For those who haven't yet upgraded to a Web-enabled smart phone yet but like to tweet on the go, there's TwitterPeek, a brand new device that lets you do just one thing: use Twitter.
About the size of a small cell phone, with a full Qwerty keyboard and a scroll wheel, the TwitterPeek is all you need to send and receive 140-character tweets.
The handheld also lets you retweet a message, send someone a direct message or check replies to your public messages.
The concept is pretty simple. A scroll wheel on the side (reminiscent of those on older BlackBerry models) lets you click through and read your Twitter feed.
Keyboard shortcuts help you get around quickly.
Want to reply to a tweet? Simply type "R."
Want to direct message someone? Just hit "D."
Other shortcuts move you quickly to your first and last tweet in a folder, or search through your followers list.
I really wanted to like TwitterPeek; it seemed like such a good idea. I just can't figure out why anyone would want to add one more gadget to the arsenal of stuff they lug around every day.
For Twitter power-users, TwitterPeek doesn't seem to be able to keep up with the demand.
I'm no uber-user, but as I tested the device, even I received messages from TwitterPeek saying, "whoa, @abcandrea, you have a lot of tweets! We'll try to catch up."
If you get more than 50 tweets, you are directed to read the rest when you get to a computer.
Previewing is difficult as well, so it's hard to know which tweets you actually want to open. I was only able to read the first four or five words of each tweet and had to click twice to open it -- first to bring up the menu, then again to actually open and read the tweet.
TwitterPeek costs $99, with 6 months of service included. After that, it's $7.95 per month. Or you can pay $199 and get lifetime service.
On the other hand, and this will indeed free up a hand if you're willing to pay $99 plus a monthly service fee. But why not just upgrade to a smart phone that can handle Twitter, Web browsing, e-mail and so much more?