Yesterday, Google released Chromecast, the internet giant's long-awaited response to Apple's popular Apple TV. Chromecast is slightly larger than a standard USB drive and comes in at $35 (£25-30), around a third the price of Apple TV. Early reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. Forbes declared the Google device a "game changer," Business Insider called it an "Apple TV-Killer," and Salon dubbed Chromecast "the cheap and easy future of TV."

The Internet connected device plugs into the HDMI port on your TV and streams content from any smartphone, tablet, or laptop, and from a host of popular streaming sites, including Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play. Google also released the Google Cast SDK, which allows developers to bring apps to the fledgling system.

On the surface, Chromecast seems nearly identical to Apple TV - there are numerous design and software differences, but both offer simple internet-based streaming for a reasonable price. Early proponents of the Google device have pointed to its flexibility and lower price as key reasons for its advantage over Apple TV.

While Apple TV streams content to a TV directly from a Mac computer or iOS device, Chromecast instead streams content from the cloud. This frees up a user's phone or tablet to surf the web, send emails, or do something otherwise productive. And unlike Apple TV, which can be controlled with either its own dedicated remote or an iOS device, Chromecast can be accessed via any Internet-enabled smartphone or tablet - including iOS devices.

However, Chromecast is not without a few flaws. Since it is HDMI powered, Chromecast must be charged (no word yet on its battery life), and it relies solely on WiFi, while Apple TV has an Ethernet plug-in for those who desire a faster and more stable connection. Despite these imperfections, Chromecast's price point and potential has the tech community buzzing.

The $35 device can be bought from the Google Play store and includes three months of free Netflix streaming (a $24) value. This will roughly work out to £25-30 in the UK (no date has been set yet).