Disney, Asus bring Netpal Netbooks to kids

The Netpal Netbooks will come preloaded with Windows XP with another kid-friendly user interface on top. CNET editors wonder if it's too Goofy, or if it comes with a Mickey Mouse?

Netpal Netbook

Disney and Asus have teamed up to do something others have been doing wrong for a long time: they've developed an affordable and functional portable kids' PC, according to USA Today. It comes in the form of a Netbook with an Intel Atom processor; a small, 8.9-inch screen; parental control options; and desktops with customizable themes that revolve around the likes of Cars, Toy Story, WALL-E, and Hannah Montana.

The Netpal Netbooks will have an unknown clock speed (our guess would be 1.6GHz-2GHz) and will have a 16GB SSD or 160GB HD based on parental preference. They'll come preloaded with Windows XP. But they'll have another IO layer over XP so the kids can't break too much. We'd guess a locked-down Windows theme of some sort.

This means the computers can run actual commercial software, as well as access the Internet via Wi-Fi. Consumers can get one decked out in Mickey Mouse's "Magic Blue" or Ariel's flowery "Princess Pink" for $350 at Amazon or Toys R Us. I'd wager, given that Asus' Eee PCs based on the Atom are decent platforms for OS X "HackBooks," that the Princess Pink will be a popular choice for girl hackers.

There are girl hackers, right? Really hot ones, like in Transformers?

About the author

    With more than 15 years experience testing hardware (and being obsessed with it), Crave freelance writer Matt Hickey can tell the good gadgets from the great. He also has a keen eye for future technology trends. Matt has blogged for publications including TechCrunch, CrunchGear, and most recently, Gizmodo. Matt is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CBS Interactive. E-mail Matt.



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