Dan Nosowitz for Popular Science:
The Apple TV costs $95 on Amazon–a lot more money, sure. But you get a lot more for your money (great interface, stellar hardware, support for the enormously popular Apple store, the combination of apps and a slinging feature), and it’s also important to remember that these gadgets can help you get rid of cable entirely. An Apple TV costs about as much as one month’s worth of cable. Suck it up, guys. It’s not that expensive.
This isn’t to say that I’m not excited by Chromecast; I think slinging is exceptionally cool, and I think it’s great that this hardware so cheap and small. But I don’t necessarily think that a device that does exclusively slinging, no matter how cheap it is, is a viable option for most people. It’s best as part of a larger whole.
I agree with Dan. Google basically implemented Apple’s AirPlay, but that’s all Chromecast does. People expect more from an entertainment device in their home and this doesn’t give it to them. That’s not to say Google won’t sell a lot of them—they will, but that initial interest will fade because it doesn’t solve the problem we have with cable TV using a simplistic solution that everyone can use.
UPDATE: As many people have pointed out Chromecast isn’t like AirPlay at all. It only streams video from that you pass from your phone, it doesn’t actually stream the content from your device. Honestly, I don’t get this device.