Tuesday, November 3, 2009

TwitterPeek: A $99 handheld for Twitter, and only Twitter

The makers of the Peek e-mail-only handheld are trying the same trick with the TwitterPeek, a device that lets you keep tabs on the Twitterverse while you're on the go ... and that's about it.

On sale now at Amazon, the 4 by 2.7 by 0.4-inch, $99 TwitterPeek is as basic as it gets. Armed with about 3-4 days of battery life (with "average" use, according to the developers), a decent-sized screen and a QWERTY keypad, the dedicated handheld lets you perform all the basic Twitter chores—checking your feed, posting tweets, tracking @mentions, and sending and/or replying to direct messages—while you're out and about.

Now, wait a minute ... can't you do all that from just about any cell phone? Well, yes, and indeed, the TwitterPeek is missing just about every other feature you'd expect in your average mobile, including a camera, a Web browser (so no, you can't click on tweeted URLs on the TwitterPeek, although you can view TwitPics), text messaging, and even a way to check your e-mail.

But perhaps that's the point, and indeed, the TwitterPeek might appeal to anyone who's ever said, "All I want is a cell phone that just makes calls." In that spirit, here's a handheld that just does Twitter. That's not my kind of device, frankly, but I'm sure there's someone (are you out there?) for whom the Spartan TwitterPeek is just the ticket.

And if simplicity doesn't appeal, how about this—no wireless contract. Instead, you pay just $8 month-to-month for nationwide coverage, including unlimited tweeting. Another option is to get the $199 version of TwitterPeek, which comes with lifetime service.

Again, I don't see the TwitterPeek making too many inroads with gadget hounds like me, but the developers in Peek Inc. seem pretty confident that there's a market for these kinds of dedicated devices, especially for those who'd rather not cough up $100 a month for cell service with a data plan.

So, what do you think of the TwitterPeek? Crazy? Inspired? Want one, or know someone who might?

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