Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 review: still the default choice for streamers
The first generation Stream Deck launched four years ago and quickly became the go-to option for streamers. LCD keys, highly expandable software, and tight integration with Twitch have made it a fan favorite, and now there’s a new one: the Stream Deck MK.2.
Elgato is not playing with his winning formula here; The Stream Deck MK.2 has the same general design and key layout, and retains the same software functionality as its predecessor. It has a few upgrades in the form of USB-C connectivity and a sleeker chassis, and you can change the look of the console through customizable designs.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2
At the end of the line : The Stream Deck MK.2 is the obvious choice if you’re new to game streaming. It has native OBS and Twitch integration, the keys have LCD lighting and excellent tactile feedback, and the console connects via USB-C. But the main feature is the software; there’s endless customization here, making the Stream Deck MK.2 a powerhouse for streamers.
- High level of customization
- Detachable USB-C cable
- Integrated OBS and Twitch integration
- Same large LCD touch keys
- Configurable facades
- Could use better integration with video editing software
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2: Pricing and availability
The Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is now available worldwide and costs $ 150 in North America, the same as the first generation model. You can buy it from Amazon and Best Buy as well as Elgato’s own website, and a new option with the MK.2 is customizable faceplates that let you change the look of the console. There are seven options available, and you can purchase them for $ 10 each from the Elgato site.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2: What you will like
I have the first gen version of the Stream Deck, and while the MK.2 model doesn’t change too much in terms of keys, there are a lot of subtle tweaks. First of all, the keys have better tactile feedback, which makes them a pleasure to use. The LCD lighting is just as awesome as it used to be, so not much has changed on that front.
The Stream Deck MK.2 connects via USB-C and you can customize the front panel.
But the biggest difference is the fact that the Stream Deck MK.2 now connects via a detachable USB-C cable, allowing it to be much more versatile. Corsair provides a 1 meter angled USB-C cable with the packaging, but you can use any of the best USB-C cables (I’m a Powerline II supporter) if you need a longer option.
The build quality is also better with this generation; the stand is a single unit tilted at 45 degrees and it does not have an adjustable kickstand like its predecessor. The cable is routed through a cutout on the back of the stand, and the integrated design makes the Stream Deck MK.2 sleeker and lighter. You’ll find a non-slip pad at the bottom of the case that ensures it stays planted on your desk.
Another big change concerns configurable facades; you can purchase custom options from Elgato (they cost $ 10 each), and you’ll also find unique icon packs to suit each design.
On the commercial side, the Stream Deck MK.2 has the same set of 15 buttons as its predecessor, arranged in three rows of five. The buttons have LCD illumination and even better tactile feedback than the first generation model.
Elgato’s Stream Deck software is the best on the market; there is limitless potential here.
What sets the Stream Deck MK.2 apart is the software; Elgato has built a ton of customization possibilities into the Stream Deck software, and you’ll find Twitch and OBS integration out of the box, so you can easily set up your game streams and stream them directly to Twitch or use OBS to stream them. ‘other platforms, like YouTube.
You can assign actions in OBS to each key, including launching scenes, launching a live stream, configuring sources, and recording options. The best part is that you can assign multiple actions to a key using the Multi Action option. If you use NVIDIA’s in-game overlays while gaming, you can assign keyboard shortcuts to the Stream Deck to make it easier to record footage and share content.
It is also possible to customize individual key icons and set GIFs if desired. Basically, if you’re looking to get started in streaming or need something that makes it easy to set up and manage your game streams, the Stream Deck MK.2 is the perfect choice.
You can also extend the Stream Deck MK.2’s feature set via plugins: the Voicemod option lets you tweak your voice and set funny effects, there’s a Hue plugin to control your smart lighting, and even a Spotify plugin. While the Stream Deck MK.2 is clearly intended for game streaming, it holds up particularly well to other use cases. You can use it as a text expander or to launch websites or Windows apps, control music playback, and, if you have other Corsair gear, adjust lighting effects and actions in iCUE.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2: What needs work
The Stream Deck MK.2 is a powerhouse when it comes to game streaming, but it doesn’t quite do the same for video editing. I use Photoshop and Premiere Pro quite a bit, and while I can assign keys to launch either utility, that’s about it. I would like to see Elgato add plugins for Adobe services; this would make the Stream Deck a much more versatile option for content creators.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2: Competetion
Elgato is the de facto choice in this category, and if you’re looking to get started in streaming and need a customizable keyset with OBS or Twitch integration, nothing does the job quite as well as the Stream Deck.
If the asking price of $ 150 is too high, there is a smaller version of the Stream Deck, dubbed the Stream Deck Mini, which has six LCD keys and is priced at $ 80. In my use case, I found six keys to be more than enough for keyboard shortcuts and configuring actions for OBS, and it’s a good boot option.
The first-gen Stream Deck has the same 15 buttons but comes with an adjustable kickstand and a non-detachable USB cable, and while it’s also listed at $ 150, you can find it for as low as $ 120 during sales. Amazon. With the MK.2 model now available, the first-gen variant could go down to less than $ 100.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2: Should we buy it?
You should buy it if …
- You want a configurable option for game streaming
- Looking for an OBS or Twitch integration
- You need a detachable design that works over USB-C
- You want tactile keys
You shouldn’t buy it if …
- You are on a budget
- You need tighter integration with Adobe software
If you already own the first generation Stream Deck, it doesn’t make sense to get the Stream Deck MK.2. The buttons are almost identical and the functionality of the software is the same for both generations. The only major change is the design and the USB-C connector, and while I like the changes Elgato made here, they weren’t enough to justify an upgrade when the base feature set hasn’t changed. .
But if you haven’t purchased a Stream Deck yet, there’s a lot to like about the MK.2 version. The touch keys are a pleasure to use, there is endless customization via the Stream Deck software, and it’s useful not only for game streaming but also for regular Windows use. I hadn’t realized how useful the Stream Deck would be in my daily workflow, and while it wasn’t as versatile for editing videos and images as it was for games, it did make a difference. big difference.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2
At the end of the line : The Stream Deck MK.2 makes it easy to get started with streaming. I used it to set up OBS recording and record highlights for in-game overlays from NVIDIA, as well as keyboard shortcuts and keyboard shortcuts in Windows. Stream Deck software has everything you could ask for when it comes to game streaming, and the expandability makes it a fantastic choice for stream and content creators.
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