Hands-On With the New Apple TV 4K

Apple in October introduced an updated version of the Apple TV 4K, which is available as of today. We picked one up to take a look at the new features and to determine whether it's worth the upgrade for MacRumors readers who already have an ‌Apple TV‌ 4K.

The third-generation ‌Apple TV‌ 4K looks a lot like the second-generation model, but it is a bit thinner and lighter. It's not so thin that you're going to notice a major difference, but if they're side-by-side, you can tell.

As for feature set, there's a much faster A15 chip that offers up to a 50 percent improvement in CPU performance and up to a 30 percent improvement in GPU performance compared to the A12 chip in the prior model. Whether you'll be able to notice that speed difference depends on what you do on your ‌Apple TV‌.

If you play graphics intensive games, you may see a good deal of improvement, but it should speed up animations, app load times, and more across the tvOS operating system. The updated models also include 4GB RAM instead of 3GB, and base storage starts at 64GB with a 128GB option available as an upgrade.

Apple has also added HDR10+ support, which joins HDR10 and Dolby Vision. So if you have a TV that supports HDR10+, you may want to upgrade. As for the Siri Remote, it's the same, but it does charge over USB-C instead of Lightning now.

So is it worth upgrading? It depends. If you just use your ‌Apple TV‌ 4K for watching shows and the performance is fine, it's probably not worth shelling out extra money. If you can take advantage of the features like HDR10+ or the speed improvements, it's a good upgrade. If you have an older model like the ‌Apple TV‌ HD, it's definitely worth checking out the new model.

There are two variants, and pricing is lower than it has been in recent years. Apple is charging $129 for the 64GB version, and $149 for the 128GB model, which also comes with Thread and a built-in Ethernet port. If you need Ethernet, you should pay the extra $20, and you should also go ahead and get the better model if you have a smart home setup for the Thread integration.

What do you think of the ‌Apple TV‌ 4K? Let us know in the comments below.

Related Roundup: Apple TV
Buyer's Guide: Apple TV (Caution)

Top Rated Comments

MauiPa Avatar
17 months ago
LMAO at all the complainers whining about no USBC cable. Just yesterday they were saying that apple should switch to USBC because they already had plenty of cables. Now, some people aren't happy with using one of the many USBC cables they already have? Weird
Score: 29 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Spotlighter9 Avatar
17 months ago

The 2021 wasn't really even a spec bump increase over the 2017 model. Slightly faster CPU, slightly slower GPU. Same RAM, Storage, etc.
Sure it was...A12 (vs A10x), Thread (vs no Thread), HDMI 2.1 (vs 2.0), WIFI-6 (vs WIFI-5), High Frame Rate (60fps) support, ARC and eARC...and a redesigned Siri Remote for good measure. A tremendous upgrade, IMO.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
GizmoDVD Avatar
17 months ago

I agree only in part that this upgrade is disappointing because I dislike the nickel and dime tactic of breaking out the Ethernet. What used to be included is now charged a premium.

How is it a premium when it's being sold for $30 less than the previous model? Just think differently that APPLE released a lower-cost AppleTV
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shirasaki Avatar
17 months ago
What’s the appeal for 128GB of storage for a tabletop tv box that mainly used for streaming? Those so-called “graphically intensive game” can’t be more than 20GB in size per game right? Offline viewing? Content can’t be transferred outside of Apple TV so who cares…
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
17 months ago

LMAO at all the complainers whining about no USBC cable. Just yesterday they were saying that apple should switch to USBC because they already had plenty of cables. Now, some people aren't happy with using one of the many USBC cables they already have? Weird
Or maybe it was just two entirely different groups of people?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Seoras Avatar
17 months ago
Dan, clean your desk man!
I was wiping away at my iMac screen in the top right corner during your video until I realised it was your desk and not my screen! ?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 17

10 New Things Your iPhone Can Do in Next Week's iOS 17.4 Update

Friday March 1, 2024 1:30 am PST by
Apple will this month release iOS 17.4, its biggest iPhone software update of the year so far, featuring a number of features and changes that users have been anticipating for quite a while. Below, we've listed 10 new things that your iPhone will be able to do after you've installed the update, which is projected to arrive by March 7. When the day arrives, be sure to check Settings ➝...
Google maps feaure

Google Maps Finally Rolls Out Glanceable Directions

Wednesday February 28, 2024 2:07 am PST by
After more than a year since announcing the feature, Google Maps is finally rolling out glanceable directions on Android and iOS (via Android Police). The feature allows users to view turn-by-turn directions and a live ETA directly from their device's lock screen – information that was previously only visible when a phone was unlocked. Glanceable directions also work on the app's route...
iOS 18 Mock iPhone 16 Feature Gray

iOS 18 Rumored to Be Compatible With These iPhone Models

Tuesday February 27, 2024 6:31 am PST by
iOS 18 will be compatible with the iPhone XR, and thereby also the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max models with the same A12 Bionic chip, according to a post on X today from a private account with a proven track record of sharing build numbers for upcoming iOS updates. The post was spotted by MacRumors contributor Aaron Perris, and it has since been deleted. However, this was likely because the...
M3 MacBook Air Feature

New MacBook Air Models Launching This March: 5 Features to Expect

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:50 am PST by
The existing 15-inch MacBook Air arrived in June 2023, which is not that long ago in terms of Mac update cycles. However, Apple released the current 13-inch ‌MacBook Air back in June 2022. It is now the oldest Mac in Apple's current crop, having not been updated in 600 days. But rumors suggest that is unlikely to be the case for much longer. According to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has...
iPad Pro OLED Feature 2

OLED iPad Pro's Thin Design Highlighted in CAD Drawings

Wednesday February 28, 2024 1:22 pm PST by
Apple is working on a new version of the iPad Pro that is set to launch as soon as March, and the refresh will mark the biggest design update to the Pro lineup since 2018. Apple is transitioning to OLED displays, and the swap will allow for a major change to the overall thickness of the device. CAD drawings of the upcoming ~11-inch and ~13-inch iPad Pro models give us some insight into just...

Apple Spent More Than $10 Billion on Apple Car Before Canceling Project

Wednesday February 28, 2024 5:13 pm PST by
Apple spent more than $10 billion working on the Apple Car over the last decade, according to a report from The New York Times that details the issues the project faced during development. Apple first launched the project in 2014 and let it flounder for more than a decade before calling it off earlier this week. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Money was spent on...
airpods pro 2 pink

Apple Releases New Beta Firmware for AirPods Pro 2

Thursday February 29, 2024 11:41 am PST by
Apple today introduced a new beta firmware update for the AirPods Pro 2, both the USB-C and Lightning versions. The new firmware is version 6E188, up from the prior 6B34 firmware released in December. Apple does not often provide details or notes on what features might be included in the refreshed firmware, so it is unclear what's new. Note that this software is limited to developers at the...