Technology: Faithful Sidekick

The new version of the Danger Hiptop communicator--marketed by the T-Mobile network as the Sidekick--is like a great popcorn movie: all the cool stuff is on the screen. The Sidekick tries to deliver all the functionality of an e-mail device, Web browser, cell phone, PDA, digital camera and Game Boy--doing better at some tricks than others. But everything is enhanced by a razor-sharp, brightly backlit color display. Strong suits include e-mail (the display slides to expose a thumb-oriented keyboard), AOL Instant Messenger and an awesome Asteroids-style game. Not so great: a clunky phone. Still, at $300 and all-you-can-eat Internet for less than $50 a month, a lot of folks will want Sidekick when it's rolled out later this month.