Roku is improving the circuitry in its cheapest streaming device, the Roku Express. The updated Express, due in mid-October, offers dual-band Wi-Fi for better internet speeds, along with a new processor and extra storage so that channels can open more rapidly. The streaming device will cost $30 and is available to preorder now through the Roku, Walmart and Amazon websites. The business expects general availability at major stores to begin on Oct. 16.
This represents the first upgrade to the Roku Express in three years. The Express was last updated in 2019, when it likewise launched for $30. It has since maintained around $25, but has hit a low of $18 during holiday sales.
The barebones characteristics of the previous generation, such as an infrared remote you have to target at the TV and support for 1080p video, are carried over to the 2022 Express. Those with 4K TVs who are looking for the highest picture quality or who desire a more robust remote control will need to spring for a more expensive Roku.
The Roku Express 4K Plus is the next generation of Roku streaming media players, and it supports 4K HDR playback and comes with a voice-activated remote that works regardless of where you place it in relation to the TV and has volume and power buttons.
However, as we wait to review the new Express, we do recommend the Express 4K Plus as the best option for most consumers. In other words, we think it’s worth the extra ten dollars to have the remote and 4K.
The latest software upgrade for Roku’s streamers and TVs was revealed alongside the release of a new $130 product called the Roku Wireless Bass.