A Sneak Peek at the E-mail-Only Peek

We just had a hands-on with the Peek, a new device that resembles a smart phone but is strictly dedicated to serving up your e-mail. Sound dumb? To you, it should. The device is targeted strictly at non-techies that don’t have e-mail on their phones and don’t care to figure it out, either. It even says “not for hardcore techies” right on the box.

We went into our meeting a bit dumbfounded, wondering why a device should do just e-mail. But we came out realizing that, well, the Kindle is for books, and the Peek is for e-mail.

We are expecting our review unit in the next few days, but we spent some time with the device earlier today. We did notice that the Peek took a bit longer than a BlackBerry to bring up a new message window and to load the menu options. However, the user interface is dead simple, and sending new messages should be a breeze for the tech-incompetent. We loved the spacious, rubberized keyboard and its tactile feedback. You should have no problem slipping the Peek into a pocket since it is, according to Peek CEO Amol Sarva, “30 percent thinner than the iPhone.”

The $99 Peek supports IMAP and POP accounts and most Web accounts, including Yahoo and Gmail. Since it’s made for Joe Consumer, it supports images but not Office docs or other attachments.

Peek, available in black, cherry, or aqua, will cost $19.95 per month for the data connectivity (provided by T-Mobile’s network) and there’s no contract. To get one, you can visit GetPeek.com next week or go to any Target store starting on September 15 and grab one right off the shelf.

Stay tuned for a full review.

[flv:/flvs/Peek.flv 480 360]

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  1. jeffreychen Says:

    it is very good, a good device for me

  2. Yourtechsupport Says:

    Okay. Can you tell us what kind of interface options we have with it? Like a USB cable?
    I’m not insinuating that people will be trying to crack it like an egg or anything into a cheap terminal or anthing. ;)

    For some reason this bothers me on a fundamental level yet gives me a mean case of Want.

  3. tide Says:

    does the peek have wifi support?

  4. tide Says:

    + also does anyone know the specs? (esp RAM)

  5. Todd Haselton Says:

    For sure. The device comes with nothing but a charger. But it does support a USB connection to your PC, and the CEO openly admitted that he was cool with people hacking it, although he expects to release a browser to it in the future and continue updating the device. He said he’s totally open for it to being hacked, so get at it.


  6. ChangeAgentDes Says:

    My first reaction: Why do I need a second device? My ‘Upon Further Reflection’ reaction: There is something to be said for “purpose built” devices that don’t try to be all things to all people, like the mentioned Kindle (with it’s cool screen from Eink) for reading books.

    I like NOT having my email on my phone because I want a phone that is (a) tiny and (b) lasts for days on one charge. And I don’t want people to think I can send / receive emails 7 X 24. And if I need immediate access to someone I (or they) can (a) place a voice call (a novel idea!) or (b) text. The forced brevity of a text is perfect for the environment when someone is on the go.

    But what about if I really want email when my laptop is off line, like to see an important inquiry from a prospect? This “Peek” would be just the ticket! And the fact that the company has distribution lined up with a distributor that fits the target market is brilliant; so many great products die because distribution was not available.

  7. Eltawil Says:

    I thought it was a joke in the begenning when I first heard of this device, apparently I was wrong. There are currently 3 things that shouldn’t be bought seperately (considering what’s currently available in the market) if you already own a cellphone: GPS, Web Browsing, and Email. If you can get all these features in one device (and I know that you can) then why bother getting this device, it’ll just be another device to carry around.

  8. ChangeAgentDes Says:

    Eltawil, you state, “…3 things….shouldn’t be bought separately…” Who says they shouldn’t? Some ‘higher being?.’ I can think of a number of reasons to buy them separately. But I’ll not bother listing here because, I guess, I “shouldn’t.” Let’s separate “facts” from “opinions” here. What we’re all posting are ideas, opinions; not facts. So whether someone decides they should or should not buy them separately will be their own personal decision based on their personal opinion.

  9. Brenda Says:

    I would like one of these for my elderly mom who has no computer; the cost is right, but can it be made senior-compatible (which would be a BIG market)? That is, can the type be made large and legible, and can you type with it if you have arthritic fingers?

  10. Ron H. Says:

    I have a “peek.” It’s called the MAIL app on my iPhone. Plus, for the same monthly service fee to access email only on THE PEEK, I get unlimited data, internet access and email service for my iPhone. I don’t care how much Oprah loves it, this is a device that is destined to die. It seems targeted at those who are too stupid to figure out how to access email via their mobile phone or blackberry or those who are too cheap to have such a mobile device. If that’s the case, would these people even want a device like this in the first place, much less one that costs $99 and $19.95 a month for the service? Silly waste of technology.

  11. Monnifer Says:

    Is the service good?

  12. Cecille Wierschen Says:

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

  13. Paul OFlaherty Says:

    Okay, maybe I’m wrong here, but if yu already have a phone and a service wouldn’t it just be cheaper to upgrade your phone?

  14. Wayne Says:

    It sounds like you’re creating problems yourself by trying to solve this issue instead of looking at why their is a problem in the first place

  15. Elite Proxies Says:

    I just have to post about this, but this reminded me of the just released news with Craigslist’s CEO demanding for an apology from the AG of South Carolina. Always something new with Craigslist and things in the news.

  16. Dan Says:

    If I could give this little thing ZERO stars I would. First of all… SLOW! It is miserably slow. I am a HARDCORE techie, and I can tell you this device is JUNK. If you do nothing other than three sentence emails maybe it would work for you, but… only if you don’t mind WAITING for it to get your email sometimes HOURS. I used it with GMAIL, and HOTMAIL and another POP server and the performance was abysmal! It costs twenty per month for the account, although you can reduce that to about seventeen by subscribing for three month intervals. The device is fifty. No considering that you can get an HTC Touch Windows mobile device for Seventy from most carriers I wouldn’t bother with the PEEK. The billing system is automatic and will keep renewing until you cancel it, and don’t cancel it in the middle of a cycle unless you don’t mind losing the money from the remainder. There are NO refunds for partial months. Besides all this you have to carry and charge two devices now instead of one. It has a micro USB jack, so unless your phone had the micro and not the MINI your existing phone chargers won’t work. That gets tedious very quickly. It is self-contained and uses the TMobile network for data services. What you see here is all you need for great slow text-only email only service (with no attachments) service. (ok, sometimes you can get it to show a picture that is attached) My advice: Get a cell phone with email you will be MUCH happier! My carrier has email service for fourteen per month.

  17. Shamia Says:

    I hate talking on my cell phone and I only have one because it’s a necessity in this day and age. I am about to go out and buy this product!!! I love love love the idea of text only and absolutely no phone calls!!!!! I was considering even getting a pager…that’s how much I hate talking on my phone…so this gadget is a perfect christmas gift to myself!!!

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