While overshadowed by the launch of Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. Report flagship iPhones, the tech giant also unveiled its new and improved Apple TV 4K at its Sept. 12 event, demonstrating how the product has evolved to bring TV viewing into the future.
The first reviews of the new device, which boasts 32GB of storage for the $179 model and 64GB for $199, are out, and critics say it's perfect for those looking for enhanced picture quality and improved gaming experience. Here's a round-up of some of the top reviews:
Gannett Co.'s (CGI) staple publication notes that the new Apple TV is great for those who enjoy playing games, as well as heavy app users, since the new device packs four times the graphics performance and twice the speed of the previous Apple TV model thanks to its all-new A10X Fusion chip.
USA Today also raves about the product's display, notably its enhanced contrast, high-resolution screen, and a wider array of richer colors. It equates the new and improved picture to that of those of a movie theatre screen. The resolution is said to appear "crisp and fluid."
The remote of the Apple TV also was met with positive feedback due to its simplicity and its versatility in implementing Siri. Taking everything into consideration, the publication concludes that "Apple TV 4K is a worthwhile upgrade that makes plenty of sense."
The tech blog gave mixed reviews to Apple's latest set-top box, but still awarded it an overall rating of 7.5, saying Apple is "the only company that has the combination of power and care to actually do it." However, The Verge still considers the device "expensive to gamble" on until Apple can unleash its "untapped potential."
The Verge raved about the Apple's 4K simplistic interface, bevy of applications, more cost-efficient 4K HDR movie selections, and the fact that iTunes is upgraded to 4K HDR free of charge. That said, the Verge commented that those same HDR features make some HD videos look bad. It also noted the annoyance of not including YouTube 4K HDR capabilities, Disney and Marvel movie titles in 4K HDR, or the Dolby Atmos, a new audio format for creating and playing back multichannel movie soundtracks.
Overall, The Verge considered the new Apple TV to be too expensive at its current price.
CNET also had some positive and negative feedback on the new Apple TV, but ultimately gave the new product an overall rating of 8.5 predicated on its display, features and performance.
The tech publication boldly claimed the Apple TV 4K has the "best streaming video available to compatible 4K, HDR and Dolby Vision TVs." It also said the new product has the "most polished" video streaming capabilities available on the market, and it considered the remote the best on the market as well.
But, CNET found the new Apple TV to be too expensive and considered competitors including Roku to have more bang for their buck, based on image qualities. Ultimately, CNET viewed the new Apple TV as combining "peak picture with a high-end feel nothing else can match, but it costs too much for most people."
The magazine and digital news service rated the Apple TV 4K 4 out of 5 based on its "gorgeous high-fidelity video."
Time echoed other reviewers, however, in considering the new Apple TV just too costly.
"You're paying a premium for convenience and ease-of-use. Contrast with something like the Roku Ultra, which you can find for $79.99, or the Amazon Fire TV, which is usually $89.99 when it's in stock."
Ultimately, Time found the HDR support, complete viewing experience, simple setup and Siri capabilities to be the best features of the new TV viewing device. And despite its negative sentiment regarding its price, Time said the new Apple TV 4K is perfect for "Apple fans willing to pay a premium for convenience."
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