We may not be checking stock quotes regularly or giving the thumbs-up on billion-dollar business deals. And we're definitely not wearing power suits to the office. But that doesn't mean we twentysomethings shouldn't be connected in a cutting-edge, high-tech world.
The BlackBerry and Palm Treo are probably the best-known mobile devices for checking e-mail on the go. But we'll leave those for our bosses and parents. We prefer the Sidekick II -- a T-Mobile-powered device that does pretty much everything the BlackBerry or Treo will do, just in a cooler and hipper way.
E-mail? No problem. Internet access? Absolutely. Instant Messenger? You know it. And of course, there's the coolness factor that comes into play when the marketing campaign features glowing endorsements by rapper Snoop Dogg and a who's-who list of other Hollywood celebrities.
"I got the first Sidekick when it was still black and white," said Mahiri Jones, 31, chief financial officer of South Side Sity Entertainment Co., which coordinates and hosts promotional events in the Washington area. "I didn't want a BlackBerry. I saw that more as a corporate tool used in a button-up environment."
Deejay Dub Ell, who spins rare grooves deep in the back room of the Republic Gardens nightclub in Washington, isn't exactly working in a button-up environment but still has plenty of legitimate reasons to wear a mobile device that keeps him connected to the outside world. Among them: ongoing work with a musical director about an upcoming gig in New York. He's been working out most of those details by tapping away on his Sidekick II -- even from the loud confines of the nightclub's deejay booth.
"My girlfriend was going to get me a BlackBerry last year," he said. "Instead she got me some Paper Denims [jeans] and I'm happy with that."
The Sidekick II sells for $250 -- comparable to the Treo and BlackBerry, which can be priced as high as $400 but also discounted with rebates and other promotions. T-Mobile doesn't release sales figures on the Sidekick II, in comparison to other devices.
The Sidekick is an advanced device -- it connects to the Internet, links to e-mail accounts, takes pictures, and has direct access to America Online's and Yahoo's instant-messaging services. But unlike the others, the Sidekick's keyboard is hidden behind a flip-top screen.
It's also easier to use for those who aren't sure how to connect to an Exchange mail server or download and install specialty programs. Its design -- featuring four buttons and a jog-wheel -- makes for easy navigation. And the tools -- from the smartphone features to a camera with a built-in flash -- are easy to use, as well.
The fact that it has a coolness factor is just icing on the cake.
Consider the images on the color screen of the Sidekick II. The home page features animated character images -- a young, slim woman with a funky haircut and a slinky top standing in front of a bald man wearing a turtleneck sweater and sleek black shades.
Last month, T-Mobile released two new versions of the Sidekick II that boast designer looks. Clothing line Juicy Couture lent its signature to an all-pink version and renowned hip-hop tattoo artist Mr. Cartoon showcased his work on an all-black one.
"I know that they have all these iced-out versions," says Jones of South Side Sity. "To me it is a functional tool that I use in the club because most of the time you can't use your phone because the music is too loud."