Razer is all about streaming and content material creation today (who isn’t?), and it appears to be focusing on Elgato instantly with its newest streaming deck. Actually, once I first noticed the brand new Razer Stream Controller X, I assumed Razer had ditched its partnership with Loupedeck and turned to Elgato (however then I noticed that wouldn’t actually make sense, as Elgato is owned by semi-rival gaming firm Corsair). However doesn’t the brand new Stream Controller X look an terrible lot just like the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2?
That is Razer’s second collaboration with Finnish streaming deck maker Loupedeck — and whereas the primary Razer Stream Controller (launched July 2022) was little greater than a reskin of one in every of Loupedeck’s current consoles, the brand new Stream Controller X appears like a brand-new product. (Properly, brand-new-ish, because it appears loads like Elgato’s MK.2.) The Stream Controller X is a small, chunky deck with 15 tactile LCD buttons. It’s powered by Loupedeck’s software program and it comes with a removable magnetic stand and a swappable magnetic faceplate, and is accessible now for $149.99.
Design of the Stream Controller X
The Stream Controller X appears a lot just like the Elgato Stream Deck MK.2, from the 15 tactile LCD buttons to the swappable magnetic faceplate. It’s not a precise duplicate, nonetheless — the Stream Controller X is barely smaller, measuring 4.37 inches (111 mm) huge by 3.17 inches (80.7 mm) deep. It’s 1.18 inches (30 mm) tall at its highest level with out the stand and three.1 inches (78.9 mm) tall with the stand. For comparability, the MK.2 measures 4.6 inches (118 mm) huge by 3.3 inches (84 mm) deep, and is 1 inch (25 mm) tall with out the stand (3 inches / 76 mm with the stand).
The Stream Controller X has a listed weight of 0.39 kilos (177 g), however I’m undecided the place this quantity got here from, as my evaluate unit weighed 0.32 kilos (147 g) with out the stand or cable, 0.02 kilos (200 g) with the cable however with out the stand, 0.7 kilos (317 g) with the stand however with out the cable, and 0.81 kilos (369 g) with the cable and the stand. The MK.2, for comparability, weighs 0.32 kilos (145 g) with out its cable or stand, and weighs 0.6 kilos (270 g) with its stand (however with out its cable).
Picture 1 of 6
The Stream Controller X is housed in a sturdy, matte black plastic chassis with raised rubber ft and an oblong cutout on its again to accommodate the system’s USB-C cable. Its faceplate, which is magnetic and will be simply swapped out, options the Razer wordmark printed at center-bottom, and has shiny accents surrounding the system’s 15 clear, plastic tactile LCD buttons.
Picture 1 of 7
The Stream Controller X will be laid horizontally in your desk (it’s barely angled), or you’ll be able to place it within the included v-shaped magnetic stand, which locations the system at a 50-degree angle. The stand has a cutout for the system’s USB-C cable — which works, however most likely might have been higher carried out, because it does appear to place some stress on the cable. The stand itself may be very sturdy — a lot sturdier than the flimsy piece of plastic included with the latest Loupedeck Reside S — and the decksnaps into place very simply.
The stand is fairly hefty, so I don’t assume you must fear about it sliding throughout your desk if you press a button. Apparently Razer/Loupedeck had this concern, nonetheless, so the underside of the stand is lined with anti-slip microsuction tape.
Within the field, the Stream Controller X comes with the detachable magnetic stand and a 6.5-foot (2 m) coated USB-C to USB-A cable, in addition to an instruction booklet (and, after all, a Razer emblem sticker).
|Cable||2m USB-C to USB-A|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||4.37 x 3.17 x 1.18 inches / 111 x 80.7 x 20 mm|
|Weight||0.39 kilos / 177 grams|
|System Necessities||Home windows 10 64-bit / macOS 10.14 (or later)|
|MSRP / Worth at Time of Evaluate||$149.99 / $149.99|
|Launch Date||April 13, 2023|
Buttons on the Stream Controller X
The Stream Controller X has 15 “switchblade” buttons — that’s proper, Razer has lastly discovered the right way to upcycle the remnants of its bold switchblade idea. (Truly, I’m fairly certain the corporate referred to as the buttons on the primary Stream Controller switchblade buttons as effectively, however these are a lot nearer to the unique switchblade design.)
