Here at Gadget Man, we appear to go for the heavy hitters. I don’t think we’ve looked at a device that is below £100 yet, so today we’re going to change the pace with an insanely cool piece of affordable tech. Let’s take a look at the Chromecast.
The Chromecast is essentially a manifested solution of a simple premise; we, as consumers, want to watch things on our tablets, but sometimes we want to throw it up on the TV for some more comfortable, evening viewing. By plugging the tiny, sleekly designed HDMI fob into the port, and installing an application on your phone, tablet or laptop, you can control what you watch, be it from the Play store, Netflix, Youtube BBC iPlayer, or just generally for internet browsing. One of the best things about the device is the price; £30 for the access on your television is a fantastic price, especially considering how fast it connects up with your other tech. It takes around 3-7 seconds to get a video to appear on a TV screen, and when it does, there is very little to interfere, other than buffering.
Chromecast is 1080p compatible and depending on broadcast quality of the video, pictures are often clear, and the array of applications that can be used are extremely encouraging. YouTube has become a cultural phenomenon in recent years. The chance to finally be able to browse the social video network on your television is extremely liberating. Netflix is another fantastic feature that makes its way onto the television. In simplistic terms, your phone becomes a remote, with a much more flexible set of options available to you. It can also be used as a second screen, something which is incredibly useful when you are, say, browsing the internet whilst streaming a film on Netflix onto your television.
What you’re looking for is a box with a sleek design, white in its entirety apart from a blue side, and an image of the USB-like device on the front. Dubbed “The Easiest Way to Enjoy Online Video and Music on your TV”, it really lives up to its reputation. What we have here is a development in technology and gadgetry in general that doesn’t only progress a line of thinking, but brings genuine competition to the two other competitors in this market; The Roku (3) and the Apple TV are both devices with the same form of functionality, yet the Chromecast is the next step from this, taking away the extra clutter of a box, having a simple plug-in device to place behind the television.
The Chromecast is probably the most recommendable piece of tech we’ve had on Gadget Man so far. With a price tag of 30, it’s hard not to love the way the device operates, giving you everything that you may wish to see from YouTube, to Netflix. The only problems we can really fault revolve around the more experimental systems on the device.
Any program outside of the defaults will require deeper delving into the options of the device, allowing you to mirror other programs, such as images you have edited in Photoshop, or documents you have on Word. This section has officially been labelled “experimental” by Google – the device is the first in its range, so some of the more detailed systems haven’t been ironed out. These are expected to be fixed with the next version, but don’t let this deter you from purchasing the original, which still has more than enough to keep you busy.
When considering what to buy, I personally opt for the following approach; each pound I spend on the device should equate to at least one hour of entertainment. Considering that I picked up my Chromecast at £30 and I use Netflix for around three hours a day,
I’d definitely consider it worth buying, and you should as well. The Chromecast is one of the best devices out there to link your phone, tablet or laptop to your television, and you shouldn’t miss out. Find one in your local tech store today, and be sure to check back with Gadget Man for more reviews!