Amazon just announced its very own (crazy cheap) $40 Chromecast competitor, the Fire TV Stick. And if you're an Amazon Prime member, you have until Wednesday to pick one up for a mere $19.
More specifically, Prime members have 40 hours—or until 9am ET on Wednesday—to pick up what's actually a pretty sweet deal, considering the Fire TV Stick actually has twice the memory of Chromecast. And while the new HDMI dongle does give you access via the voice-control-capable Fire TV Remote App, you won't have to rely on a smartphone; a Fire TV remote is, thankfully, included. Of course, if you want to upgrade to a voice-controlled remote, that'll set you back another $30—or nearly double the cost of the device itself.
In addition to giving you access to apps like Netflix and Amazon Instant Video (obviously), the Fire TV Stick also lets you mirror your tablet or smartphone screen on your TV, assuming you're using either an Android or Fire-powered device. And if you do choose to fling audio or video onto your TV, you can use the Second Screen X-Ray feature to "learn more about TV shows and movies." Which is a little gimmicky, sure, but not a bad thing to have when available.
The Fire TV Stick will also give you access to features like ASAP, Amazon's own little attempt at adding convenience by predicting what you'll want to watch. Which was also a feature of Fire TV which hasn't been quite the breakaway hit Amazon was hoping for. So while features like ASAP are nice, they're also probably not what's going to set the Fire TV Stick apart from the pack—especially considering its more substantial cousin is trailing behind Chromecast and Roku 3 in Amazon's own top sellers. Rather, the selling point here is price more than anything—at least in these first 48 hours. You know, that or whether or not you're someone who wants to play Flappy Bird on their TV.
The Stick is available for pre-order on Amazon now, and Prime customers should see their (considerable) discount tacked on at checkout. [Amazon]