While the Ultra streaming box itself looks no different, it does come with a couple of more powerful specifications. It's also coming with an updated remote that adds new features. Overall, it seems like a win for the consumer.
In addition to the updated Ultra, there are three other devices that are part of the 2019 lineup. The Roku Streaming Stick+, Roku Premier, and an updated Roku Express.
The newer Roku Express and Ultra are seeing the big changes
Roku is bringing its biggest changes to its most expensive and least expensive models. The Express and the Ultra. Both devices are receiving some improvements, though some are more noticeable than others.
One of those is the addition of two new buttons on the remote for the Ultra, which act as shortcut buttons that can be customized by the user. The idea is to let users have the power to launch any app on the device with the single press of a button.
These are situated just above the shortcut buttons for Netflix, Hulu, Sling, and ESPN+, and are labeled with a number 1 and 2. The box itself got some upgrades as well, though these are on the inside.
The updated 2019 version of the player now features more memory and a more powerful quad-core processor. This reportedly equates to faster launching apps and channels, with boosts of up to 30-percent and up to 17-percent respectively. Though only for some apps and channels.
The new Express is 10-percent smaller
The Express meanwhile has been slimmed down a bit, making it even smaller than last year's model.
The Roku Express was already small to begin with but apparently not small enough for Roku. The company has cut it down in size by 10-percent, making it even easier to to hide it plain view.
The smaller size also makes it perfect for keeping down clutter. Especially when you factor in its ability to use most TVs as a power source through the USB port.
Neither device is available yet, but they will be soon
Roku is expecting to ship both the new Ultra and the new Express on or by October 13 of this year. You can currently pre-order either one though.
The new Ultra will retail for $99.99, while the new Express will retail for $29.99, and both can be purchased through Roku's website. Other retailers, such as Amazon, will likely pick up the products in due time.