By Margaret Lyons
September 15, 2009 at 07:47 PM EDT

Google unveiled a new toy/product/interface today: Fast Flip, for when you want to surf the whoooole Internet all at once, but you cannot be bothered actually to read or absorb anything. Cool!

Fast Flip presents thumbnails of Google News items, sortable by category — politics, business — or topic — tennis, bankruptcy. The format rewards websites that have big, clear headlines and dominant photos; in this shrunken format, even display text can be tough to read.

Fast Flip isn’t customizable yet, but the smooth visual browsing is weirdly hypnotic. The thumbnail-filled front page is a bit busy, but click through on any story and then use the arrow buttons to “flip” from site to site. And…kiss your afternoon goodbye.

PopWatchers, I’m not sure what particular need this is meeting, but this is indeed cool. On a scale of “this is essential like oxygen” to “this is essential like tasty ice cream,” where does Fast Flip fall for you?