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June 23, 2009

Disney And ASUS Launch Netbook With Disney User Interface (Netpal)

The last few days has been full of press briefings. Today I had the chance to meet with the Disney Consumer Products representatives to discuss their new collaboration with ASUS (makers of the Eee PC). The result is a 8.9 inch netbook with a 92% keyboard and Wi-Fi capabilities. ASUS manufactured the PC, but Disney created the user interface/experience. Everything from the designs ( Princess Pink, Magic Blue) to the kid friendly user interface, 40 parental controls and a spill proof keyboard. What I found unique (other then the designs) was the user interface made it easy for  parents to set up controlled accounts for their kids.

The Parental controls allows parents to set up email, website monitoring and website access controls. The website access is set up by just selecting the "approved" websites (and the system then maps that approval to the website domains and subdomain - a step that can be confusing to do on your own). But right out of the box there are already Disney approved websites that can be launched from the browser. The email works with a "white list" so only emails from approved email addresses will be allowed through. Standard email services such as Gmail or Yahoo can be used as the email service.

The computer was designed for kids 6-12 and the suggested retail price is $349.99. The Disney Netpal by ASUS will be available in 32 countries and in 19 languages. I will post in the next week with video and pictures from my press briefing, but for now here are some pictures from the website:

Disney Netpal by ASUS Princess Pink-
Netpal pink
Disney Netpal by ASUS Magic Blue-
Netpalblue

Listed below is a picture I took at the briefing of the image my 10 year old would probably use as his wallpaper (also in the picture are the desktop widgets). There are 10 customizable themes, general colors and the ability to import your own themes:

DSC_0003 

Here is a view of the (one of the) matching bags that will be for sale along with the netbook made by Belkin:

DSC_0006

Click HERE to read the PRESS RELEASE:

Here are the product specifications from the press release:

Specifications

Model Disney Netpal by ASUS MK90H Disney Netpal by ASUS MK90 – exclusively at Toys"R"Us
Operating System Genuine Windows® XP Home Genuine Windows® XP Home
Display 8.9" LED-backlit WSVGA screen (1024x600) 8.9" LED-backlit WSVGA screen (1024x600)
CPU Intel® ATOM N270 Intel® ATOM N270
WLAN 802.11 b/g/n 802.11 b/g/n
Memory DDR2 SO-DIMM 1GB DDR2 SO-DIMM 1GB
Storage 160GB HDD 16GB SSD
Interface 1 x VGA port (D-sub 15-pin for external monitor)
3 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x LAN RJ-45
2 x audio jacks: Headphone / Mic-in
1 x VGA port (D-sub 15-pin for external monitor)
3 x USB 2.0 ports
1 x LAN RJ-45
2 x audio jacks: Headphone / Mic-in
Camera 0.3 M Pixel 0.3 M Pixel
Reader MMC and SD (SDHC supported) MMC and SD (SDHC supported)
Audio Hi-definition audio CODEC
Built-in stereo speakers
Analog Mic
Hi-definition audio CODEC
Built-in stereo speakers
Analog Mic
Battery 4200mAh Polymer, 5hrs* 4200mAh Polymer, 5hrs*
Dimensions 248mm (W) x 173mm (D) x 28.7mm (H) 248mm (W) x 173mm (D) x 28.7mm (H)
Weight 1.2kg with battery 1kg with battery
Casing Colors Princess Pink, Magic Blue Princess Pink, Magic Blue

Note: Specifications are subject to change without prior notice. Please visit www.asus.com for more details.

Comments

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Oh my, these are cute enough for me to use. Love the case, too. I can see these being a huge hit at holiday and back to school time, especially for parents who are constantly kicking their kids off their laptop and don't feel qualified (or don't have the time) to load and set up the safety programs.

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