Twitterpeek: like other mobile devices, minus the functionality

Is Tweet Deck for iPhone or TwitterBerry just not cutting it for you? Need something that exists merely to service your Twitter needs?

TwitterPeek is making gadget news today, physically resembling a smartphone without all the added functionality of an iPod Touch, iPhone, or similar device. Strangely reminiscent in aim (to me anyway) to those odd e-mail in your kitchen devices from the late 90s, this one just makes me wonder what the point may be. Is anyone tweeting so hard they need a device that just has to solely be devoted to Twitter, like your smartphone just can’t handle your Twitterosity? Is there enough Twitter functionality to warrant spending $200 or even $100 on one device?

I “get” Twitter. Although I’m not the most prolific Twitterer by a longshot, it has its unique communicative benefits and some people need reliable Twitter access for work. The TwitterPeek has a keyboard that looks like it ‘s a bit handier than the iPhone’s compressed, self-reorienting pain in the ass- (incidentally, the keyboard on my iPhone also thinks I’m a bit of a trollop, as most misspellings get autochanged to a man’s proper name. In the wake of an unexpected death in my best friend’s family and a furious ensuing text volley, it tragicomically changed “anyone than him?” to “Antoine than Jim?”) But at 140 characters max, keyboard size can’t be that big a selling point.

TwitterPeek, true to it’s name, also shortens tweets to the first few characters- so unlike TweetDeck for iPhone, you have to click on each individual message you’re interested reading in its entirety. So while doing a few things exclusively, the TwitterPeek doesn’t seem to do the dedicated tasks it does very well at all. The other major cornerstone of the pitch seems to be access- for $200, you get “lifetime” access to the TwitterPeek network. $100 buys the device and six months of access, at which point access costs $7.95 a month. Or, you know, free with your iPhone’s data plan. I’m just saying. Let it be noted that “lifetime” access refers not to how long you own this item or draw breath on the planet, but rather the lifetime of the TwitterPeek device. Remember the airport Clear Card?

Of course, my skepticism could be misplaced- the TwitterPeek could take off. But with who? The heavy users of Twitter, the tech-y types and early adopter types- they must already have a Twitter habit in place that’s hard to break. They probably have a dozen devices that Twitter better than this one. And the social Twitter types- the pop-stars and clubby types- are happy with their smartphones, I’d imagine. The Amazon product listing pitches to newbies as well, someone who’s heard about this Twitter thing on Oprah and wants to get in on it. The Amazon copy, pasted below, seems to be geared toward that user, but it seems like a shaky demographic to stand on, notoriously vacillating and easily led away. Oooh! A Twitter device! Oooh! A Snuggie bundle! >click click click<

TwitterPeek keeps you connected with instant tweet delivery, so you’re always the first to receive timely, fun, useful and provocative information direct from the source. You might follow the New York Times for breaking news. Lance Armstrong might invite you along on a bike ride through Hamburg. Oprah might let you in on the latest book she’s reading. Or, better yet, you might discover the coffee shop around the corner is offering free scones until 11 am for all tweeters. You’ll discover an infinite world of conversation with the nifty, pocket-sized TwitterPeek.

Perfect for Twitter addicts, newbies or anyone interested in getting into Twitter, TwitterPeek makes a great holiday gift. It’s everything you love about Twitter packed into a slim, lightweight mobile gadget that works anywhere in the US – no wifi necessary! Tweet, retweet, reply and direct message your favorite celebrities, friends, co-workers and family. TwitterPeek’s intuitive menu, handy scroll wheel and universal tweet inbox make it as easy to master as email.

Because TwitterPeek is designed for Twitter, it provides a tweeting experience superior to any website or smartphone application. No more waiting for tweets to download or clicking the “more” button to see old tweets. TwitterPeek’s “always on” tweet delivery makes it a snap to follow 100’s of people throughout the course of your day. Best of all, you don’t have to spend $50/month on an expensive smartphone data plan to get Twitter.

Wait, if I buy this thing Lance Armstrong might go bike-riding with me? I don’t even have a bike! Sign me up!

TwitterPeek is available now at Amazon.