Roku 2 review: A cheaper Roku with nearly everything you want

The Roku 3's superior speed may also increase its longevity. Roku has been particularly excellent about continually updating its boxes years after they're released, and the Roku 3's more powerful processor makes it more likely your box will stay snappy several software updates into the future.

Sarah Tew/CNET

With the difference in cost being just $20, we think those advantages are enough that most buyers should spend the extra on the Roku 3. Roku owners tend to use their boxes a lot, so the Roku 3's extra peppiness will make your streaming sessions just a little more satisfying. But if you're on a tight budget or aren't picky about having a blazing fast box, there's no denying the Roku 2 is a great streaming-media box and an excellent value, especially since it includes the headphone-jack-toting remote.

Roku boxes compared
For a deep dive on the full Roku experience, check out CNET's full review of the Roku 3 . Below is a breakdown of Roku's full product line.

Roku LT ($50): 720p video, HDMI and analog video outputs, available only at online retailers
Roku 1 ($60): adds 1080p video
Roku 2 ($80): adds Wi-Fi Direct remote with headphone jack, dual-band Wi-Fi
Roku 3 ($100): adds dual-core processor, motion control remote, Ethernet jack, USB port, SD card slot; no analog video jacks

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  • Functions network player
  • Sound Output Mode stereo