Tyler Lizenby/CNET

Gaming desktops are usually either big and heavy full-size beasts, or else miniaturized boxes that lack the power to impress. And whether you buy a complete system or an empty chassis to fill with components, they're often on the fugly side. Razer makes eye-catching laptops, so I wasn't surprised when I saw a sharp-looking little box called the Razer Tomahawk at Razer's Las Vegas demo suite here at CES 2020. But I was surprised that it was a full gaming desktop. Based on the size and shape, I'd assumed at first glance that this was an eGPU box, an external box just big enough for a graphics card and power supply, to hook up to an underpowered laptop or desktop.

But no, this was a full gaming desktop with an Intel Core i9 CPU and Nvidia RTX 2080 desktop graphics card. When I pulled the internal tray out from the back of the system via a handle (again, much like an eGPU box), the tray offered just enough room for a desktop GPU, a power supply and a compact Intel-specific unit containing a Core i9 (or Core i7) CPU, and the system's RAM (up to 64GB) and SSD storage. 

Tyler Lizenby/CNET

That Intel piece, part of that company's Next Unit of Computing platform, is called the NUC 9 Extreme Compute Element, and so far it's the only brain the Tomahawk is compatible with. But you'll still be able to get the system in two different forms. 

It'll also be available as a fully built PC called the Razer Tomahawk gaming desktop. As a standalone chassis to build yourself, it'll be called the Tomahawk N1. Both should be available sometime in the first half of 2020. No prices yet, but a premium chassis can cost hundreds just on its own, so it's probably not on the inexpensive side. 

And if your tastes run more toward Razer's excellent gaming laptops, the 15-inch and 17-inch models are getting a new display option for a 300Hz-refresh-rate LCD screen. 

Originally published earlier this week.