The new Disney Netpal by ASUS is any kids dream come true. It truly is a netbook that is designed specifically for children. Everything that is included with the netbook is incredibly kid-oriented and the price is definitely parent-friendly.
The laptop itself is absolutely adorable. The Princess design is exactly what any girl that loves the Disney Princesses is looking for. Like I said, this is a little girls ideal netbook. The design of netbook is definitely not gender-neutral like the Dell Mini Nickelodeon Edition, but Disney has released a plain blue version that may appeal more to boys. The floral pattern of the Princess design swirls together the shapes of princesses, tiaras, and hearts that are found on the lid and the palm rest area.
The Netpal is based off of the ASUS EeePC1008HA (Seashell). The most obvious differences between the netbooks would be keyboard that was shrunk from 92% to 89% and the screen that was downsized from 10-inches to 8.9-inches. It also weighs a mere 2.4 pounds. ASUS does all this to make the netbook as child-friendly as they possibly can. Every single key on the keyboard is positioned according to the traditional keyboard standards. The chrome mouse button may be slightly difficult for your child to press, but they will quickly adjust.
Parents will appreciate the bundled software that comes standard with the Netpal. The Mini Nickelodeon offers a 15-month trial subscription of McAfee’s Family Security Center, but the Netpal comes with Disney’s own parental controls that don’t expire. The software goes above and beyond what most parental control programs provide though. Your child basically gets their own Windows user account which logs into the Disney environment and allows them to access a custom Web browser, their calendar app, an email account, and a variety of games. You, as the parent, have a separate account, locked by a password, that allows you to control everything that your child is allowed to do or see on their netbook.
The parental controls for the Netpal are quite extensive. Parents have the ability to choose which e-mail addresses their children can receive e-mail from, block any Website, and add or remove any type of application on an approved list. You are also given the power to decide when your child may access the Web or certain games or applications.
The features on the Netpal are pretty standard for a netbook. It includes a 160GB hard drive, three USB ports, a built-in Webcam, 4-in-1 card reader, VGA-out, and an Ethernet port. Honestly, I don’t think your child will need anything else.
Although it is a kid-focused netbook, ASUS made sure not to skimp on the processing aspects. The use of a 1.6GHz Intel Atom N270 Processor and 1GB of memory can be found in most netbook. The Netpal’s battery is made out of Lithium Polymer, and according to MobileMark 2007, it scored 5 hours and 30 minutes of battery life. The battery is not removable, which should be appreciated as it can be a fire hazard.
This netbook is definitely not designed for an adult, but it is perfect for your little princess. It has numerous features that will keep your child happy and parental controls that will keep you happy knowing what your child is up to. This netbook can be found as low as $339.00. I would not be surprised if the Disney Netpal is at the top of many little princess’s Christmas lists.