The Buyer's Guide

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Google Chromecast (2013)

84
Engadget
Score
There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.
84

There's a lot to like about this in spite of a few flaws.

How we score

The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams. The Global Score is arrived at only after curating hundreds, sometimes thousands of weighted data points (such as critic and user reviews).

Engadget Review

Chromecast is an easy way to stream internet video to your TV from almost any source. With a price of just $35 it's a bona fide steal.

Pros
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple and easy to set up
  • App implementation is slick and easy to use
Cons
  • Limited app support for now
  • Chrome browser casting is a less-than-ideal UX and requires fairly new computer hardware to stream in HD
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Scores

Engadget

84
 

User Reviews

90
Vance
Short review: for the price, this is a no-brainer. Buy it.We have a Roku, an...read more
80
nkline
Great device. Excellent for the price. I got it with a Netflix promo code which...read more
80
TheLivingKing2
This is a good start for Google but the Chrome cast needs more support and features....read more
Write a Review

Score Breakdown

 
82
Average user Score

Design and form factor

93
 

Media support

69
 

Ease of use

89
 

Audio quality

90
 

Video quality

90
 
 
90
Vance
Short review: for the price, this is a no-brainer. Buy it.We have a Roku, an Xbox and a bluray player which can all stream content and have more streaming options. However, since this has been installed it has been the ONLY thing we use. The reason is fairly simple: the phone or tablet (which we already have in our hands) BECOMES the set-top box. And that "box" just does a better job at discovery, management and control than any of the other "box" options. The myriad other streaming sources (Amazon, Vudu, HBOGo, etc) would be nice, but even without them, the ease of use and powerful control over content trumps everything else.Bottom line: our beloved Roku is now in a drawer and the Chromecast is using it's HDMI slot.
 
80
nkline
Great device. Excellent for the price. I got it with a Netflix promo code which essentially made it $11 for me. Hopefully more media providers will support the device quickly. I'd love to listen to Spotify and/or Pandora with it.
 
80
TheLivingKing2
This is a good start for Google but the Chrome cast needs more support and features. The network I use is 30 Mbps and pluged up to a Belkin wireless N dual-band router at 300 Mbps. The Chrome Cast only supports 2.4 Ghz networks, while not utilizing the 5 Ghz speed of most newer routers. The Chrome Cast also struggles to get a solid connection to the router, and whereas the 5 Ghz will extend the range just by a little. The Chrome Cast displays in 1080p but plays content at 720p. Over-all the Chrome Cast is good for someone who wants the best for their money, with little setup required. ~Thomas A. Graves
 
90
lewieg
I can't stress enough that $35 is an amazing price point for a simple, intuitive way to turn any HDMI-input TV into a "smart" TV with a simple user interface. Yes, content selection is limited at launch but I think that will change with just a few months' time for developers to adopt the API. More importantly, they still have some work to do on the UI. I was happy with how easy it was to do one-off videos, but try queuing up 5 YouTube videos to watch then deciding to pause the one you're currently watching. Good luck. That said, this feels like a Beta issue that will be resolved in the near future, so I see it as a hiccup, not a fatal flaw.
 
80
falleninsea
Over all 1st impressions of the device are good. the price point of $35 really made this an easy device to buy for me. This is early in the life of this device and i expect that we will see more software taking advantage of this device. lets start with what i like about the device. Pricesmall form factorNow what i don't likelimited supported apps (this is something that i think will go away quickly a more developers start to support it).its basically just a streaming device No applications directly on the device you require some other device to start the stream to the Chromecast. This can be through your chrome browser on your PC or MAC or through another android device. I always like to ask myself the question is this something i would buy or suggest to buy for my family and friends. In this case the answer is no. for me its great but i have other devices i can use to "cast" to it. I can't set this up on the TV in the family room for the kids because they have no way to cast to it. Right now as the device and the ecosystem stand right now i just can't see this as a viable option to replace something like a Roku or apple tv but it does have a lot of potential and i am looking forward to what the developers do with this device and at $35 its an easy device to play with.
 
90
jonarogers
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
80
Brandon
For $35, you really can't lose!
 
90
sankara
The best in its category. We highly recommend it. - Engadget
 
100
daveloft
A gadget unicorn - Engadget
 
70
royterp
A dependable product that doesn't really stand out from the competition. - Engadget