It's not the size of the dongle that matters, but what you can do with it. As long as we're judging them in this fashion (and why wouldn't we?), Roku has about 1,200 reasons why it thinks you should pick its new HDMI Streaming Stick (3500R) over Google's Chromecast device even though Roku's offering carries a pricing premium.
Here's the deal -- the Roku Streaming Stick is available now for $50 from Roku.com, Amazon.com, BestBuy.com, Target.com, and Walmart.com, and will be in stores sometime around early April. That's $15 more expensive than the Chromecast, a device we liked from the get-go and one that keeps getting better. So, is the extra $15 worth it?
Without having one in-house to evaluate, it wouldn't be fair to make a determination one way or the other, though we can tell you where Roku's dongle trumps Google's on paper. The biggest discrepancy between the two is the amount of content -- Roku's Streaming Stick already has a library of over 1,200 channels.
You also get an IR remote control and dual-band 802.11n Wi-Fi with the 3500R, whereas the Chromecast uses your mobile device as the remote (the 3500R can do that, too) and supports single-band connectivity. The latter is not a huge advantage, but it's nice to have the option of switching bands to avoid network congestion. Both sticks support 1080p.
In any event, if Roku's new Streaming Stick intrigues you, it's available to purchase now.