Want to Peek at Your E-mail?

This is downright befuddling. The Peek, which costs $100, is a handheld device that can only be used to check email.

This is downright befuddling. The Peek, which costs $100, is a handheld device that can only be used to check email. That's all it does. No calls, no Internet, nothing else. Is this something that you'd be interested in? Because I am not.

Does anyone remember the first BlackBerries? In their youth, BlackBerries were glorified pagers. All they could do was receive email via wireless networks. Research In Motion quickly figured out that just providing email service was not enough, and began including cellular phones built into BlackBerries. Now, all BlackBerries are based on being great phones and great email devices.

The Peek has no such ambitions.

For $100, you get a sizable piece of hardware that probably duplicates the functionality of a device you already carry (your cell phone or smartphone). It will be available at Target, and you'll have to pay T-Mobile $20 for the luxury of having it deliver your email to the device.

I have seen my share of products that just don't seem to have a market, and the Peek is one of them. For $100, you can buy a much more capable smartphone and get your email, browse the Web, take pictures, play music, oh, and make phone calls. The Peek does none of that.

I guess if you really want to carry two pieces of hardware with you because one just isn't enough to put into your purse or briefcase, then the Peek might make sense. If you want (or already have) a basic phone just for calling purposes, and want something with a full keyboard for email, the Peek might make sense.

But beyond these two scenarios, I just don't get it.