Roku announced an all-new Roku Express and an improved Roku Ultra on Thursday. The updated streaming players from Roku round out the company’s product lineup, just in time for the holiday season and the launch of streaming services from Apple and Disney.
The new Roku Express is 10% smaller than the previous version, according to Roku, and designed to take up as little space as possible. The small, black device is roughly half the size of the Roku remote. An HDMI cable and a power adaptor are included, however you can power Express from your TV if you’re out of nearby power outlets.
The Roku Ultra boasts an improved quad-core processor and 802.11ac dual-band wireless for faster performance and better wireless connectivity. Ultra can stream 4K programming, including HDR content on compatible TVs. That combination of those two acronyms leads to clearer and more colorful shows and movies, as long as your TV and your streaming service support it.
The included Enhanced Roku Voice Remote now comes with programmable shortcut buttons that you can use to launch apps or streaming services. The remote still has a headphone jack on its side, making it possible to quietly binge on the second volume of “The Chef Show” on Netflix while your partner sleeps next to you.
Roku Ultra is priced at $99.99 and is available for preorder right now. We don’t know exactly when it will be available, outside of Roku stating it will happen in October.
The Roku Ultra LT is slightly cheaper, at $79.99 and is available only at Walmart. It features 4K HDR capabilities and includes an Enhanced Roku Voice remote, along with Roku branded headphones.
In addition to adding new devices to its lineup, Roku also announced Roku OS 9.2. The new OS that powers Roku’s streaming devices includes several new improvements, from sleep timers and searching by movie quotes to a 4K Spotlight channel featuring curated 4K titles and Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa support.
The update is free to all Roku users and will start rolling out later this month.
Roku’s latest products come just a few weeks after the company announced a Smart Soundbar and a Wireless Subwoofer. The soundbar connects to your TV, improving its sound, but also doubles as a streaming device. Amazon announced a similar device, built in partnership with Anker, the same day as Roku.
Finally, Roku is also expanding its product lineup to the U.K., Canada, Ireland and select countries in Latin America. Roku Express, Roku Premiere and Roku Streaming Stick+ will be available in those countries “in the coming weeks.”
Roku products have always provided a well-rounded streaming experience, allowing users to stream content from Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. The expansion of its product lineup, and continued software improvements are reasons why Roku has remained competitive in what’s quickly become a crowded market.
Note: The prices above reflect the retailers’ listed prices at the time of publication.