Man, this one’s been in the queue for a long time… Retrevo, in gamma at http://www.retrevo.com/, provides product information. And not just shopping information, but also manufacturer information, reviews and articles, and forum and blog posts. Consumer metasearch? It’s so nice to find a search engine that actually focuses on product information without being overwhelmingly oriented towards buying.
You can do a brand search, or a noun search, or a search by brand and model number, which I found worked best. I did a search for Deskjet 5150 and got results divided into several categories. First there was product documentation (1 result), reviews and articles (19), manufacturer’s info (5), forums & blogs (11), and finally shopping (58), down at the bottom where I don’t have to give into consumerism if I don’t want to.
The results screen is split into two parts. The left has the results, while the right has the pages themselves. You can collapse the page frame if you find it annoying. The results themselves have page titles and usable-length snippets.
There’s a lot of functionality available just using the service as a guest, but if you register on the site (registration is free and requires only an e-mail address) you do get access to additional features like query history and invitations to beta test (or gamma test?) new search features.
There’s a blog about the site at http://blog.retrevo.com/ but it seems to be more about consumer and shopping trends, less on the nuts and bolts of the search engine. Blog aside, I really like this site; it’s going to come in handy next time I have trouble with a really old camera or some printer that lost its documentation long ago, I’m coming here.