Product search Retrevo is getting a facelift this morning. The search tool, which we've briefly covered a few times since its launch at DemoFall 2006, uses a metacritical approach to serve up a hodge-podge of prices, reviews, and resources for buying just about anything that uses electricity.
This morning they're unveiling a new look for sorting through their search results, which has changed from just throwing out a series of lists, to an all-inclusive page that combines pricing, features, and competing products. That last bit is what the service's creators are the most proud of though. They believe they've put together a matchmaking system the likes of eHarmony (their words, not mine) that will connect people to their quintessential digital item by offering up suggestions for related products as they search. It manages to do this mostly by price and features but will also serve up suggestions based on brand similarities and items that have been linked in other reviews as well.
In addition to basic product pricing and review links, one of the cooler features (although not new) is that you can often find PDF copies of user manuals, which can be pretty darn useful for things like universal remote controls and digital cameras. In most cases this is actually faster than trying to traverse the vendor's Web site, especially if it's an older item. There's also a scatter plot for any given product, the likes of CrispyShop (review) that will let you attempt to find the best deal based on aggregate prices.
Still missing, and what Retrevo's creators tell me is coming early next year, is a way to see when products were first released, or if it's been replaced with a newer model--the latter of which savvy CNET readers can find in our gadget reviews.