AVerMedia provided us with a test unit for review purposes.
There aren’t a ton of video game capture card brands on the market just yet, and that’s incredibly surprising, given how popular Let’s Plays and Twitch streaming have become. As it stands right now, the majority of streamers are using an Elgato brand card of some sort. But there’s another well-crafted brand on the market, AVerMedia, and you might have read our previous rave review of their Live Gamer Extreme. Earlier this week, we were able to get our hands on the AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2, the company’s latest capture card, and we’re impressed.
It comes with an HDMI cable, a USB cable for power, and an audio cord, as well as a quick start guide to get you started.
The biggest plus is that it can be used entirely PC-Free — something that the LGX was not able to do. It also has built-in support for H.264, the most commonly used codec on the web, meaning you can record high-quality video with a lower file size and the resulting footage will still look top-notch. Not only does the LGP2 record your footage in full 1080p60 quality, but it can also be used entirely PC free. Content can be easily recorded at an incredibly fluid 1080p and 60 fps without the need to have it plugged into a PC — it can record straight to a microSD card.
Here is a short clip for quality check, recording Dead Rising 4 from my Xbox One S:
As you can see, the resulting video is entirely smooth; no hiccups or framerate drops throughout. (Note: the darkness you see in the video above is not caused by the capture card, but it is the game, itself).
With the LGP2, users can also easily inject commentary over their gameplay easily, thanks to the headset input jack on the front of the device. What’s more, the Live Gamer Portable 2 can also easily record party chat on console games, as you simply just plug in your headset and controller to allow your viewers to hear exactly what you hear; no confusion, no looking up tutorials on Reddit.
But if you do want to hook it up for live streaming, you can easily do just that, of course. The capture device is entirely plug and plug, meaning you don’t need any drivers installed; simply plug it into an open USB port on your PC, connect the HDMI source, and you’re ready to use it. We tested it with both the RECentral 3 software (free to download at the Avermedia website) and OBS (our personal streaming software of choice), and the LGP2 worked flawlessly on both platforms. In fact, there were no hiccups or any sort of confusion when setting up; it simply worked right out of the box. For anyone who has used some other capture devices, you’ll know that this is a big plus, as there’s no headache of trying to find the latest drivers for the device to “play nice” with your software.
It also has a dedicated one-button start and stop button, making video recording as simplistic as humanly possible. Tap the button to start your gameplay recording, tap it again when you’re done. This is essential when you’re, say, attempting to record various different bits of game footage at a convention or at a friend’s house.
I’ll also note that the physical look of the device has an admirable quality as well, as it has a unique look and shape unlike any other device we’ve seen on the market. It has an oblong shape that’s edgy and sleek, and the black and red colorway is a nice touch. This is sure to make it a standout on your desk, and it’ll certainly intrigue inquisitive visitors. As its name might suggest, it’s also highly portable, thanks to its small size.
My only gripe with the LGP2 is that, for a device that preaches a PC-less option, it should come with everything needed to achieve that. Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a wall adapter for the USB cord that’s required to power the device. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, given the fact that most will already have numerous USB wall adapters in their home, anyway. But it’s still a minor oversight.
Of course, the biggest selling point of the device is its ease of use without the sacrifice of lost quality. And thanks to its plug and play ability, one-button recording, and simplistic design, the Live Gamer Portable 2 is certainly easy to use. We’ll be adding it to our list of the best game capture cards here at some point, but for now, know that it’s one of the best options available.
+Ease of Use
+Easy Party Chat
+Record Straight to MicroSD
-Does not include a wall adapter (required for PC-Free Mode)
The AVerMedia Live Gamer Portable 2 is available on Amazon, at GameStop, at Newegg, and more retailers for $204.
[irp posts=”1495″ name=”Top 3 Best Game Capture Cards for Live Twitch Streaming”]