Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Review

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Looking to make your streaming experience even smoother? Well, the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 can do just that for you. In its most basic form, it can act as 15 extra keys for your keyboard, but you can do so much more with streaming software like Streamlabs OBS and OBS Studio.

The Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 has an elegant design, is easily configurable and is supported by its own software and virtual store. It’s a bit pricey, at $150, and I wish the text would fit the LCD keys better.

Overall, the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is an awesome device for streamers and even non-streamers to simplify their audio and video setup. (If you’re looking for a great streaming laptop, check out our best gaming laptops page).

Price and configuration options of Elgato Stream Deck MK.2

The Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 will set you back $150 and provide you with a 15-button interface. However, there are a few different options if that particular Stream Deck isn’t your thing.

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

If you want to keep it as affordable as possible, there’s a Stream Deck Mobile option, where you can try the Stream Deck interface on your mobile device for free for 30 days. I will point out, however, that the app currently has a 2.3-star rating and will cost you $3 per month to use after that.

The most affordable physical option is the Stream Deck Mini, which costs $80 and offers a 6-button solution. It seems inexpensive. It’s not even half of the Stream Deck MK.2. Considering that the 15-button Stream Deck MK.2 costs $150, the Stream Deck Mini should have 8 buttons for $80.

There’s the original Stream Deck, which is also $150 for a 15-button solution. And finally, for professional streamers, there’s the Stream Deck XL, which provides 32 buttons for $250. You might think $250 is a lot, but considering how many buds per dollar you get, the Stream Deck XL is the most cost-effective option.

That doesn’t mean they’re cheap solutions, though. Each is expensive for what it is.

Design Elgato Stream Deck MK.2

This streaming powerhouse measures 4.6 x 3.3 x 1.0 inches and weighs 9.5 ounces (5.1 ounces without stand). The Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 itself features a matte black rectangular chassis. At the top you’ll find the Stream Deck and Elgato logos, and below are the 15 customizable LCD keys.

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

The LCD screens are well-lit and recessed into the chassis less than an inch or so deep. The keys are shiny, so you might get dazzled, but it won’t be bothersome until you shine a flashlight directly on them. The quality of the icons depends on the software you’re using, but overall the ones I’ve seen from Streamlabs OBS, OBS, and Elgato look good. However, I don’t like that there isn’t enough room to label icons beyond 9 or 10 characters. And the text curves around a bulbous part of the key, which distorts it when viewed from the angle provided.

On the back of the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 you will find the USB Type-C port which you will connect to your PC. The included desk stand has a small hole for the wire to slide through. The desktop stand is shaped like a triangle, allowing the Stream Deck to be displayed at an angle of 45 degrees (approximately).

In the box, you will not only find the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 and the desktop stand, but also the USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable and the quick start guide.

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Software

Elgato’s Stream Deck software is surprisingly clean and easy to use. Let’s go over the basics, then the more customizable features.

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Review

(Image credit: future)

First, you start with your default basic profile of 15 keys, which you can use to assign different functions from included applications such as Elgato Game Capture, OBS Studio, Soundboard, Stream Deck, Streamlabs OBS, System , Twitter, Elgato Control Center, Voicemod and Twitch Studio.

As for the Elgato-based ruleset, you can edit scenes, record, capture, stream, and add live commentary with Elgato Game Capture right from your Stream Deck. With the Stream Deck itself, you can create folders, switch profiles, create multi-action button and switches, activate random action, activate timer, adjust brightness and sleep. With your system settings, you can assign a button to launch a website, hotkey switch, hotkey, open an app, display text, or assign a media key.

There’s a lot of customization in the app, and thanks to the clean interface, it’s simple to understand what’s going on and how to make everything work seamlessly. And in addition to the apps already included, you can add plug-ins, icons, music and sound effects from the Stream Deck Store.

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 streaming performance

I recently started streaming with the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 on Ticand it has been a boon for my setup.

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

With the click of a button, I can change the brightness of my Elgato Ring Light, toggle a scene in Streamlabs OBS that will let me put my webcam on full screen, and play intermission video when I need to get away a moment.

Sure, you can do all of these things through your PC, but not seamlessly. In any field of entertainment, execution is everything. If you want to attract people, they won’t take advantage of a low-quality setup. I’m not saying you need the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 to succeed, but it certainly comes in handy and makes for a much more accessible streaming environment. The last thing I want to do is fiddle around on my PC to change the footage on my stream.

Practical Performance Elgato Stream Deck MK.2

Well, if you’re not a streamer, what good is the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 for you?

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 review

(Image credit: Rami Tabari)

Well, nothing you can’t do with a few extra clicks, but if you want the beauty of transparency, you could take advantage of the Stream Deck. I can mute and unmute my microphone more easily, bring up my dice camera when playing Dungeons & Dragons, and turn my Ring Light on or off. Playing D&D online is very important to me, so I want to look as good as possible to others so they can feel that I am there and present.

This is just my specific use case, but you might have yours for using Stream Deck, especially if you’re doing something video related. You can also assign any key to any of the buttons, which means you can also use it as an extra set of buttons for games.

At the end of the line

If you’re a professional streamer or someone who constantly messes with video and audio equipment, the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is worth it. Yes, it’s expensive, but it offers so many great features and makes setting up a stream so much easier.

If $150 is out of your price range, consider getting the Stream Deck Mini for $80. I don’t think it’s worth the price, but it’s cheaper. If you’re looking for bang for your buck, pick up the Stream Deck XL for $250, which offers a 32-key setup.

All in all, the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is a wonderful product if you can overcome the high price tag.

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