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.

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