One of the last products to come out from Elgato before the gaming side of the company was purchased by Corsair was the Stream Deck Mini. We had the pleasure of reviewing the official Stream Deck last year and were mighty impressed, but we don't want to tread over territory that we've already covered. So for this review, we'll be going over what you need to know and how this unit differs from the other, and whether or not this will make a good fit for your streaming needs.
First off, let's start with the basics. This unit operates exactly like the regular Stream Deck. You use the same interface and software as the previous unit, same system for setting up key functions and what they do, same programming for multiple profiles. Whatever you liked or wanted to do with the regular unit you can make happen with the Stream Deck Mini. The primary difference is that instead of 15 buttons, you only have six to work with. So you'll be doing a lot of hot-key switching between profiles so that you can have six keyed up to whatever you need. The bonus to this is you won't need to do any Alt-Tab switching to get there. I will also say that the LCD keys feel like they're brighter than the previous model.
Another big difference is the positioning. You're only going to be working with one angle when the deck faces you. The previous model had various options you could set up to make it move how you needed it to, so you could basically adjust for however your wrist was placed on the desk. Not this time around as you're basically looking at one options and nothing else.
As far as the function goes, it still is an awesome piece of tech. I commented that the previous model was like having a mini television station switcher in the palm of your hand, and this is absolutely no different. The Stream Deck Mini works with everything under the sun from OBS and Final Cut, to Facebook and Twitter, to YouTube, Mixer, and Twitch. Whatever you're streaming on, however you're getting the word out, whatever you intend to broadcast or edit on, this works like a charm without any hiccups in the system.
So aside from size and functionality, what else is different? The price! This unit will only run you $100. So basically you're looking at a functional switcher unit for a cheaper price with fewer keys. It makes for the perfect setup for people just getting into streaming who need something to organize and make their ability to do so easier, and that's who we recommend the Stream Deck Mini to. If you're more experienced, you should look into the bigger model, but we recognize a lot of people need to do it on a budget, so this is for those people as well.