Elgato Stream Deck Mini review: a Twitch streamer’s new best friend


Elgato aims to make professional streaming a little easier with the Elgato Stream Deck Mini. This customizable controller allows any streamer, whether thousands of strong subscribers or newbies, to create high-quality, transparent streams. And all at a price a little more suited to fresh-faced Twitchers.

This isn’t the first time that Elgato has moved away from the game of capture devices and into streaming utilities: the full-size Stream Deck has been around for about a year now. This device offers 15 programmable and customizable macro keys directly connected to the streaming platform of your choice for live control of flow controls, audio tracks, scene changes, chat controls, commercials … everything. you want to configure it.

And the Stream Deck Mini is essentially the same thing as its big brother. You still get almost all of the perks of the unit, except Elgato reduced the original design to just six concise buttons, removed the adjustable stand, and cut the price by $ 50 (£ 50).

There’s more to the Stream Deck Mini than just a few extra macro switches for your keyboard. Each switch is a fully customizable LCD screen, and you can put whatever you want on it. So far I’ve gone for six buttons featuring my own pixelated face and six gifs of a dancing parrot, but I’m sure a seasoned Twitch streamer can take more advantage of custom backgrounds. Or maybe they’ll also want six photos of their own faces? I will not judge.

Elgato Stream Deck Specifications

Dimensions 118x84x21mm 80x60x58mm
Weight 190g 160g
Keys 15 customizable LCD keys
Connectivity 1x USB 2.0 cable
Price $ 140 / £ 135 $ 100 / £ 90

However, easily customizable buttons aren’t just great for vanity. Their vibrant, bright and eye-catching design also prevents annoying accidental button presses during a stream, which could be quite unprofessional, impractical or even seriously embarrassing depending on your content.

And setting up each switch couldn’t be much simpler. Once you’ve plugged in the single USB cable and downloaded the Elgato Stream Deck app, you’re pretty much ready to use a selection of default shortcuts for the most popular streaming apps out there. This includes: Twitch, YouTube, OBS Studio, Streamlabs, Streamlabs OBS, XSplit, Elgato Game Capture, Mixer… all hits.

The app uses a simple drag and drop interface – from a list of useful functions to six buttons. Once there, you can configure the finer details of each switch and what it does – whether it’s which OBS scene you want to switch to, how long an ad plays, how long it takes playing audio track or composing a chat message by default.

The Stream Deck app is a powerful tool, which makes even the Stream Deck Mini almost as good as its big brother, despite the lack of physical buttons. The profile and folder functionality of the app allows you to group shortcuts and similar features into profiles, folders, or any combination of the two. So while you might not have access to all the shortcuts you need at the surface level, there are nearly endless amounts of functionality hidden just below the surface.

And this flow gadget also looks very solid. It’s satisfying to use; constructed from a sturdy plastic; and thanks to the rubberized underside of the unit, it stays planted on a desk and doesn’t move around much during use. There’s no angle control like the full-size version, but that’s easily forgiven with this small, form-factor model.

At $ 100 (£ 90), the Stream Deck Mini holds more than the full-size model at $ 140 (£ 135). While the Stream Deck seemed a bit more of an accessory for the already established and recognized streamer, the Stream Deck Mini is a much more accessible tool for anyone looking to take their casual streaming to the next level.

The Stream Deck Mini is by no means a necessity to build a streaming fan base that will break records or earn you a stable salary – any old keyboard can be a pretty powerful tool in the right hands. But, once you’ve used the Stream Deck Mini for a short time, you’ll wonder how you ever got along without it.

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