Streamers, players, and senior editors at hardware-enthusiast tech pubs alike can all use an additional macro key — or eight. Streamers, particularly, have a variety of tech units and packages that must work collectively for his or her stream to return collectively — so it’s not all that stunning that streaming-oriented customized macropads from manufacturers comparable to Elgato and Loupedeck are so in style.
To not be outdone by the upcoming Loupedeck Dwell S, Elgato has dropped the most recent iteration of its customizable streaming macropad — and this one has dials.
Till now, Stream Decks have been all about buttons — the unique Stream Deck and its replace, the Stream Deck MK.2, each have 15 buttons; the diminutive Stream Deck Mini has six buttons; and the behemoth Stream Deck XL has 32 buttons. Elgato’s latest Stream Deck+ nonetheless has buttons — eight tactile LCD keys — however it deviates from its predecessors by including not one however two new enter varieties: an LCD contact strip and 4 clickable, multifunction dials.
The Stream Deck+ is out there now for $200, and options native help for streaming companies comparable to OBS, Twitch, and Streamlabs, in addition to non-compulsory plugins for quite a lot of different apps and companies.
Design of the Stream Deck+
The Stream Deck+ is housed in a sturdy, stable black plastic chassis with the Stream Deck emblem printed in white throughout the highest. Not like earlier Stream Decks, such because the Stream Deck MK.2 and the Stream Deck XL, which have rectangular face plates, the Stream Deck+ has a square-shaped face plate that measures 5.4 inches (138mm) huge by 5.25 inches (133.4mm) tall.
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The Stream Deck+ has a built-in stand, which locations it at a 45-degree angle — the machine will want roughly 4.3 inches (110mm) of peak clearance in your desk. The stand measures 5.5 inches (140mm) deep and options Elgato’s emblem embossed throughout the highest, with rubberized, non-slip materials masking the underside. The Stream Deck+ is heftier than different Stream Decks — thanks, partly, to its built-in stand — and weighs 1 pound (465g).
The Stream Deck+ has eight programmable LCD keys, organized in two rows of 4, alongside the highest;these are the identical clear plastic tactile buttons seen on different Stream Deck fashions. What’s new on the Stream Deck+ are its LCD contact panel and 4 clickable multifunction dials, that are situated under the LCD keys.
The LCD contact panel is 4.2 inches (108mm) huge and 0.5 inches (14mm) tall, and acts as each a show for/extension of the corresponding dials under it, in addition to a method to navigate (through swiping) by Stream Deck pages. The dials appear and feel nice — they’re made from black machined aluminum and are tactile (notched) and textured.
The Stream Deck+ has a USB-C port on its again and connects to your PC (Elgato warns that this must be a direct connection — not by a USB hub) through USB 2.0. The Stream Deck+ comes totally assembled, with a braided 5-foot USB-C to USB-A cable within the field.
|Buttons (Tactile)||8 LCD|
|Buttons (Contact)||1 LCD contact panel (4.2 x 0.5 inches / 108 x 14mm)|
|Dials||4 360° tactile with push perform|
|Software program||Elgato Stream Deck|
|Cable||USB-C to USB-A (5ft, removable, braided)|
|Dimensions (W x D x H)||5.4 x 5.5 x 4.3 inches / 138 x 140 x 110mm|
|Weight||1lb / 465g|
|System Necessities||Home windows 10 (64-bit) / macOS 10.15 or newer|
Buttons on the Stream Deck+
The Stream Deck+ has eight tactile buttons, every of which measures 0.75 inches (19mm) sq., laid over one LCD display (not eight separate screens). The buttons are made from clear plastic and have a shiny end, and provide quiet tactile suggestions in addition to (programmable) visible suggestions.
Buttons could be programmed to do quite a lot of issues — open a program, carry out a single motion, carry out a sequence of actions, toggle or alter varied settings, show info for all the pieces out of your system stats to the climate, and many others. You possibly can program buttons utilizing fundamental actions included within the Stream Deck software program (e.g. hotkey, open, multimedia, and many others); for extra performance it’s also possible to obtain Elgato- and creator-made plugins within the Stream Deck retailer.
The Stream Deck+’s eight buttons would possibly seem to be a downgrade from the 15-button Stream Deck MK.2 or the 32-button Stream Deck XL, however there are a number of methods so as to add extra buttons (just about). You possibly can have a number of Stream Deck pages (as much as 10), which you’ll be able to navigate by by swiping proper and left on the contact strip. You can too program buttons as “folders,” which could be pressed to open up a subset of buttons. In keeping with Elgato, you possibly can create limitless subfolders inside folders — urgent and holding the return key will take you again to the highest stage.
Elgato’s Stream Deck software program additionally allows you to create a number of profiles for the Stream Deck+, every with its personal 10-page set of buttons and dials. You possibly can change profiles manually — although you’ll must program a key for profile switching. You can too assign profiles to open with particular packages, permitting you to have customized Stream Deck setups for apps comparable to OBS, Photoshop, and even completely different video games.
Contact Strip and Dials on the Stream Deck+
The Stream Deck+ has an LCD contact strip and 4 clickable multifunction dials, which principally work in tandem. The LCD contact strip acts as a show for the dials, and likewise mirrors a number of the dials’ performance for when the dials are arrange in a “dial stack.”
The dials are programmable, however they’re not fairly as versatile because the buttons — although this will change if Elgato opens up the dial facet of its Stream Deck software program to third-party plugins. Dials could be programmed with hotkeys, and can be programmed to regulate the Stream Deck+’s brightness stage, multimedia settings (quantity, and many others.), and webcam settings by the Digital camera Hub — if you happen to’re utilizing an Elgato webcam such because the Facecam Professional.
Dials can be programmed with a “dial stack,” which simply allows you to stack a number of dial options onto one dial — and cycle by them by clicking the dial. Since you lose the clicking performance of dial options in a dial stack, that performance is mirrored within the contact strap — you possibly can faucet the part of the contact strip above the corresponding dial to activate the clicking perform. (That is the case no matter whether or not the dial has a dial stack — in the meanwhile, the contact strip’s performance can’t be programmed individually from the dials.)
Software program of the Stream Deck+
The Stream Deck+ requires Elgato’s Stream Deck software program to perform. The software program has two principal components — the programming display, which is the place you possibly can program buttons and dials and arrange and assign profiles; and the shop, which is the place you possibly can obtain and set up plugins, icons, music, and sound results from Elgato and third-party creators.
Programming the Stream Deck+’s buttons and dials is essentially carried out by drag-and-drop, although it’s also possible to right-click buttons to create folders or multi motion stacks, and right-click dials to create dial stacks. Buttons could be programmed with visible suggestions — completely different icons and/or titles to point on/off/toggle standing. Dials additionally function visible suggestions, however it’s not customizable (but).
The LCD contact strip’s background can be personalized, utilizing both a preset background from Elgato’s background library or your personal picture.
The Backside Line
We’ve been ready for Elgato so as to add extra than simply buttons to its Stream Deck lineup — and the Stream Deck+ provides a contact strip and dials. Should you’re already a part of Elgato’s streaming ecosystem, there’s no query that the Stream Deck+ will make a wonderful addition to your setup — it really works completely with Elgato’s webcams, microphones, and lights.
The Stream Deck+ is designed to work effectively with most streaming setups. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re on the lookout for a macropad that may double in a artistic setting, it’s possible you’ll wish to first examine the Stream Deck plugin retailer to see what’s supported. The Stream Deck+ notably doesn’t function native help for Photoshop (although you are able to do some programming to get it there), whereas Loupedeck does.