Hands on: Amazon’s Fire TV stick is slick, speedy and super-affordable

hands amazons fire tv stick slick speedy super affordable amazon on
Amazon’s Fire TV stick starts shipping on November 19, and we got our hands on one for an early look at what promises to be one of the hottest gift items this holiday season. At just $40, the Fire TV Stick undercuts the Roku Streaming Stick in price, but puts it to shame when it comes to hardware specs. Frankly, when the Fire TV Stick was first announced, we thought it sounded a little too good to be true, but we’re happy to report now that we were wrong about that. Check out the video below to see it in action.

Unlike the Roku Streaming Stick, which is a bit sluggish compared to its full-sized streaming set-top box brethren, the Amazon Fire TV stick is quick to respond to commands, and any differences in app/content loading times are so minute, we’ll need a stopwatch to chart them. Its interface is identical to the Fire TV Box, and its functionality is very similar, too. At this point, it seems the only real advantage to using an Amazon Fire TV box would be its Ethernet connection for faster HD video throughput, and its faster processor for smoother gaming.

We’ll be pitting the Fire TV Stick against the Fire TV box and, separately, the Roku Streaming Stick and Chromecast soon. We’ll also have our full review of the Fire TV Stick shortly, so visit back tomorrow for a more in-depth look at Amazon’s latest effort to garner your affection for its special brand of streaming movies, TV shows, games, and music.

You can order an Amazon Fire TV Stick now, but it is not expected to ship until January 15 2015.

Home Theater

Amazon and Google agree to more support for each other’s streaming services

Amazon and Google have taken a major step toward thawing their relationship: YouTube will be officially supported on all Fire TV devices, and Prime Video will work on all Chromecast and Android TV devices in the coming months.
Home Theater

New TV? Here's where to go to watch the best 4K content available

Searching for content for your new 4K UHD TV? Look no further. We have every major source of the best 4K content, along with the cost, hardware requirements, and features that make each service worth a look.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Hulu vs. Amazon Prime: Battle of the on-demand streaming giants

Trying to figure out which subscription streaming service to use while sticking to a frugal entertainment budget? Check out our updated comparison of the big three: Netflix, Amazon Instant Video, and Hulu.
Movies & TV

Ditch the torrents! How to legally watch Game of Thrones online

Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on TV, but unless you're a cable subscriber, finding a way to watch isn't always easy. Check out our guide on how to watch online, whether you prefer using HBO, Hulu, or Amazon.
Movies & TV

The 7 best TV episodes you can watch on YouTube for free

TV networks have made a habit of putting episodes from popular series on YouTube for free. From premium platforms like Showtime to experimental newcomers like Viceland, we compiled a few of the best episodes available on YouTube.
Home Theater

Sony releases wireless turntable, new soundbar amid slew of 2019 audio devices

Sony has announced pricing and availability for its 2019 home audio lineup, including a brand-new wireless turntable, a new soundbar, and a slew of Bluetooth speakers that range from small and portable to huge and cupholder-laden.
Product Review

JBL’s Live 650BTNC are a wonderful everyday listening companion

A long-lasting battery, solid active noise cancelation, and vibrant sound make the JBL Live 650BTNC a great pair of headphones for everyday listening. Looking for feature-packed wireless headphones at a low price? These are just the ticket.
Home Theater

Logitech’s Harmony Express remote: a steep price for simplicity

Thanks to its built-in Alexa support, Logitech's latest remote, the Harmony Express, eliminates huge button layouts with voice commands to control all of your smart home gadgets. But at $250, is it worth it?
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video and what’s leaving in May 2019

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in April and May, from new original series to classic films.
Home Theater

Banish the bunny ears (and monthly bills) with these excellent HD antennas

When transitioning away from cable and satellite, finding the best HDTV antenna for your area can be tricky. To aid in your cord-cutting quest, we've compiled our picks of the best indoor HDTV antennas you can buy.
Mobile

Spruce up your Lenovo smartphone with the best Moto Mods for the Moto Z-series

Moto Mods, the snap-on accessories compatible with Lenovo's Moto Z-series smartphones add a lot of value without adding a lot of bulk. Looking to try one out? Here are a few of our favorite Moto Mods.
Home Theater

What’s new on Hulu in May 2019, and what’s leaving soon

Our complete list of what's new on Hulu for May 2019, our personal favorites, and which titles will be removed will help you catch up on all the site has to offer -- and ensure you don't miss any titles heading into the streaming ether.
Movies & TV

The best Black Mirror episodes are disturbing, mesmerizing, and provocative

After watching all 19 episodes across four seasons and one movie, we selected and ranked the best Black Mirror episodes released so far. Read on to find out if your favorite episode from the award-winning Netflix series made the list.
Movies & TV

From comedies to biopics, these are the best movies about music and musicians

The best movies about music range from hilarious comedies to powerful and informative biopics that illuminate the world of sonic expression from all possible angles. Here are our current favorites.