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>> I'm Nicole Lee, Associate Editor for cnet.com. And this is a First Look at the TwitterPeek. Twitter, of course, is a big social media trend right now, so Peek decided to get on board with the TwitterPeek, which is, as you might have guessed, a handheld device made just for Twitter. The form factor is very similar to the other Peek handheld. In fact, it's about identical. It's kind of blocky in the style of an old school calculator, but it's also nice and slim. It's a very nice and bright 2.5-inch display, and underneath it is a very nice and roomy QUERTY keyboard. On the side here is a handy jog dial to scroll through the messages. There's also a back button. The power button's on the top. On the side here is the charger jack. There's also a small envelope icon at the top that glows blue whenever you get a new tweet. The first thing you see when you power on your TwitterPeek is your message inbox. It's large enough to show at least eight messages in the list, and along the top of the display are icons that show signal strength, the battery life, the date and time information. And there's also a little Twitter bird animation whenever there's an action processing. One of the biggest downsides to the TwitterPeek is that you can't see the full 140-character message right from the inbox. You have to click through a particular tweet to read the full message. If you follow a lot of people on Twitter, like I do, this could become a huge pain. You can do pretty much anything on the TwitterPeek that you can do on the Twitter website. You can send and receive at-replies as well as direct messages. And you also get a full view of your at-mentions, your own tweets as well as the ability to search through your feed. You can view pictures on the TwitterPeek, but you have to have a TwitPic URL in it. What you do is you click on the "view link" button in that particular message and you will see the picture appear on the TwitterPeek. However, if the photo is not hosted on TwitPic, like if it's on Wire Frog or Tweet Photo, you won't be able to see the picture. Many Twitter users also like to post links in their tweets. Clicking links will open a horribly slow browser that only displays text-only versions of websites. So it's a little bit of a pain. If you shut your TwitterPeek off for like a day, for example, it will only load your ten most recent tweets. And then you get a message from the Peek's servers that says, "Wow, you received a bunch of tweets since your last check-in with us. We've delivered the last set. Please view the rest online. Thanks."
Another downside is that the TwitterPeek only supports one Twitter account. To top it all off, the pricing is ridiculous. It's $100 at six months of free service, and then $8 a month after that. To get the no-contract version, you have to pay around $200. The bottom line is this. If you're going to have such a feature-specific device that only does Twitter, then you have to make sure it does Twitter well. And the fact is, it doesn't. So as far as we're concerned, we think you're better off sticking with your cell phone or smartphone which can do Twitter for free already.
I'm Nicole Lee. This has been the First Look at the TwitterPeek.
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