Elgato Thinks Small With $100 Stream Deck Mini

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The new Stream Deck Mini's reduced button count will limit its utility--although you can regain some of the lost functionality by assigning folders to keys--but it also means the device is much smaller.
It seems overpriced for having just 6 buttons. The original 15-button version is currently available on sites like Amazon and Newegg for $140. So, going with the Mini, one would only be saving around 30% on the price, while losing 60% of the buttons, along with the adjustable stand. If someone were willing to spend $100 on a device like this, I don't see why they wouldn't spend a little more to greatly increase its functionality.

The smaller size hardly seems like much of a benefit either. The original has a footprint of just 4.6 x 3.3 inches (11.8 x 8.4 cm), which would be roughly comparable to a smartphone. The Mini's footprint is 3.3 x 2.4 inches (8.4 x 6 cm) which might be around half the size, but I have a bit of difficultly believing that just about anyone would have trouble fitting a smartphone-sized device on their desk to begin with.

And on the topic of smartphones, if you are not willing to spend $140 on the original Stream Deck, and don't mind touchscreen-based buttons, there are free apps available for phones and tablets that can effectively do the same thing. Or, if you want the clicky feedback of physical buttons, and don't mind not having screens on the buttons themselves, you can buy a cheap $10 USB numpad, and use a freeware utility like HidMacros to assign its buttons to various key-combinations. Maybe even print decals for each of the buttons to identify regularly-used functions. Or if you have a keyboard with a built-in numpad that you don't regularly use, you could do the same with that.

It seems like giving the Mini 8 or 9 buttons, in either a 3x3 or 4x2 grid would have helped better justify a $100 price tag. Or keep 6 buttons, but at around $75. As it is, the pricing seems a bit high for anyone not willing to spend a little more for the full-sized model, especially when free or low-cost alternatives exist that will probably better serve those on a budget .
 
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