Asus Tuf Gaming Capture Box CU4k30 review

Asus Tuf Gaming Capture Box CU4k30 review

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Epblogs verdict

The Asus Tuf Gaming Capture Box CU4k30 is a fantastic addition to any gamer’s arsenal. Its seamless compatibility with both Windows and Mac makes it easy to plug in and start recording immediately and offers spectacular 1080p and 1440p recording. 4k 60fps shouldn’t be expected at this price point, so if that’s what you’re expecting then you’re better off looking elsewhere.

Price and availability

The Asus Tuf Gaming Capture Box CU4k30 is available now and is priced at a very affordable $210. That’s just a tad more expensive than the closest competition, which would be the Elgato HD60 X that comes in at $199.99.

Design

In case we haven’t mentioned it before, the CU4k30 is incredibly tiny. It can easily fit into a carry case along with your console or gaming laptop, and only requires a few cables to set up. The small box features only a few essential ports and requires no software to start working.

At the back you have an HDMI 2.0 Input and Output port, as well as a USB Type-C power port. The box includes a USB Type-C to Type-A cable, but if you’re setting this up on a newer Mac, you can use the included Type-A to Type-C dongle.

The front contains two 3.5mm ports – the console port can be used with the included 3.5mm cable to connect to your controller, while the second port can be used to plug in a headset so that you not only can hear what’s being capture, but also record whatever you’re saying through your microphone.

At the bottom of the device is a thin RGB strip, which apart from looking flashy, also serves as a status indicator so you’ll know if there’s a problem with your connections (more on that later).

Setup

Setting up the CU4k30 is easy – just connect your cables to the HDMI ports, plug in the USB cable, and fire up your favourite streaming or recording software. The CU4k30 shows up as a video input device in practically any software, whether you’re using OBS, Teams, or any software that recognizes webcams. This ease of setup means that you can use the CU4k30 with practically any software, though we do wish that Asus offered a simple recording software with this device, rather than having to find our own.

Asus does offer a piece of its own software to download, which manages the software updates for the CU4k30 as well as adjustments for the RGB lighting. Out of the box, the CU4k30 didn’t allow us to capture 1080p footage at 120fps, but after a quick firmware update, this was available to us in OBS.

The RGB lighting has a very cool role to play and can be configured to indicate when there is a problem, when recording has begun, and much more. It’s a much easier way to troubleshoot rather than having a row of status LEDs, so full marks to Asus for implementing this.

Performance

When it comes to recording, the CU4k30 does not disappoint – provided of course you’re managing your expectations. Just because the CU4k30 can output 4k footage at 60Hz on your screen does not mean you’ll be recording the same. As we’ve mentioned before, anyone looking for higher framerates at 4k will have to splurge on something more expensive. However, most gamers and streamers are more than happy to use 1080p content, and this is really where the CU4k30 shines the most.

The CU4k30 is great for recording 1080p content up to 120fps, and gameplay footage is captured smoothly. There’s around 60ms of lag between what the console renders and what you’ll see on your streaming software, so for best results it’s always good to use a separate monitor rather than trying to play using the capture preview.

In terms of working specifically with OBS, the CU4k30 shows up just as any other video capture device that you can select and tweak settings accordingly. You’ll be able to pass an HDR signal through the CU4k30, but any recorded footage will be downscaled to SDR, which may tamper with certain colors a bit. We found that we also had to manually specify the CU4k30’s audio source as well as it wasn’t selected automatically. You can also download an optional app to control the audio levels, though we think this really should be bundled into the control app.

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