apple has given up its Touch Bar. The OLED-based, touch-sensitive function key bar is only available in a single model – the MacBook Pro 13 with M2 chip and its predecessor. And that’s probably only because the group still had components in stock and didn’t want to change the design of this machine. The PC scene obviously sees things differently: Corsair has installed a very Apple-like “Macro Bar” in its latest Voyager notebook.

Touch Bar “done right”?

Apple’s Touch Bar never really had many fans. This applied not only to the users, but above all to the software manufacturers who had to support the function key bar in their code with useful new features. There are still some well-functioning Touch Bar apps that are immediately accessible – video and audio editing programs that use the bar for scrubbing. However, the majority of Mac apps ignore the Touch Bar or have not updated and/or adjusted functions for years.

The gaming specialist Corsair now believes that the principle has a future on Windows. The Corsair Voyager a1600, which is said to be available “soon”, includes the Macro Bar in the same place as Apple’s Touch Bar, albeit with a little more space between the physical keyboard. In addition, it turns out to be a bit more voluminous. The machine is intended for both gamers and creators, and streamers should also feel comfortable with the device. The Macro Bar, which users can apparently freely configure, is primarily used to store shortcuts.

A bit like an Elgato Stream Deck

Instead of hoping that Windows app developers support the Macro Bar, Corsair uses its good cooperation with the streaming expert Elgato. Its configuration software, which was actually intended for the in-house stream deck, should also work with the macro bar in the Voyager a1600. A total of ten quick-to-reach “S-Keys” can be assigned as shortcut buttons. This allows you to assign special effects, camera selection, muting external microphones and various other functions to your own keys, which certainly makes everyday life easier for a streamer or podcaster.

Function keys like those used by Apple, on the other hand, are replaced by the macro bar not, these continue to exist in physical form in the Voyager a1600. Accordingly, you get the best of both worlds here: A freely configurable touch bar variant that doesn’t annoy you with operating deficits at the same time because you aren’t forced to use it as a function key replacement. Apple could certainly learn a lesson here if the Touch Bar hadn’t been removed from the future roadmap long ago. Pricing for the Voyager a1600 has not yet been announced.

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