Superior streaming stick, but a tad underpowered
Superior streaming stick, but a tad underpowered
3:36

Superior streaming stick, but a tad underpowered

Media Streamers
[MUSIC] [MUSIC] Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. There's not much else to the device. There's not much else to the device. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. And that's speed. And that's speed. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] [MUSIC] Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. Roku streaming boxes have gotten smaller and smaller over the years. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. And now, they've finally whittled it down all the way to the Roku Streaming Stick. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. This is actually the second streaming stick that Roku's made, but the new model is a huge leap forward. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Now that it works with any TV that has an HDMI port and it's half the price at just $50. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. Hey, I'm Matthew Moskovciak for CNET. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. And if you've been waiting for Roku's answer to Google's $35 Chromecast, this is it. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. It has the same compact form factor with essentially, all the hardware of a full-size Roku box, packed into a device that's not much bigger than a USB flash drive. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The plastic casing sports Roku's signature purple color, which won't be on display, since it's designed to live behind your TV in the spare HDMI port. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. The back of the TV placement would leave the stick almost entirely concealed, except it needs power, which it can get from a USB port on your TV or by connecting the included power adapter. There's not much else to the device. There's not much else to the device. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. Say, for a micro-USB port, a tiny indicator light, and a small button that you can use to reset the stick if it freezes up. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. In terms of internal hardware, it has dualband WiFi support as well as full 1080p output. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. Now, while the Chromecast relies on your smartphone or tablet for all its navigation, the Streaming Stick includes an actual remote. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. It's essentially the same remote you get with Roku's other budget streaming boxes, although it works for your WiFi direct, so it can communicate with the stick when it's hidden behind your TV. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. Roku also lets you control the stick using its mobile app. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. And the Streaming Stick supports some casting functionality, similar to the Chromecast, for Netflix and YouTube. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. So with the Streaming Stick, you get to choose which kind of control scheme you prefer. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. The Streaming Stick is also packed with apps. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. There are over 1,200 apps on Roku's platform. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. And while many of those are filler, there's a lot of great content, including Netflix, Amazon Instant, HBO GO, Hulu Plus, Pandora, MLB. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. TV, Amazon Cloud player, VUDU, and Showtime Anytime. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Even better, the Streaming Stick has cross-platform search, so you can search for a movie or TV show, and it will show you all the services that offer that content and how much it costs. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. Now, everything sounds pretty great about the Streaming Stick so far, but it does have a bit of an Achilles heel. And that's speed. And that's speed. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Well, it's fast enough when you're navigating menus. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Some apps like Netflix and YouTube take forever to load. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Over 30 seconds of just looking at the loading screen. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. Every other Roku box I've seen loads Netflix in 12 seconds or less. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. So it really feels like a step backwards when you're using the Streaming Stick. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. Now, once you load up the app, the speed is fine. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. And it's worth pointing out that the sluggishness doesn't affect every app on the Streaming Stick. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. But Netflix and YouTube are two of the most important apps, so the speed issues are more than just a nuisance. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. So that's the major drawback with the Roku Streaming Stick. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. Its huge library of apps, the included remote, and cross-platform search all make the Streaming Stick worth the $15 over the Chromecast. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. And it's still an impressive streamer at just $50. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. But, the speed issues on Netflix and YouTube mean the $100 Roku 3 is still our favorite streaming device, even at twice the price. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. I'm Matthew Moskovciak from CNET, and this is the Roku Streaming Stick. [MUSIC] [MUSIC]

Up Next

Best Streaming Devices of 2022
best-streamers-2022-thumb

Up Next

Best Streaming Devices of 2022

Best Rokus for 2022
selects-00-20-35-14-still003.png

Best Rokus for 2022

Apple TV 4K (2022) Review: An Excellent Streamer That's Still Too Expensive
apple-tv-2022-hands-on-5b

Apple TV 4K (2022) Review: An Excellent Streamer That's Still Too Expensive

7 Tips to Get More Out of Your Roku TV
screenshot-2022-08-16-at-12-52-46.png

7 Tips to Get More Out of Your Roku TV

Which Roku Is the Go-To? We Break It Down
006-roku-stick-plus

Which Roku Is the Go-To? We Break It Down

Roku Voice Remote Pro review: 'Hey Roku' only goes so far
fl-roku-voice-remote-pro

