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I don't mind telling you I have three Roku boxes in my house.
That's not me being boastful; it's me revealing how much I love
The new $99.99 Roku 3 takes the place of the Roku 2 XS as the
high-end model in the line, and it's without a doubt the company's
best box yet. But questions remain: Is it worth the extra cash, and
does it beat the Apple TV at its own media-streaming game?
For the uninitiated, a Roku box plugs into one of your TV's
HDMI ports, then serves up nearly every video and audio service
known to man: Amazon Instant Video, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Netflix,
Pandora, Slacker, Spotify, TuneIn Radio, Vudu, and literally
hundreds of others.
Every self-respecting couch potato needs an Apple TV or Roku box. Ah, but
which one? The answer might surprise you.
In case you're unfamiliar with these products, they're each
about the size a hockey puck, each intended to plug into one of
your HDTV's HDMI ports.
Both boxes stream content to your TV from a variety of
sources, including Netflix, Hulu Plus, and Pandora. Neither
requires you to pay any extra monthly fees except for the regular
costs of services like Netflix and Hulu Plus. And both can be had
for under $100 (more on that in a bit).
I've used an Apple TV and various Roku models for a while now,
and I'll profess to loving them equally. That said, each has its
pros and cons, and those are worth considering as you weigh your
Let's start with Apple TV.
Many consumers shop around like crazy before deciding on a major
purchase like a laptop or tv, but then buy the store's expensive
extended warranty without even questioning it!
Store issued warranties are often not worth the price,
especially with technology changing dramatically from year to year
and gadgets becoming obsolete within a few years.
The good news for us consumers is the warranty business is
getting more competitive, so a store warranty isn't your only
There's nothing like a gross-out news story to offer a little
perspective. Last week, I might've complained that shipping was taking
longer than expected. Now, I'm just glad that my gadgets don't arrive
covered in gum and vomit.
As The Consumerist reports, this was the sight that greeted a Dell Outlet customer when his refurbished laptop arrived with gum on the inside and a barf-like substance on the outside. What's worse, Dell initially blamed FedEx.
the problem seems to be mostly sorted out, and the man will soon have a
shiny, new, non-waste-covered laptop on the way. And, thankfully, the
vast majority of refurbished laptops don't have this problem, or any
problems, really. We should be careful not to take the wrong lesson from
this. Refurbs are still a smart choice. Read on to learn why.
Image by Joi Ito from Inbamura, Japan (whatsinyourbag) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
It's summertime, and that means vacations. Whether you're traveling by plane, train, car, bus, or boat, you'll want to stock up on gadgets and gear that can make your trip fun, efficient, and memorable. Make room in your carry-on bag for these five items.