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Summary:

FedEx just made a return trip to my home office today. This time it was to drop off a Peek, the handheld device that simply does e-mail. The Peek is scheduled to appear at Target stores nationwide in a few short weeks: September 15th is the […]

PeekFedEx just made a return trip to my home office today. This time it was to drop off a Peek, the handheld device that simply does e-mail. The Peek is scheduled to appear at Target stores nationwide in a few short weeks: September 15th is the expected date. Retail price should be $99.95 and the monthly service is another $19.95 per month.

Peek is leveraging T-Mobiles EDGE network for the service which should be perfectly fine for e-mail only but I’ll be trying the device for a month or so. Currently I use my iPhone for two e-mail accounts: one personal and one business. For testing, I’ll move the personal account over to the Peek and see how it shakes out.

First impressions: it’s a slim, little device with minimal buttons which goes along with the simple approach. A little wider than my iPhone, but a little thinner as well. There’s a 700 mAh battery which is expected to last two or three days. The QVGA screen is plenty bright enough and the keypad buttons are backlit. Overall: sleek and simple.

Peek supports up to three accounts from Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail and AOL, although I’ll only be using it for one Gmail. I know I’m not necessarily in the target audience for such a device, but I find it intriguing. It’s the kind of device that my son, my dad and other mainstream consumers might find amazing. Amazing at $20 a month? I’m not yet sure; I’ll have to run with it for a few weeks before I answer that question. I’ll throw this in my bag for the upcoming San Francisco trip; if we have any readers in the area or attending Mobilize, I’ll be happy to let you take a peek. Well not TAKE it… but…. you know.

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  1. who is the intended target audience?
    By doing just email, its not quite blackberry, not quite wifi enabled subnotebook. The phone’s right out… So who would you peg as the “optimal user” of the device?

  2. Great question Matt and probably something better suited for the Peek folks to answer. I could see some value for people who are just now getting online with e-mail. My dad is a prime candidate as he is now using e-mail all day while looking for a job. He has a phone, but it’s a low-end feature phone, not something he’d do e-mail on or with. He’ll never own a BlackBerry, Smartphone or subnotebook so this device could be a simple step up from just reading e-mail at home for him.

  3. Isn’t this how the Blackberry started out life?

    A simple keyboarded device designed purely for email?

  4. Kevin– what does the password key do? Is it a simple PIN unlock or can you use actual passwords?

  5. Ron, it appears to only lock the screen / keypad at this point. To unlock, you hold the key button. No PIN or password, although that could be added as a feature through a software upgrade.

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