Roku Voice Remote Pro review: 'Hey Roku' only goes so far

Roku Remote Pro: Rechargeable battery, 'Hey Roku' voice and more for $30
roku-remote-pro

Roku Remote Pro: Rechargeable battery, 'Hey Roku' voice and more for $30

Apple reveals the HomePod Mini
homepod-mini-watch-apples-full-presentation-here-mp4-00-01-14-06-still001

Apple reveals the HomePod Mini

Chromecast with Google TV wants to help you find what to watch
new-chromecast-first-look-10

Chromecast with Google TV wants to help you find what to watch

Tech Shows

The Apple Core
apple-core-w

The Apple Core

Alphabet City
alphabet-city-w

Alphabet City

CNET Top 5
cnet-top-5-w

CNET Top 5

The Daily Charge
dc-site-1color-logo.png

The Daily Charge

What the Future
what-the-future-w

What the Future

Tech Today
tech-today-w

Tech Today

Latest News All latest news

Meet the Recyclable, 3D-Printed Home
biohome-2

Meet the Recyclable, 3D-Printed Home

The Most Exciting Phones I Want to See in 2023
screenshot-2023-01-27-at-15-42-00.png

The Most Exciting Phones I Want to See in 2023

What We Expect From Samsung Unpacked 2023
galaxy1

What We Expect From Samsung Unpacked 2023

How Apple Gets Us to Care About VR
cnetstillvr

How Apple Gets Us to Care About VR

DOJ Stops Hive Ransomware Network
hive-cms-image

DOJ Stops Hive Ransomware Network

Audi Activesphere: EV Coupe That's Also a Pickup
a230504-large

Audi Activesphere: EV Coupe That's Also a Pickup

Most Popular All most popular

Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills and Save Money
yt-reduce-your-utility-bills-v3

Easy Ways to Lower Your Utility Bills and Save Money

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account

How to Decide Whether to Rent or Buy a Home
yt-money-rent-buy-v1-1

How to Decide Whether to Rent or Buy a Home

How See-Through Solar Panels Could Bring Renewable Energy to Your Windows
trans-solar-panels-seq-00-06-11-19-still001

How See-Through Solar Panels Could Bring Renewable Energy to Your Windows

DOJ Stops Hive Ransomware Network
hive-cms-image

DOJ Stops Hive Ransomware Network

How Apple Gets Us to Care About VR
cnetstillvr

How Apple Gets Us to Care About VR

Latest Products All latest products

Testing Apple's New M2 MacBook Pro and Mac Mini
macbook-pro-and-mac-mini

Testing Apple's New M2 MacBook Pro and Mac Mini

Hands On: Google Android Auto in Volvo's New EX90
google-booth-seq-00-08-05-25-still002

Hands On: Google Android Auto in Volvo's New EX90

Hands On: Acer's 3D Stereoscopic Screen
c0270-mp4-02-36-54-21-still001

Hands On: Acer's 3D Stereoscopic Screen

'Hey Disney' Comes to Amazon Echo Devices
ces-disneyalexa-00-01-11-14-still001

'Hey Disney' Comes to Amazon Echo Devices

Hearing Dolby Atmos in a Car Blew Me Away
ces-dolby-00-00-55-13-still001

Hearing Dolby Atmos in a Car Blew Me Away

LG Display Shows Sweet Racing Setup with 45-Inch Curved Screen
lgdisplays-3

LG Display Shows Sweet Racing Setup with 45-Inch Curved Screen

Latest How To All how to videos

Connect a Meta Quest 2 VR Headset to a PC
pc-vr-5

Connect a Meta Quest 2 VR Headset to a PC

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser
cast-2

Cast Your Meta Quest Headset to a TV, Phone or Browser

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam
1203246975312353-pnmdl8bwygpxcjffhlcf-height640.png

MacOS Ventura Continuity Camera Turns Your iPhone Into a Webcam

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys
3keyboards

How to Clean Your Keyboard's Sticky Keys

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC
psstill

How to Play Games from PlayStation Plus on PC

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account
phoneonorange

How to Delete or Disable Your Instagram Account