The streaming world may be consolidating faster than anticipated, but it’s pretty clear that cable TV isn’t likely to stage a comeback anytime soon. Fortunately, if you’re looking to pick up a new streaming device to make the most of Netflix and other services, the Chromecast with Google TV (4K) is on sale at Amazon, Best Buy, and B&H Photo starting at $39.98 ($10 off), nearly matching its lowest price to date.
Despite having launched at the tail end of 2020, Google’s 4K-ready Chromecast remains one of our top picks when it comes to streaming devices. It features many of the hallmarks we expect in a modern streamer, including support for Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos, along with a comfortable remote that can control your TV over both IR and HDMI-CEC. Said remote also touts dedicated buttons for YouTube and Google Assistant, while allowing you to effortlessly cruise all your favorite streaming apps. Google’s thoughtful approach to aggregation is the real sell here, though, as it recommends shows and movies across a wide range of services, with Rotten Tomatoes ratings and other helpful tidbits at the ready.
Not long ago, Amazon’s fifth-gen Echo Dot was our go-to rec if you wanted an entry-level Alexa speaker for your guest room, bathroom, or one of the smaller rooms in your home. Things have changed with the introduction of the Echo Pop, however, which is currently on sale at Amazon along with a Sengled smart bulb for just $24.99 ($35 off).
Much like the latest Echo Dot, the Pop is a relatively cheap way to build upon your existing Alexa setup or simply add smarts to a room lacking them. The semicircular smart speaker isn’t quite as capable as its globe-like brethren — it lacks temperature sensors and doesn’t sound nearly as good — but it packs the same speedy AZ2 Neural Edge processor and conveniently doubles as an extender for an Eero mesh Wi-Fi system. As expected, it also supports Amazon’s digital assistant, which means you can use it to control smart home devices, set timers, stream music, trigger Alexa Routines, and carry out a host of other voice-activated tasks. The fact that it’s available in fun colors like purple and teal is just a plus.