- A Peek is an email device. That's it.
Can I surf the web? No.
Can I play music with it? No.
Can it take pictures? No.
Can I do ANYTHING besides email? Well, sort of. But, no.
I can receive email on my Peek. I can do anything that is email-powered from my Peek. Which means I can use the twittermail service to post to twitter. I can set up an email address to send my blog posts to so that they'll automagically post (Like I'm doing with this one!). There are services I can email that will reply with a weather report. To be fair, Peek has a built-in the ability to text message cell phones, but before they did, there were email addresses that could be used for that sort of thing.
So, if all I can do is email, why would I want one of these?
- I may want one if I'm afraid of technology. Got a Grandpa who can use a cell phone, but turning on a computer and starting up email is too much for him? The Peek is seriously easy to use, so is a great gift for technophobes. It provides a way to stay connected with, seriously, two buttons and a scroll wheel to figure out. I appreciate the really simple, well-designed interface.
- I may want one if I want portable email, but don't want a smartphone. Maybe I don't have a cell phone. Maybe I like those phones where it's simple to actually make a phone call- and I don't care to type out emails on the numerical keypad. Maybe there are times I want to be reachable by phone but not email (or vice versa)
- I may want one if I like gadgets. Because, really, this is a simple, durable, well-designed gadget.
The second reason I like my Peek is sillier- over and over, Josh has told me "Stop taking the laptop into the kitchen when you're cooking. You're getting the keys gunky. You're going to spill something on it." I tell him I NEED the laptop in the kitchen, because that's where the recipe is! Why waste paper on a one-time recipe? But he is right- I got a crumb stuck under the T key, which made typing anything hard for a while. Now? I email recipes to myself, and the Peek, with its rubber-coated keyboard, is durable and not threatened by my messy baking adventure. I doubt this reason will appeal to everyone, but it works for me!
The Peek retails starting at $20 (the price down from a recent $90!), and service starts at $15 a month. I think the concept would really take off at a $7-$10/month service charge, and the $15-$20 is harder for people to justify, especially since data can be added to cell plans for that price and provide email plus web browsing. Peek claims the device saves you money, but I think the math is a little fuzzy.
All in all, I'm very glad for the use I've gotten out of my Peek so far, but I see that it has limited appeal as a one-task device. It's not for everyone. So far, it's worked for me- to the point it may replace my cell phone. And, it sure is cute!
Sent on the go from my Peek*
*And then edited in Blogger for formatting and to add links.
** This is NOT a paid review- I just get asked fairly often what I think of the thing, so I wanted to get it out there. For disclosure, I did win the device back in February, so I didn't buy it myself.