Unless you want to watch 4K content, a streaming dongle is a heck of a better value than a set-top box device. Not only don’t you have to find a place to set it down, it can also stay in the back of your TV away from sight. The new Roku Streaming Stick makes its case even stronger by housing a powerful quad-core processor under the enclosure.
That’s right, the latest version of Roku’s dongle steps it up in the power department, boasting eight times the processing power of its 2014 predecessor. While it still won’t handle 4K, everything else is fair game, ensuring it can plow through any content you want to enjoy on the TV without a hitch.
With the extra muscle, the Roku Streaming Stick boasts smoother navigation and a more responsive interface, with channels now launching with little to no delay. It’s sleeker, too, with a longer but slimmer frame and an all-black finish that won’t stick out like the original dongle’s purple colorway. A new antenna placement, along with shielding that removes interference, ensures the dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11n connection is optimized for streaming, with the same familiar RF remote as last time letting you operate it from the couch.
A new app (iOS and Android) adds voice search capabilities across all channels, all while allowing you to listen to the TV over headphones (basically, the app feeds the audio to your headphones) so you don’t have wake up the baby while trying to finish the latest Daredevil season. Other app features include a remote function and the ability to send content from your phone straight to the Roku stick.
Slated for availability April 20, the Roku Streaming Stick is priced at $49.99.