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Panasonic Viera touchpad controller prototype hands-on (video)

Looking for a more comfortable web browsing and app using experience on your Panasonic Viera Smart TV? The company is looking to lend a hand with upcoming peripherals like the Viera touchpad prototype that we took for a spin here in Vegas. Compatible with the 2012 line of televisions that share the same moniker, the controller enables you to peruse the web on your wall-mounted display via Panasonic's Webkit browser. We spent a few minutes browsing the Engadget site, so read on for our impressions.

Using HTML5, the browser scrolled pages at a decent clip. Don't get your hopes up about Flash though, as in its absence you'll certainly be disappointed. Text wasn't as crisp as we'd like and a lack of font support made rendered pages look off. In terms of the prototype, we were able to navigate the web with ease despite the occasional hiccup with the touchpad's responsiveness -- a quirk you'd expect with a device still in beta. Some basic TV remote functions like volume and channel controls were also on the mouse-sized peripheral which can be paired with wired or wireless keyboards for some text-heavy couch surfing. We're hearing that it'll be included with a few models this spring and also offered as a solo option for those who may have already purchased a compatible HDTV. If you're itching for a look at the action, a short preview video awaits after the break.

Dante Cesa contributed to this report.