Picture 1 of 3
The buttons are organized in a three-row, five-column grid (identical to the MK.2’s buttons), and every button measures 0.63 inches (16 mm) sq.. They’re tactile, not like the buttons on the primary Stream Controller, that are touch-sensitive with haptic suggestions. I’m a giant fan of tactile buttons on streaming decks, and these supply good suggestions (they really feel fairly just like Elgato’s tactile LCD buttons on the Elgato Stream Deck+, although they’re barely smaller).
Picture 1 of 3
The Stream Controller X’s tactile buttons lack the mixed touchscreen performance of the primary Stream Controller. The touch-sensitive buttons on the primary Stream Controller have been basically one massive touchscreen, and you would navigate by means of the Stream Controller’s pages utilizing swipe gestures over mentioned touchscreen.
On the Stream Controller X, the decrease left and proper nook buttons are devoted to navigation (decrease proper solely on the primary web page; decrease left solely on the final web page). These devoted navigation buttons can’t be reprogrammed, although their icons will be modified. So that you don’t actually get 15 programmable buttons on the Stream Controller X — you get 13 or 14, relying on the web page. Loupedeck’s software program helps as much as 14 pages — minus the navigation, that’s nonetheless 184 programmable buttons, which might be sufficient for many streamers. Nevertheless, it’s a little annoying that you may’t do away with and even relocate these navigation keys.
Software program of the Stream Controller X
The Stream Controller X requires Loupedeck’s software program to run. (It additionally exhibits up as a module in Razer Synapse 3, however all that module does is kick you over to Loupedeck.)
Picture 1 of 3
Streaming decks are all about customization, however don’t fear: the Stream Controller X isn’t a completely clean slate out of the field. It comes pre-loaded with a handful of presets, together with 4 pre-made screens (that includes icons in Razer’s signature inexperienced) arrange for streaming, social media, Twitch chat, and sound results. You’ll nonetheless need to spend a while customizing the Stream Controller X to suit your particular wants, ultimately, after all, however the pre-loaded content material means you can begin utilizing the system instantly.
Loupedeck is all about its dynamic profiles and workspaces, that are collections of instruments (buttons) tied to particular purposes or video games. In “dynamic mode,” Loupedeck’s software program mechanically switches to app-specific profiles if you’re utilizing that app — so the console is basically no matter you want it to be at any given second. Loupedeck options native profile/plugin help for a number of apps, with pre-made profiles for streaming apps (akin to OBS, Twitch, and Streamlabs) and inventive apps (akin to Ableton Reside, Ultimate Reduce Professional, VMix, and Adobe’s artistic suite).
That is all only a jumping-off level, after all — you’ll be able to tweak these pre-made profiles in Loupedeck’s software program, or you’ll be able to create your individual profiles and assign them to open with particular apps.
On the finish of the day, profiles are simply collections of button actions. You may program buttons with predefined actions (present in native or third-party plugins), or you’ll be able to create your individual customized actions utilizing Loupedeck’s software program. You may chain a number of actions collectively on one button utilizing both the macro function (urgent the button as soon as causes all actions to be carried out in sequence) or the multi-toggle function (urgent the button as soon as causes the primary motion to be carried out, urgent it once more causes the second motion to be carried out, and so on; as much as 5 actions will be multi-toggled).
Loupedeck’s software program additionally options the Loupedeck Market, which has further free and paid property from each Loupedeck and third-party creators. These property embody plugins, profiles, stream overlays, emotes and badges, presets and types, icon packs, and sound packs. In the meanwhile there are simply two Razer plugins within the Market, for the Razer Key Gentle Chroma and the Razer Audio Mixer.
The Backside Line
The primary Razer Stream Controller was only a Razer-branded Loupedeck Reside. The Razer Stream Controller X technically isn’t only a Razer-branded Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 — however solely as a result of it’s not made by Elgato. In any other case, it form of… is. It actually comes down as to if you like Loupedeck’s software program and plugin help to Elgato’s (and Elgato’s tactile LCD buttons to Loupedeck’s haptic contact buttons), as a result of the Stream Controller X is in the end simply Loupedeck’s software program in an Elgato Stream Deck MK.2 with a Razer emblem on the entrance.
Okay, it’s not precisely the identical. The Stream Controller X has a well-designed, sturdy stand, even when the microsuction tape might be overkill. However the design may be very shut — I assume Razer goes to return out with swappable faceplates within the close to future, however perhaps it ought to have launched with these. That’s to not say I don’t prefer it, as a result of I do. The Stream Controller X is a pleasant, compact measurement (however nonetheless very sturdy), its buttons are vivid, crisp, and tactile, and Loupedeck’s native help for Photoshop is my private deal-maker over Elgato’s Stream Deck software program.