Google has just unveiled the details on its latest streaming device, the new Chromecast
The new set of Chromecast streamers are here. At the launch event in New York City, which took place on 9 October, the tech giant surprisingly made no mention of the Chromecast, instead launching it quietly through the Google Store. If you’re wondering what else Google launched, read our roundup of the event.
Understandably, though, you came here to hear about the Chromecast, so here’s everything you need to know about Google’s latest digital media player, including the UK price, availability and the streamer’s main features.
New Chromecast review: UK release date and price
The new Chromecast is available for order immediately and is also available through retailers for £30.
However, if you’ve got a 4K TV, you’ll want the Chromecast Ultra, which hasn’t received a refresh, and still costs £70.
New Chromecast review: Design and build quality
The new Chromecast device is near-identical in size to its predecessor. However, the design has slightly changed, with a new, matte-black coat, and a more simplistic G Google logo replacing the old Chrome logo; it looks a tad sleeker overall.
The magnetic HDMI connector on the tip and base of the Chromecast has also been removed (a slight annoyance for some), and the edges are more rounded than ever before.
Apart from that, there’s very little difference between the second- and third-generation Chromecasts. It’s still a circular black puck with an HDMI jack attached – what more could you possibly need?
New Chromecast specs: Features and specs
As previously mentioned, the magnetic HDMI connector has been removed, but the new device opts in favour of micro-USB connectivity just like its predecessor, rather than opting for the more modern USB Type-C connector.
The new Chromecast, much like its predecessor, supports Full HD (1,920 x 1,080) and can be easily set up through the Google Home app. The biggest change comes in form of Google Assistant being built in. For the first time, Google’s media streamer now supports the virtual assistant.
That’s nothing new for those that have been keeping up with the release of media streamers – the Now TV, Apple TV and Amazon stick all support voice search, while some also have a virtual assistant, too – such as Siri on the Apple TV and Alexa on the Amazon devices.
There is a catch, however. You’ll need a Google Home device connected to your Chromecast, as the media streamer doesn’t have near-field microphones. So, see it more of a bridge between your smart devices (such as the Google Home speaker) and your television.
New Chromecast review: Early verdict
On the whole, the new Chromecast looks to be more of the same. Google’s changes appear to be more aimed at streamlining the experience of using a Chromecast, rather than improving the performance of the device itself. Given the price hasn’t changed, we’re glad to see the company adding new features to one of its most popular devices.
Should you get one? Well, if you already have a Chromecast or a Chromecast Ultra, have a Google Home device and want the ability to interact with the TV with your voice? Then, you’ll want the new device. If the answer is no – stick to your older model. Venturing for the first time into Google’s suite of Chromecast devices? Then I’d recommend buying the new device, as it’s no pricer than its predecessor.