Apple TV 4K review

8.4/10 AVG.
RATING
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  • Apple TV 4K

Apple hits nearly every sweet spot with its upgraded Apple TV 4K.

- Alex Kidman, finder.com.au 


Apple's entry into the 4K/HDR world has a few issues to work out.

- Devindra Hardawar, Engadget 

Specs / Features


Warranty (Months) 12 months
Release date 22-September-2017
Size 4 x 10 x 10 cm (1.6 x 3.9 x 3.9 in)
Weight N/A
Reviews summary section

What's good

  • Intuitive, fluid interface
  • Great integration with iOS and HomeKit products
  • 4K/UHD and HDR support
  • Plenty of storage
  • Can play apps and games as well as stream media
  • Clean design that will fit most entertainment systems

What's bad

  • No optical audio
  • No USB
  • Remote easily lost due to size
  • No 4K YouTube support

While many media streamers added 4K and HDR to their feature set generations ago, Apple TV was slow on the uptake. With their latest release, they’re on par with the competition regarding features. But is it enough to justify the price?

If you’ve seen a previous Apple TV model, then you know what to expect here. In fact, the only real changes are a slight increase in height for the Apple TV box itself and the addition of a raised white ring on the remote to help you tell which way you’re holding it in the dark.

If you’re not familiar with their design, it’s a minimalistic square black puck. The latest release includes a power adapter port, an HDMI port, and a gigabit ethernet port—an important inclusion with the bump to 4K.

For those using the Apple TV 4K in another room, dual-band wireless AC support should provide plenty of bandwidth to keep quality high without worries about buffering and delays—assuming your Internet connection can keep up.

Digging into the specifics, the box supports both Dolby Vision and standard HDR10 formats for added flexibility. Unfortunately, reviews note that the box decides the best to use automatically, so you don’t get many options in picking based on your own preferences.

There’s also support for Dolby Digital 5.1 and Digital Plus 7.1 surround sound. However, the only audio output available is through the HDMI port, so you’ll need to keep that in mind when pairing it with audio equipment. Also, reviewers noted that surround sound is not working with Amazon Prime Video outside of UHD mode. It’s also limited to 1080p for YouTube content.

One area where the Apple TV 4K stands out from the competition is its processor. While most use just enough to keep things running smoothly, Apple has packed in their 64-bit Apple A10X Fusion chip—the same one found in the Apple iPad Pro. This makes the streaming box capable of running the latest games while ensuring the system runs fast at all times.

You’ll also find 3GB of RAM and 32 or 64GB of storage. If you plan to rely on streaming for most of your media, the 32GB model is more than enough. However, the option for more is nice. Keep in mind, however, that without USB ports, there is no way to expand storage. So if you think you might need more in the future, jump for the larger storage option upfront.

Overall, reviewers liked the Apple TV 4K. However, like most Apple products, your final impressions will likely revolve around your investment in the Apple ecosystem. The streaming box pairs well with other iOS and HomeKit devices, but doesn’t offer as many bells and whistles if you’re using Android and Google products.

GSM Arena highlights this, saying, “If YouTube 4K content playback is your priority or you're not an Apple user then we can't recommend the Apple TV 4K as you'd be better serviced by one of its alternatives from Roku, Amazon or Google’s own Chromecast Ultra.” The Wirecutter also includes it as an upgrade pick for its 2018 best media streamers roundup, saying, “The Apple TV 4K’s clean, easy to use, customizable interface provides the best overall user experience of any media streamers.”


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