The best streaming gadget available is Apple TV 4K. Even if the 2022 model improved upon it and cost a little less at full retail, this Black Friday discount on the 2021 model is almost too good to be true.
The question then becomes what you’ll give up if you choose the slightly outdated model instead, which is on sale for an astounding $80, saving you almost $100 off the list price of $179.
The fact that it is bigger might be the most noticeable difference. The fact that the 2021 model has an active cooling fan while the 2022 model does not accounts for much of its small size increase. I’ve had an Apple TV 4K for more than five years, yet during that time I’ve never once actually heard the fan start up.
The internals come next. The A12 Bionic CPU is used in the 2021 model, whereas the A15 Bionic is used in the 2018 model. The 2022 version is three times better than the earlier one, according to simple math. You won’t actually notice the change, though. (For more information, read our whole Apple TV 4K 2022 review.) The same is true for the 2022 model, which has a processor with twice as many cores and an extra gigabyte of RAM. The simple truth is that the money you’ll save more than makes up for any specifications on paper that you’ll never notice in real life. Will Wi-Fi 5 cause you more problems than Wi-Fi 6? Most likely not. In any case, if you can plug in, both models include Gigabit Ethernet.
There may be a tiny case for the upgraded remote control, which charges via USB-C rather than Apple’s exclusive Lightning connector. But if you’re even thinking about an Apple TV 4K, that’s a minor inconvenience, and chances are good that you already have a Lightning cable lying around.
In any case, you’re still getting a great platform for watching videos, whether they come from Apple’s own store, any live-streaming service like YouTube TV, or any of the other on-demand streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Apple TV+. With no advertising (you can’t say that about the other platforms), a straightforward user interface, and software that will remain current for years, you’ll get it all.
This is almost too good to pass up.