With all the attention deservedly going to the new iPad, it can be easy to forget that Apple also launched a third-gen Apple TV set-top box at its March 7th media event. The little hockey puck included 1080p HD video support and a faster processor, but that’s basically it. Not much has changed since the last Apple TV.
Apple has given early review units of the new Apple TV to certain publications to review. Here’s what they have to say:
Macworld’s Jason Snell likes the addition of 1080p, but cautions current Apple TV owners:
At $99, the third-generation Apple TV continues to be as excellent a value as the previous model—and now it supports higher-quality video too. That’s a good thing. For those with the previous generation, however, the decision to upgrade comes down to whether the difference in quality between two high-definition formats is important (and noticeable) enough to you.
Joshua Topolsky of The Verge has a good writeup with an excellent video review:
This year’s Apple TV is a strange little device. Nearly everything it did before, it now does better — it streams 1080p content, is easier than ever to navigate, and remains one of the simplest devices to set up and use that we’ve seen. But when I reviewed the 2010 Apple TV, my biggest concerns were all about the content: the available content on a device like the Boxee Box or the Roku positively dwarfed the Apple TV. That’s still true, though the iTunes integration with Netflix is a solid sign that Apple’s thinking the right way.
MG Siegler of TechCrunch takes a stronger stance by saying that the new Apple TV will kill off disks:
There’s no reason why every person with an iOS device (and soon a Mac) shouldn’t get an Apple TV. And that’s a problem for the makers of Blu-ray players. Again, just slightly better quality will no longer be enough. Apple’s latest Apple TV is going to continue the trend they began with the MacBook Air —the killing off of optical discs.
The Loop’s Jim Dalrymple writes a simple, experience-focused review for the average consumer:
The Apple TV is the epitome of convenience. With iCloud, I have access to all of my iTunes Match music and videos, so I don’t need to connect to a computer anymore. I can purchase movies, TV shows and I can watch content from Netflix. That’s perfect.
The new Apple TV will be available in-store alongside the new iPad this Friday. Pre-orders will also be arriving to doorsteps on March 16th. What do you think of the new Apple TV? Is it worth the upgrade? Sound off in the comments below!