Disney Netpal is perfect for kids or the King of Pop.
Asus and Disney have teamed up for a new netbook that specifically targets kids, and maybe Michael Jackson. The netbooks are adorned with the Disney logo and come in either princess pink or magic blue. The main thing that sets the Disney Netpal
apart from any other garden-variety Eees from Asus like the 1008HA
are the parental controls.
Asus says that the machines have over 40 different parental controls to keep kids safe while online. The machines also feature kid-friendly software with Disney characters and icons. Two different models are being offered in the Disney Netpal line but most of the features are the same.
The Disney Netpal MK90H uses Windows XP Home, has an 8.9-inch LED backlit WSVGA screen, an Intel Atom N270 CPU, 1GB of RAM, 160GB HDD, VGA out, SD card reader, 0.3-megapixel webcam and a 4200mAh polymer battery. The machine weighs 1.2kg with the battery installed.
The other model is the Disney Netpal MK90 that will be sold exclusively in the US through Toys "R" Us, and there's no announcement yet about Australian availability. The only difference is that the 160GB HDD is replaced with a 16GB SSD and the weight drops to 1kg thanks to the smaller SSD. Pricing and availability are unknown at this time.
This is actually a pretty clever move on ASUS' part. There's nothing like cartoon characters to ramp up kids' nagging power. As for whether the parental controls are any chop, that'll remain to be seen -- we wouldn't say Taiwanese computer makers are the industry's best producers of high quality software, but ASUS has definitely been making significant efforts to differentiate its PCs with software, and may have licensed the parental control software from another company anyway.