We’re big fans of Elgato’s Stream Deck, which lets you control your livestream broadcasts from a dedicated control panel. Truth be told, it makes the most amateur setups feel just that much more professional. While we absolutely find nothing with that 15-button rig, those who find it a little too much for their own needs might find the Elgato Stream Deck Mini a bit more suited to their pace.
A smaller version of the outfit’s programmable dashboard, the device offers the same functionality, albeit in a more streamlined six-button form factor that measures just 3.3 x 2.4 x 2.3 inches and weighs 160g. Yes, that means you get access to just six broadcasting shortcuts, which, for majority of small streamers, is probably all that’s really needed, with the original feeling more like overkill.
Like its bigger counterpart, the Elgato Stream Deck Mini makes it easy to streamline your broadcast, as you can program layout changes, graphic overlays, and other production elements to any of the available buttons. Except, you know, it’s smaller, making it ideal for smaller workspaces, as well as for throwing in a bag for those days you’re producing a livestream on the road. You can also program multiple actions for each key, so a single button press can overlay a graphic, play soundbites, and add onscreen effects. Each key can be programmed to perform an unlimited number of actions, with the option to perform them at set intervals or simultaneously.
Each of the half-dozen buttons has an individual LCD panel that can display any graphic you want. That should make it easy to make the labels informative and instructional, so you only need to perform a quick glance to know which button to push to cut to a new layout, switch to a second webcam, or play sound effects. Set up is easy, too, with the companion app allowing you to simply drag-and-drop both actions and graphics from the built-in library.
For those times you realize you actually need something with more than six keys, the Elgato Stream Deck Mini offers the option to turn keys into folders. As in, when you press a key, it maps a whole new set of actions from that folder into the dashboard. Just make sure one of the keys is a way to exit the folder, so you can easily move through different sets of actions. Out of the box, the dashboard works with OBS Studio, XSplit, Streamlabs, Twitch, YouTube, Twitter, Mixer, and more, ensuring it will work regardless of what broadcasting software or streaming platform you’re using. Do note, it only works with Windows 10 and MacOS 10.11 or later.
For those times you’re not broadcasting, the device can be used as a dashboard for mapping shortcuts on your favorite apps and games. Whether for launching macros on Photoshop, switching to a new weapon in your favorite FPS, or automatically opening a website, this thing can be mapped for a whole load of functions beyond livestreaming.