With streaming becoming a big boom for people nowadays, brands are now making it easier for streamers to do their job or their hobby. Meet the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 – a slight update from the original – which sports 15 customizable LCD buttons that can be assigned for nearly any function you can think of for streaming or just general macros to make your life easier.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Review – Unboxing
The Stream Deck MK.2 comes in a blue box with the brand and its name embossed. Inside is a relatively basic package: the Stream Deck itself and its stand, a 90° USB-C to USB-A cable, documentation, and quick start guide.
Design and Looks
The Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is primarily made out of heavy plastic with some weight to it. There is also a large rubber pad at the bottom of its stand to avoid accidental slipping when being pressed. The deck itself is attached via magnets to the stand.
Its main highlight are the 15 LCD keys that can be customized to do nearly any function that you want them to do. They do have a shiny finish but the LCD displays within are bright enough to combat any bright sources of light against them.
One of the upgrades of the mark 2 from the original Stream Deck is the inclusion of a USB-C connection of the back instead of MicroUSB. Routing the cable is easy and it comes out the back of the stand for easier cable management.
The faceplate can also be removed on the second iteration. It can then be replaced by 3rd party plates or 3D print your own to add some flair on your Steam Deck.
Software and Features
The meat of the Stream Deck lies on its software and what you can do with it. You can assign tons of macros on the device as it supports 10 pages of shortcuts with the bottom leftmost and rightmost buttons acting as page switchers.
The Stream Deck app works on all Stream Deck models. Setting up is easy as the software immediately detects what model is connected and shows the proper UI. There are tons of presets available and it is there are several integrations including OBS, Twitch, Voicemod, and Twitter.
Assigning commands is easy as you only need to drag-and-drop the command you want, and customize the parameters like file name for audio, links for websites, and the like.
The deck can play and pause audio or video, send out a tweet if you’re going live, start and stop streams, capture and record games, and create custom hotkeys for your PC among many others. There are also controls for Elgato’s range of key lighting for easier controls while streaming.
Every registered shortcut on the deck comes with their own icons but you can also upload your own icon to any shortcut you want. This adds more personalization on top of the replaceable faceplate.
Aside from the built-in options on the app, you can choose from tons of plugins to install and expand the usage of the deck. You can get integrations for Spotify for music, Audio Switcher, NVIDIA ShadowPlay, and even HWiNFO to monitor your PC’s thermals on the deck itself.
While the Stream Deck has tons of options when it comes to its software, it does not have on-board memory. This means that you need to have the software installed on the PC to get the most of it. You can’t just plug-and-play the device to any PC to start streaming.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Review – Conclusion
While the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 isn’t required for streaming, it’s a much-needed help for a creatively-intensive hobby or job. It can control everything you want on stream and on your PC plus it can even expand its functionality thanks to the plethora of plugins available.
There is room for improvement though. There could have been on-board memory on the device so you can take your programmed macros with you on-the-go or on other PCs. This is especially helpful that only want to use the Stream Deck as a hotkey pad instead of a streaming device. For streamers this is no issue as most of them need that their software already installed on their computer.
Overall, the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is a solid macro pad for both streamers and enthusiasts alike. Everyone will like its expansive options of shortcuts, integrations, and macros. Those who already have the original Stream Deck won’t find anything significantly ground-breaking here but streamers who want to streamline their workflow while streaming will find plenty to like.
Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 Price and Availability
The Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 is priced at PhP 8,395 in the Philippines. It is now available in all Corsair and Elgato authorized retail stores online and nationwide.