Gadgets for humans

Roku’s new Ultra streaming box is faster and adds custom app shortcuts

Roku Express with Remote

Roku is refreshing its lineup of streamers today, introducing a few updates to the Roku Express and Ultra that won’t make you replace your existing device, but should be handy for new buyers.

The new Roku express is even smaller.

The Roku Express is now 10 percent smaller, making it easier to hide behind a TV, while providing the same performance as before. Meanwhile, the Roku Ultra has a new quad-core processor and more RAM in order to load channels (Roku‘s name for apps) up to 30 percent faster.

Perhaps more notably, its the first Roku to feature custom shortcut buttons to supplement the default apps permanently printed onto the remote.

Note the 1 and 2 buttons on the remote, used for custom shortcuts.

Roku is also announced that version 9.2 of its OS is rolling out. It includes a new feature called Roku Zones, which is kind of like Netflix categories, except listing shows from multiple streaming apps instead of just one. You’ll also be able to search by movie quotes and control multiple Roku devices through your voice assistant of choice.

In all, this is the new Roku line-up:

  • Roku Express ($29.99): HD Streaming
  • Roku Express+ ($39.99): Walmart only, same as above but with a Roku voice remote.
  • Roku Premiere ($39.99): Small 4K HDR box
  • Roku Streaming Stick+ ($59.99): 4k HDR stick with voice remote.
  • Roku Streaming Stick+ HE ($59.99): A best buy exclusive featuring the enhanced Roku remote with a headphone jack and headphones included.
  • Roku Ultra ($99.99): The fastest Roku. Has a voice remote with custom shortcuts, USB and Micro SD storage, Ethernet, and JBL headphones included.
  • Roku Ultra LT ($79.99): Similar to above, except with the old processor, no custom shortcut buttons, and no remote finder.

The Express and Ultra are available to pre-order today. The Express+will launch this month, while the others will arrive in October.

Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.

Published September 19, 2019 — 21:01 UTC

on roku