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Hands-on: Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop lets you swap parts in seconds

The Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop has a gorgeous chassis with easy upgrades

Razer Tomahawk
(Image: © Future)

Our Verdict

The Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop marries a gorgeous, straightforward chassis to a dead-simple component setup.

For

  • Simple component installation
  • Beautiful chassis
  • Compatible with many CPUs and GPUs

Against

  • No word on price yet
  • No front-facing ports

LAS VEGAS -- PC gamers have at least one huge advantage over console gamers: They can update their components whenever they feel like it. The trouble is that replacing parts is often a huge hassle. 

The Razer Tomahawk Gaming Desktop (price TBD) could offer a panacea, marrying a gorgeous, straightforward chassis to a dead-simple component setup. While the Razer Tomahawk will probably not be cheap, it aims to be future-proof and might just save a whole generation of PC gamers from obtuse, confusing configurations.

I got a chance to check out the Razer Tomahawk at CES 2020, and take the device apart for myself. The process took roughly 30 seconds, which is considerably faster than disassembling my own gaming rig back home. The Tomahawk’s appeal is in its simplicity – that, and its incredible aesthetics.

I didn’t get a chance to test a Tomahawk in action, but it’s a promising design from a proven company. Read on to learn a little more about how this sleek PC could simplify your gaming space.

razer tomahawk

(Image credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide)

Razer Tomahawk design

Instead of a tall, vertical tower, the Razer Tomahawk is a horizontal rectangle that should sit comfortably on most desks. The device features an aluminum-and-glass chassis that gives gamers a look at the components inside while still providing plenty of ventilation. It’s an extremely attractive alternative to the bulky plastic towers that tend to dominate the PC gaming world.

The Razer Tomahawk’s major selling point is that you don’t need to mess around with tools, small pieces or even wires to upgrade it. When you’re ready to replace or upgrade a part, all you do is pull out a handle in the back of the machine, slide the whole interior of the PC out, and swap components directly into and out of the rectangular motherboard.

When Razer showed us the Tomahawk, we saw an Intel Core i9 9th-generation CPU as well as an Nvidia RTX 2080 GPU. The hard drive and RAM plugged directly into the CPU housing, and the housing plugged directly into the motherboard. 

As the GPU also plugged directly into the motherboard, there were no wires anywhere. Hooking everything up took less than a minute. If you factor in the time it would take to connect the PC to a monitor, you could conceivably swap out parts and be up and running again five minutes later.

You’ll also have plenty of ways to hook up peripherals, with four USB-A ports, two USB-C ports and a bevy of HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and Ethernet connections.

Razer Tomahawk

(Image credit: Future)

Razer Tomahawk price and availability

Razer doesn’t have a price in mind for the Tomahawk just yet – or at least not a price that it’s willing to share. The device should be out sometime in the first half of 2020, though, so stay tuned for more information about it before too long.

razer tomahawk

(Image credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide)

Razer Tomahawk specs and performance

The Razer Tomahawk will be available as both a pre-built computer and as a customizable chassis. As such, it’s not really possible to give specs just yet. 

As stated above, we saw it with an Intel Core i9 9th-generation processor and an Nvidia RTX 2080 graphics card, but the Tomahawk can support a variety of modern CPUs and GPUs. Razer hasn’t revealed exact configurations just yet, so we’ll have to wait and see what the company wants to sell.

You’ll also be able to buy a Tomahawk chassis and fill it with whatever gear you desire, in which case the specs are totally up to you.

As Razer didn’t have the Tomahawk hooked up during our demo, it’s hard to say how it will perform in-game.

razer tomahawk

(Image credit: Marshall Honorof/Tom's Guide)

Razer Tomahawk outlook

Razer may not seem like a natural contender in the gaming desktop space. It earned its reputation as a peripheral company, and only recently has taken the plunge into more comprehensive hardware, such as laptops and gaming phones.

But all things considered, those laptops and gaming phones have been pretty good. The Razer Tomahawk seems like it’s putting usability first and foremost and taking a slightly different approach to producing a gaming PC. This sideways angle alone could make the device worth a look.

Tom’s Guide will have more information about the Tomahawk as Razer reveals more about the PC. We’ll also log a full review once the product comes out.

Be sure to check out our CES 2020 hub for the latest news and hands-on impressions out of Las Vegas.