Roku is updating the tech in its cheapest streaming device, the Roku Express. The refreshed Express, coming in mid-October, adds dual-band Wi-Fi for enhanced internet speeds, along with a new processor and more storage so that channels can launch more quickly. The will cost $30 and is available to preorder now through the Roku, Walmart and Amazon websites. The company expects general availability at major retailers to begin on Oct. 16.
This marks the first update to the Roku Express in three years. The Express was last updated in 2019, when it also launched for $30. It has since hovered around $25, but has hit a low of $18 during holiday sales.
The 2022 Express retains the bare-bones features of the previous model, including its basic infrared remote you have to aim at the TV and the ability to play video at. Those who want the best picture out of their , or who want a better remote, will have to opt for a (slightly) more expensive Roku.
Theis the next step up in the lineup and gives you 4K playback along with a remote that supports voice commands, doesn't have to be aimed at the TV and can control TV volume and power. That model is one of because it's one of the least expensive ways to get 4K HDR on your TV. While it's normally listed at $40, the Express 4K Plus is often available for $30 or less.
While we'll have to wait to review the new Express, our general advice is that the Express 4K Plus tends to offer most people the best overall value. In other words, it's worth an extra $10 for the remote and 4K in our book.
Meanwhile, CNET's favorite budget streaming device is currently the Amazon Fire TV Stick Lite. We , but the Lite's superior point-anywhere voice remote with Alexa makes it a better buy if you just want a cheap HD streamer.
Separately, Roku also announced a new $130 called the, as well as the for its streamers and TVs.