Elgato Stream Deck Mini review – an improvement with fewer buttons


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Elgato Gaming has added a new, smaller version to its Stream Deck USB control panel called the Stream Deck Mini. While the first Stream Deck sells for $ 150 and comes with 15 buttons, the Mini sells for $ 100 and only has six buttons. But when it comes to how the buttons work, everything is the same. This means that you can program each to perform a specific function in software such as Open Broadcasting Software (OBS Studio), Twitter, etc.

But $ 100 isn’t much cheaper than the original Stream Deck, and six buttons is significantly less than 15. So is the Stream Deck Mini worth it? For most casual streamers looking to simplify their setup, it probably is.

What you will like

It’s easy to use

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Elgato has done a lot of work to improve the experience of pressing a button for an action to occur in an app since the launch of the original Stream Deck. The included free software is simpler with several other built-in options and features. Creating folders is a snap, as is creating profiles that automatically populate the Stream Deck based on the programs you have open.

The UX engineers and designers responsible for the Stream Deck and Mini clearly use them every day and work with people who use them every day. The result is a hardware / software experience that makes it easy to automate a ton of important functions while you play games, stream live, or record.

I particularly like the multimedia features capable of playing mp3s, which I used to turn the Mini into a soundboard for our podcast. But I also used the pre-made options to add mute buttons for my microphone and to switch between scenes.

Setting up the Stream Deck Mini for other tasks that are not included in the software is also simple. I have a profile dedicated to Nvidia Shadowplay, which is not a built-in option. But I just recorded a few hotkeys, added my own button art, and now I have quick access to recording the last five minutes, turning on Shadowplay, and more.

Smart design improvements

But everything that makes the Mini easy to use also applies to the Stream Deck itself, so does the Mini do anything better than its big brother? Absoutely. It has a better overall design as a consumer product.

The first Stream Deck is a relatively flat panel that comes with a boring and flimsy plastic backing. You must use this case if you want the Stream Deck to sit and face you on your desk. I hate this position. It collapses if you move it, and then you have to use both hands to make it stretch again.

The Mini solves it all. It’s a solid triangular shape like a prism that sits at an ideal angle on its own. It doesn’t even come with a stand. It also has a reliable rubber grip on its underside that keeps it in place, even if you squeeze the buttons with great force.

In terms of the physical experience of using the Mini, this is a serious upgrade from the Stream Deck 1.0, and I hope Elgato takes this design forward as they update these products in the future. .

What you won’t like

You will have to be creative with the way you use it

The big problem with the Mini is the lack of buttons. Six Buttons is near the lower end of how many options you can have on a device like this while still taking advantage of it. While the Stream Deck has always left me plenty of empty space to work with, the Mini forces you to include only the buttons you need. If you need more than six, you will need to learn how to use folders.

The profile system can help you to a point, but it’s more difficult to switch profiles in the middle of a livestream than to open a subfolder. But even that is not great. If you’re like me, you’re juggling enough on a show already, and making sure you’re in the right folder is a problem you don’t have to deal with.


Let us be reductive. The Stream Deck costs $ 9.34 per button. The Stream Deck Mini costs $ 16.67 per button. Each of these buttons is exactly the same in terms of capabilities, so go ahead and buy them in bulk, right? Except $ 100 is still cheaper than $ 150, and I think most people can get by with those six buttons and some smart use of the software. So unless you have a lot of ideas on what you want from a Stream Deck, I think the Mini is probably the one for you. This is especially true when you consider the improved design.

Elgato Stream Deck Mini is available now for $ 100. Elgato Gaming provided us with the Mini for the purposes of this review.


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