As an avid video gaming PC nerd, I love to write about new games I am playing and share my experience!
Should You Get the Stream Deck or the Stream Deck Mk2?
If you're reading this, you are probably well aware of the Elgato Stream Deck (originally released back in March 2017), an incredibly popular streaming device that well and truly deserves its credit. For those who don't know, it's essentially a clever "touch-of-the-button" macro keypad device that activates instant pre-recorded actions so you can operate a live seamless stream. Whether you're hosting a podcast, live on Twitch or Youtube, and a whole range of other uses that have been born from it. It's incredibly useful.
In July 2021, they brought out the updated version, the Elgato Stream Deck Mark 2, but upon first glance, apart from the obvious visual difference, it might not be immediately clear where the differences are between the two versions. So this article hopes to clear that up, and if there are any price differences, it might be able to help you justify which version is worth it for you.
What's the Difference?
There are a few models that vary in size; you have the Stream Deck Mini, which basically comes with 6 buttons, then you have the Stream Deck XL that offers 32 buttons. For now, it is only the standard model that has been upgraded, the 15 button version, known just as Stream Deck.
That's the version we are going to be specifically comparing. It mainly comes down to four main features:
- Visual Appearance
- 45 Angle Degree Stand
- Interchangeable Face plates
- USB Type C port as well as the USB-C Cable
Apart from that, everything is pretty much identical. It still provides the 15 LCD keys, offers the same software, along with the same types of actions for Music and Sound effects. To clarify anything not mentioned, we recommend getting in touch with Elgato (owned by Corsair Gaming) directly, but it should be pretty clear.
So let's get into the differences with a bit more detail.
The main aspect that you will see from the off is, of course, the visual perspective. The newer version offers a slightly slimmer and flatter profile for the Stream Deck, whereas the original version is a bit thicker and heavier.
The original model had a more flexible stand, whereas the new version has a fixed 45-degree stand for the Stream Deck. You can actually remove the stand completely too. Some people prefer the adjustability of the stand, but for me, the half of right angle suits just fine.
USB Type C
The original model had a slightly shorter cable that makes it somewhat difficult to cable manage and actually route correctly. This actually got updated later with the Stream Deck Mini and XL that also offered the USB C cable, so it's natural to expect the longer right angle cable for the MK 2 and should make cable management life a lot easier going forward.
Interchangeable Face Plates
This is rather new to the Elgato product range; they introduced it with the new Wave XLR as well, which are customizable faceplates. They have a limited range of faceplates for the time being, but no doubt Elgato will be expanding to this range, and I am sure it will offer a customizable option soon too. Of course, the LCD buttons match up to the screen itself as well, so they do really pop on your desk and can suit the overall interior design of your stream setup.
Is It Worth Upgrading to the Second Version?
There's no doubt that an Elgato Stream Deck is essential to some top influencers and steamers across a range of channels to optimise their workflow. Thanks to the fantastic software that comes with the product, you are able to customise practically to how you like, and with the new 5.0 update, that acts more like a 'store' you can shop for different features and aspects you might want.
That said, if you already have a Stream Deck and if you want to add to it, then that's well worth going with the new option, and if you don't have one at all, we would recommend going with the MK 2 as well. However, for those already with a Stream Deck, unless it is starting to get a little clunky and looking a bit tired, or you really want the ability to customize it with the face plates, etc. Then I think it's best just to hold on to the current model for the time being.
Summary of Differences
Really, there's not that much change at all. They have really just addressed the 'wants' from the Elgato crowd and offered the ability to customize it completely, not just the LCD icons themselves but also the actual hardware.
Plus, they have provided the longer USB-C type cable, so it's easier to fit in the setup with the right angle embed. Plus, they have integrated the stand on a fixed rather than adjustable basis, which may please or not please some users but can't see it ultimately being the deciding factor between going for the new option or not.
In all, they have done a good job on the upgrade, and we should likely see some of the same aspects occur across the other models as well, such as the Mini and XL.
When you are comparing them like for like, you will see the brand new model to be a bit brighter, like the buttons give a better "click" and more feedback. However, this is not down to any difference in the product per se; rather, the original model probably just has more general wear and tear to the product.
Do you already have the original Stream Deck and looking to upgrade to the MK 2? Are you pleased with the upgrade and the differences between the Stream Deck versus Stream Deck Mark 2? If so, why so? And if not, why not? Do you think they missed a trick and should have added new features?
We would love to hear more in the comments section below and, of course, if you do have any questions on the Stream Deck Vvs. Stream Deck 2, then please let us know, and we will be more than happy to help you further.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Carlyn Hayes