Product review – Peek personal email device (Part 1)

In this product review (part 1), I’m going to introduce you to Peek. Peek is a handheld email device powered by a nationwide mobile network (T-mobile). For $99.95 you’ll soon be able to pick up a Peek at your local Target store, and setup your own email account without the hassle of a contract or any other paperwork.

When I say Peek can do email, that really is the only thing the device does. For $19.95 a month, you’ll get unlimited access to three different email accounts from most major providers (Yahoo!, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL and more).

Don’t let the low price fool you; Peek is not a toy, and I found that it felt more like a high-end smartphone or Blackberry.

The device has a 2.5″ QVGA color display, a rubber QWERTY keyboard, a scroll wheel, a back button and a power button. Each aspect of the device actually impressed me. The screen is extremely crisp and in the last hour of sunlight we had this evening, I had no problem reading it outdoors. The keyboard also took me by surprise; despite the rubber keys, I’m actually able to type faster on the Peek than I am on my Blackberry Curve. The keys are well spaced and have a nice tactile feedback (click). The only minor complaint I have about the keyboard, is that the spacebar seems slightly harder to press than any of the other keys. In addition to the QWERTY buttons, the Peek also has a dedicated row of number keys.

As I mentioned earlier; the Peek only does email. When you turn the device on, you are prompted for the credentials of the email account you want to use. In my case, I entered one of my Gmail accounts. The total time for setting up the device was under 4 minutes. As soon as my information was verified, I was able to send and receive email.

Of course, the number one question everyone will have, is whether it really is worth paying $100 for the device, and $20 a month just for email. But I’m really not the right person to ask; I’m already liking Peek a lot, and I’d certainly be willing to pay the price for this kind of convenience, despite already having access to several email devices on the go.

I’ll post a more comprehensive review of Peek in the coming days and put it through a more rigorous test. Before you head out to your local Target store to pick up a Peek, the device won’t be on shelves till September 15th, so that gives me some more time to introduce you to it.