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Elgato Stream Deck vs XL vs Mini (2021): How Do They Differ?

Designed primarily for streamers, the Elgato Stream Deck is a nice addition to any streaming setup since it gives you access to various shortcuts and commands with a touch of a button. That said, professionals, power users and even regular computer users can still find a use case for such a device, so it is not limited to just streamers. If you’re interested in getting one, there are three variants available—the Elgato Stream Deck, Stream Deck XL and Stream Deck Mini. All three have their place in any setup, and in this article, we’ll be looking at their advantages and disadvantages so that you’ll be able to choose which one is right for you. Here’s a comparison chart that highlights their features to start with.

Elgato Stream Deck vs XL vs Mini Comparison Chart

ModelElgato Stream DeckElgato Stream Deck XLElgato Stream Deck Mini
 Amazon productAmazon productAmazon product
PriceAmazon productAmazon productAmazon product
Dimensions4.6 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches7.2 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches3.3 x 2.3 x 2.4 inches
Weight190g410g160g
LCD Keys15326
InterfaceIntegrated USB 2.0 cableRemovable USB 3.0 cableIntegrated USB 2.0 cable
FoldersYesYesYes
MacrosYesYesYes
Multi ActionYesYesYes
Custom IconsYesYesYes
StandAdjustableMagnetic
Non-Slip
None
Supported OSWindows 10 64-bit
MacOS 10.11 and later
Windows 10 64-bit
MacOS 10.13 and later
Windows 10 64-bit
MacOS 10.11 and later

Design

The Elgato Stream Deck XL and Mini are the larger and smaller variants of the Elgato Stream Deck.

The Elgato Stream Deck (left) has 15 keys, the Stream Deck XL (center) has 32 keys, and the Stream Deck Mini (right) has 6 keys.

As their names suggest, the Elgato Stream Deck XL and Mini are the bigger and smaller versions of the standard Elgato Stream Deck. The Stream Deck XL has 32 LCD keys while the standard Stream Deck has 15. The smallest variant, the Stream Deck Mini, has 6 LCD keys.

Measuring 4.6 x 3.3 x 0.8 inches, the Elgato Stream Deck is just a tad bigger than a deck of cards and it doesn’t take too much space on your desk. Included with it is an adjustable stand that allows you to place it at an angle instead of just laying it flat on the desk. At an angle, the Elgato Stream Deck is much easier to use, since you’ll be able to see the different icons more easily.

The bigger Elgato Stream Deck XL has a physical dimensions of 7.2 x 4.4 x 1.3 inches, so it is wider, taller and has more depth than the standard Stream Deck. It also comes with a magnetic stand. A change in the design of the Elgato Stream Deck XL is that it has a removable USB-C cable, instead of the integrated ones on the regular and Mini variants.

The smallest of the bunch is the Stream Deck Mini, and it has a physical dimensions of 3.3 x 2.3 x 2.4 inches. It does not come with a stand since it is designed to always stay at an angle, it can’t be laid down flat on the desk.

Stream Deck Software

The Elgato Stream Deck software will function the same way, whether you have the regular Stream Deck, XL or Mini.

elgato stream deck vs xl vs mini software
With its drag and drop interface, the Elgato Stream Deck software is very user-friendly.

Setting up any of the three Stream Deck variants is easy. All you need to do is plug it into a free USB port on your PC or laptop then download the free Elgato Stream Deck software. Upon opening the software, the main screen will show empty boxes that match the physical layout of the Stream Deck that you have, whether it is the standard, XL or Mini.

At the right side is a menu bar that contains a list of software, services or actions that you can drag and drop to any of the buttons on your Stream Deck. Once you’ve mapped an action, it will immediately be reflected on your Stream Deck.

Aside from single actions, you can also program multi-action or complex sequences to just one key. In addition, you can create folders and sub-folders for even more actions. You can also customize the different keys with different icons and gifs so that you’ll have an easier time remembering what each key will do. All in all, the Stream Deck software is an easy to use and fool proof tool.

Integrations

You’ll need a Windows 10 or MacOS device to run the Elgato Stream Deck.

elgato stream deck vs xl vs mini integrations and compatibility
There are countless integrations available with Stream Deck SDK.

The Elgato Stream Deck, XL and Mini all feature integrated tools which include OBS, Twitch, Youtube, Elgato Game Capture and more. Aside from those, you can also download several plugins uploaded by individual developers, partners and Elgato themselves.

All three variants of the Elgato Stream Deck will require Windows 10 64-bit and MacOS 10.11 or later, with the XL variant requiring MacOS 10.13 or later.

Verdict

The standard Elgato Stream Deck and XL variants are best for serious streamers while the Stream Deck Mini is best for everyone else.

Amazon product

If you are a serious and consistent streamer, you should get either the Elgato Stream Deck or Stream Deck XL. Choosing one will depend on how much money you are willing to part with or how many LCD keys you think you’ll need. That said, we recommend the standard Stream Deck over the XL since 15 keys will be more than enough for most people. Also, the ability to create nested folders will effectively increase the number of shortcuts or actions that you can make.

As for the Elgato Stream Deck Mini, it is a great choice for beginners or those that want to dip their toes into streaming but are not yet able to commit fully. It’s the most affordable out of the three and six LCD keys, while seemingly low, can be more than you’ll need, especially with the Stream Deck’s ability to create folders and subfolders.

FAQs

📌 Is the Elgato Stream Deck Mini worth it?

Yes, it is very portable and with the Stream Deck Software, its six LCD keys is not a limitation.

📌 What’s the difference between the Elgato Stream Deck and XL?

The standard Elgato Stream Deck has 15 LCD keys while the XL has 32. In addition to having more keys, the Stream Deck XL also comes with a magnetic stand and it has a removable USB-C cable.

📌 Should I buy a Stream Deck?

While it’s not a necessity, it is a nice accessory that can make everything easier while you stream. If you are serious about streaming, you should consider getting one.

📌 Can I use the Elgato Stream Deck even if I don’t stream?

Yes, you can program several commands to it and it will act just like a keypad with shortcut keys.

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Carlo Salvador

Senior Editor at Compare Before Buying. Writer and researcher passionate about fitness, gaming and music.