While real-world performance is still excellent, there is one important distinction this year, and it's a fairly sinister one. Buy this Blu-ray player and you will be subject to advertising over and above what is already in your media, including undefeatable video ads when browsing for new apps. While most people are used to seeing ads on cable and in free apps, this is one … Read more
It's no secret that we at CNET, along with most other TV reviewers who pay attention to picture quality, love Panasonic plasmas. Just look at our current "Best TVs" list. The top four are all plasma TVs made by Panasonic.
Panasonic's days in the plasma TV market appear to be numbered.
In a long-rumored move, the Japanese electronics giant is planning to exit the market by March 2014 when its current fiscal year comes to an end, sources familiar with the situation told Reuters. That Panasonic was contemplating a departure from the market was first reported by the Japan-based newspaper Nikkei in March, but this reported timetable is sooner than some analysts had expected.
CNET has contacted Panasonic for comment and will update this report when we learn more. The company told Reuters that it was still exploring its … Read more
If you own a 2013 Panasonic Smart TV, which includes the Home Screen interface, you will now be able to customize it with the new "Home Screen Collection." The Collection enables you to pick new wallpapers and layouts from a selection of 20 different options, including nature scenes and even sports stars.
When it comes to customization and even just the attractiveness of its user interface, Panasonic has arguably lagged behind its competitors. The new Home Screen is a good start; the default interface was, in my opinion, rather drab.
To access the new wallpapers, first make sure … Read more
Now there are more than 20, ranging from 39 inches for barely more than $500 all the way up to 85 inches for $40,000.
On November 17 numerous major-brand models dropped their prices another $500, creating at least a $1,000 gap between the current selling price and what was originally announced. Retailers can now say stuff like: "You Save $3,501.01 (54%).&… Read more
Most TVs are perfectly fine for rooms with normal lighting situations, where a brighter TV isn't necessarily better. But if you plan to place the set where its screen can't avoid reflecting a window or other bright light source, you might want to consider one of the TVs below.
Not sure if your room is "normal" or not? Then chances are, you're fine with any TV. If you find your current TV bright enough, or reflections are only an issue during certain times of the day, then one of these TVs probably won't help much. But if you're constantly confounded by reflections or washout regardless of adjustments you make, a different TV might help.
Bright lights and windows can overwhelm any TV, washing out the picture and creating distracting reflections that can make certain programs, especially those with dark scenes, downright unwatchable. If possible, we recommend controlling room lighting and reflections somehow -- by either moving the TV or your seat, using blinds, or turning off the lights. But sometimes you can't do that.… Read more
The microwave is a common fixture in today's kitchen. And while many models haven't advanced very far beyond the requisite popcorn setting, finding a replacement can still be a daunting task. Before making a purchase, consider the following: would you prefer a countertop or a built-in microwave? What size microwave do you want and can your kitchen accommodate it? And, of course, how much are you willing to spend on a new microwave? Prices can range from the most basic $40 model to extremely customized oven-microwave combos for $5,000. For more buying tips and information on microwaves … Read more
I tested the $300 Panasonic NN-SD997S with inverter technology against three other countertop microwaves: the $290 Sharp Convection Grill R-820JS, the $279 Whirlpool WMC50522AS, and the $219 Amana AMC2166AS. As the most expensive of the four models, it was the microwave to beat.
To test it, I popped popcorn, baked potatoes, heated lasagna and macaroni-and-cheese frozen dinners, reheated pizza, defrosted chicken, boiled water, cooked burgers, and made omelets -- all in this microwave. It also means I endured a lot of taste tests (with varying levels of deliciousness) to deliver you a comprehensive review. You're welcome.
For the most … Read more
It used to be that the only real advantage offered by high-end toaster ovens was that they looked a little nicer than their more budget-friendly countertop counterparts. There was nothing cutting-edge about toaster ovens back then, and when it came time to cook, one would more or less do the job just as well as another.
Today's high-end toaster ovens are different. With full convection settings, presets that actually matter, and a variety of new and improved cooking elements to play with, you'll find plenty of tempting new models capable of giving your full-size oven a run for … Read more
The $149 Panasonic FlashXpress Toaster Oven is a cute, capable machine that consistently surprised me with its speed, accuracy, and generally above-average cooking performance. It's a midrange toaster oven that often performed as well as (if not better than) more expensive models from Cuisinart, Breville, and Frigidaire. If you can get past the Panasonic's dated display and the wonky temperature and timer settings, you will probably fall in love with it. And, over time, maybe those odd little features will become part of its appeal -- it definitely grew on me. I would highly recommend the Panasonic FlashXpress … Read more