I know it’s Turkey Day, but if you’ve got a little time between dinner and family bonding, take a moment to check out Retrevo. I’ve written about Retrevo before, but the’ve undergone a complete makeover since I last visited. It used to be a good site for finding product manuals, and I loved it when they added the “deals” feature, but I would never have said it was the place to start your gadget research. Here’s what’s changed:
- The homepage not only has a search bar, but a picture wheel of categories designed to take you right where you want to go: digital cameras, HDTVs, etc.
- Click on any icon and Retrevo brings up a “Value Map” showing the range of available products mapped by price and features, as well as a window for selecting preferences in the product you’d like to find: price range, brand and features. At the bottom of the screen is a list of all the products in the chosen category, which shrinks as you enter your personal criteria.
- Each listing automatically shows you the lowest price available and a thumbs up, thumbs sideways or thumbs down for value and community reaction. I found the community ratings a bit suspect, but that’s okay because once you’ve clicked on a product, Retrevo brings up its traditional menu of expert and user reviews (links to places like CNET and Amazon reviews) in addition to product documentation and available deals.
All in all, Retrevo is the best aggregator of consumer electronics information I’ve seen. I liked it before, but earlier versions of the site couldn’t hold a candle to what Retrevo offers today. If you’re planning to shop gadgets this holiday season, no site is going to make finding the information you need easier.