Roku's newest Stick ditches the MHL requirement of the original, making the switch to HDMI while also lowering the price. Though Roku devices tend to be small, the Stick manages to be even smaller with what TechHive calls a "convenient" dongle form factor. However, users will still be greeted by the same familiar user interface, one that CNET says is "best-in class" and Gizmodo calls "simple." With this interface you still have access to Roku's massive library of channels -- a line up the Chromecast can't boast and is still working to catch up to. The streaming quality is also good, and Wired says it "never presented any major issues," and the Stick's dual-band WiFi was "entirely adequate." The one downside of the newest Stick is that it might be a little pokey compared to current Roku models, with CNET experiencing "slow bootup times" on a few channels. The Chromecast still wins the crown for cheapest media streamer, but for an extra $15 you can snag yourself a Roku Streaming Stick and get better video offerings along with an included remote.
The Roku Streaming Stick looks like the complete package, crammed into an unassuming little stick. With its unified search and simple interface, it's everything a seasoned Roku fan looking to upgrade should expect.
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