Ever since Elgato revealed the Stream Deck, I was incredibly intrigued. Whilst the device isn’t revolutionary from a technical standpoint, there was something about having a visual keyboard with 15 buttons which could easily be programmed that appealed to be.
The device is lot smaller than I expected and it’s extremely minimal in design which I prefer. The buttons are satisfying to use and are perfectly raised against a matte plastic material. There’s really no way to go wrong with this device. Elgato has had some compatibly issues with Mac in the past, but the Streamdeck was an absolute joy to use. I can’t think of a peripheral which I’ve been able to plug in and set up in a faster amount of time.
The default setup will allow you to start using a good variety of shortcuts. Once you add a few important accounts (Twitter, Twitch etc), you’ll be good to go. You’re able to change Scenes in OBS, automatically send out Tweets, mute your Mic or even stop and start recording in Game Capture HD.
By downloading the Stream Deck app, your world will be opened up to a new world of productivity, ease of use and even a little bit of fun. Whilst there’s a number of ways to take advantage of the stream deck, you can also just have a bunch of fun with the device. There’s something cool about lining up a bunch of your favourite images and assigning them to weird functions like Tweeting out an image. For instance, I loaded up 15 different pictures of my sausage dog, just for the sake of it. It was a digital mural which sat on my desk for a solid 6 hours before I decided to go back to being productive.
The Stream Deck app is quite a joy to use. You’re able to add folders, or export/import different layouts for different uses. Everything feels intuitive. Elgato have obviously worked hard to ensure the Stream Deck makes your life easier rather than complicate it.
The thing which excites me most about the Stream Deck is how Elgato plan to treat it in the future. It’s quite limited at the moment in terms of it only really connects well with gaming and streaming apps, but I’d love to see how it could potentially integrate with other programs in the future. For instance, could I one day expect to set Photoshop or Premiere Pro shortcuts to my stream deck, because that would be another absolute game changer.
Overall, the Elgato Stream Deck is $200, which some might find pricey, but I actually find it to be quite reasonable. The streamers/creatives which have a place for this on their desk will know that having these shortcuts at your fingertips are priceless. When you compare this to the expensive Apple Touchpad Apple built into their recent line of MacBook Pros, you’ll realise that $200 for the customisability really isn’t a lot to ask for.