Elgato Stream Deck – Review
Ordering, shipping and unboxing
The Stream Deck from Elgato tested here was purchased from Amazon (link*: https://www.amazon.de/Elgato-Stream-Deck-personaliserbaren-einstellbaren/dp/B06W2KLM3S) and was delivered the next business day. The Stream Deck, which comes in three variants with 6, 15 and 32 keys, is delivered in a handy but chic cardboard box, with the price in the medium size usually varying between 130 and 150€.
Scope of delivery
The Stream Deck’s scope of delivery is utilitarian, but includes everything you need:
- The Stream Deck
- An adjustable stand to hold it
- A quick start guide
- Dimensions: 118 x 84 x 21mm
- Weight: 190g
- Buttons: 15 x customizable LCD buttons
- Interface: Integrated USB 2.0 cable (150 cm)
Compatibility and drivers
To operate Elgato’s Stream Deck, the manufacturer’s software must be installed. This requires one of the following operating systems:
- Windows 10 (64-bit)
- macOS 10.11 or newer
When it comes to selecting functions, however, you’re not limited to the deck’s 15 buttons. With the help of folders, you can accommodate a virtually unlimited number of functions and arrange them in a meaningful way.
To extend the features already built into the software, you’ll find a variety of official and unofficial extensions that can be installed via Elgato’s one-click software. These include, among others:
- CPU: Display of CPU usage
- Spotify Integration: Control of Spotify including feedback
- Analog Clock: An analog clock (on one of the LCD displays)
- Philipps Hue
- VLC Remote
Besides the software, the biggest advantage of Elgato’s Stream Deck over a conventional buttonbox is of course the built-in LCD screens as buttons. These have a surprisingly well-defined pressure point, but it doesn’t come close to high-quality pushbuttons. With a resolution of 72 x 72 pixels, they are not high-resolution, but offer enough information to clearly distinguish the assignments. A simple trackmap can still be displayed, but with a picture of a pizza it already becomes critical (see example further down in the test).
The included purpose-built bracket keeps the Stream Deck secure on your desk and can be fixed in a variety of positions, allowing you to adjust the tilt to suit your needs.
Use in simracing
In simracing, the strengths of the stream deck come into their own. Most simulations allow the assignment of myriad functions: Lights on, lights off, seat position forward and back, ignition, engine start, … – and already the steering wheel is not enough to assign all functions in a meaningful way. This is where the Stream Deck from Elgato comes into play and offers with its individual button designs an added value compared to a conventional button box. The individual functions are clearly distinguishable from each other, even in the dark, and in the event of a reassignment, no stickers need to be re-pasted or re-created.
For the simulation Assetto Corsa Competizione (but also adaptable for other simulations) is the ButtonDeck for Stream Deck, which is available for download on Racedepartment. It contains over 50 ready icons from the world of racing and a template as a .PSD file.
ButtonDeck für Stream Deck
In addition to the projects presented on this page in the DIY section, which include a stream deck, you can now find countless templates for 3D printing on the platform Thingiverse, in addition to plugins created by the community itself. From mounts to complete self-builds or imitations of the Stream Deck.
Easy to set up, versatile in customization, and adding value over a traditional button box with its illuminated LCD buttons, the Stream Deck is an excellent option for your own simracing cockpit. Only the price of Elgato’s Stream Deck could end up being a deterrent.
- Countless functions possible
- Easy to use and set up
- Simple design
- Resolution / pressure point of the LCD buttons