Amazon powers up Fire TV Stick with quad-core SoC

E-retailer and cloud hosting juggernaut Amazon has refreshed its Fire TV Stick streaming media player with a new quad-core SoC and support for latest-and-greatest 802.11ac MIMO Wi-Fi. The remote in the new version brings voice activation as a standard feature, too. On the software side, the revised HDMI dongle packs improved support for Amazon's Alexa voice-activated digital assistant.

The 2016 Fire TV Stick now sports a MediaTek 1.3GHz quad-core SoC accompanied by 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. This hardware configuration appears to be similar to the one inside the 7" Kindle Tablet. The maximum output resolution is 1080p at 30Hz. Amazon claims the Stick will be able to play casual games, too. Owners looking for 4K output, support for advanced games, an Ethernet port, or a microSD slot will have to step up to the Fire TV set-top box.

AFTVnews doesn't have a new Fire TV Stick to test, but that didn't stop the site from speculating about performance. For a rough comparison, AFTVnews found the 7" Fire Tablet to be about twice as fast as the previous-model Stick, but still pretty pokey compared to either of the Fire TV set-top models.  

The quad-core Fire TV Stick costs the same $40 as the original model. Amazon expects US deliveries to begin October 20.

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