Getting a feel for Panasonic's touch-pad remote

We get a hands-on with Panasonic's new touch-pad remote, designed to simplify Web navigation and online services.

Ty Pendlebury/CBS Interactive

LAS VEGAS--LG has its Magic Motion, and Sony has its Google TV nub. And until now, Panasonic hasn't had an effective way to navigate Web content. Enter the new Panasonic touch-pad remote control.

Available on Panasonic Blu-ray players--DMP-BBT01, DMP-BDT500, DMP-BDT320--and select televisions, including the WT50 and the VT50--the new remote offers a simple touch-pad surface, with a couple of additional buttons.

This year's Viera TVs and Blu-ray players feature a beefed-up Viera Connect smart-TV service and an onboard browser, and the touch pad is designed to make it easier to navigate around Web pages and services like Netflix.

We had a brief hands-on with the Blu-ray remote, and the device fits comfortably in your hand, with your thumb naturally gravitating to the touch-pad area. The thumbpad controls an onscreen cursor and also includes "hard" buttons such as menu, Skype, and Netflix.

Featured Video

Behmor's app controlled coffee maker links to the Web for better brewing

The $329 Behmor Connected Coffee Brewer boasts the guts of an SCAA-approved drip coffee maker melded with a Wi-Fi radio, plus Internet links and mobile app control all in the interest of creating better pots of java.

by Brian Bennett