More people use their computer for e-mail than any other reason. So what if you had a gizmo that connected to the internet, and just handled e-mail? Sounds like a plan, and like all good ideas, somebody else thought of it first. Actually, there's a lot of entries in this market, but only one is surviving.
A lot of companies marketed e-mail-only devices over past years, but Mail Station is about the only one still around. It sells for around $100.
Just looking at mail-station makes me think of my parents, they're both in their mid-80's, and they're never going to buy a computer, and they really don't hear that well on the phone. I'm thinking Mail Station had them in mind when they designed this thing.
"Uh, a lot of older folks who don't want to get into the hassles of getting a computer, learning how to uh, operate the computer, they just wanna check their e-mail, communicate with their grandchildren, stuff like that," says David Pepon, a sales associate at Staples office products store.
Pepon brought out the last unit they had in the back...it's not that Mail Station is selling that well, it's that Staples isn't ordering any more.
"That's more or less the point...that it's a dying breed. Most companies that do have them are down to their last ones, and they're not going to make any more," says Pepon.
The unit is simple, easy to use and quick...good for travelers too, but the greatest concern is that it's hard to read.
"...Most people complain about the screen, 'cause it's all black and white, and how small it is," adds Pepon.