Google Chromecast Review
Google's Chromecast is so cheap that many consumers have snatched it up "just because." The ability to mirror the content of a Chrome browser tab, or even a computer's desktop, on a TV adds to the appeal. However, the Chromecast doesn't stand on its own as a content source.
Google Chromecast reviews highlight the low price (starting at $35, Amazon) and simplicity of the device: Just plug the dongle into the back of an HDTV and use mobile apps or the Chrome web browser much as you normally would. The ability to "cast" music and video from a mobile device or computer to a TV is so desirable that a Chromecast review by Business Insider calls the decision to buy the device a no-brainer -- and that review was published before Chromecast supported many third-party apps. Chromecast owners can display content from Google's media services, such as YouTube and Google Play, and use popular services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, HBO Go, Pandora, and Plex.
PC Mag's updated Chromecast review rates the device excellent and gives it an Editors' Choice award. The reviewer recommends it for consumers who live by their smartphones, but it's not a stand-alone media system; there are other, simpler options. A TechRadar Chromecast review, which gives the device a 4 out of 5 rating, cites a couple of limitations: a lack of Windows phone support and a requirement to use Chrome for mirroring. On the positive, Chromecast is easy to set up, use, and bring with you anywhere, not to mention inexpensive.
Where to buy
Perhaps revealingly, most Chromecast reviews we read conclude that consumers might as well buy the device, given that it costs only $35. That may not be reason enough for many frugal-minded consumers, especially those who want only one streaming device. Again, this is not a content-filled addition to a home-entertainment setup. Chromecast relies on other devices to send it content, instead of standing on its own. There are no menus to navigate, but that's because there are no native apps at all. Notably, you can't plop on the couch, turn on your TV, and be good to go; you need another device. Chromecast makes a convenient relay point for displaying online content on a TV screen, but it's not the best streaming entertainment system.
Chromecast caters to consumers who want to easily and wirelessly transfer video and music from a mobile device or laptop to a TV. The ability to mirror a computer screen on a TV is another huge selling point that's still in development but sure to improve over time. Chromecast gives users the potential to access essentially any online content they want on a TV.