If there’s one thing Asus is good at, it is pushing out model after model of its netbooks and other Atom based machines. Most of the machines tend to be rather cheap and very similar in everything aside from screen size, design, and price. Previously the designs were all standard netbooks with some color variations. Now Asus is offering Disney themed designs.
Asus is teaming with Disney to release two kid-friendly netbooks dubbed “Netpals.” The Netpals look to be slightly modified Eee PC 900s made in Disney Princess Pink or Mickey Blue, both sporting a Mickey-shaped hole for the webcam. The machine’s design isn’t the only thing that is kid-friendly, however. The Netpals will ship with a modified Windows XP with parental controls out of the box, and presumably a fairly locked down end user experience so kids can’t mess up their computers if given the chance. The GUI will also be Disney themed to make it easy for kids to navigate the menus.
The Netpals will be available exclusively to Toys”R”Us in late July, which makes sense. Toys”R”Us has been selling netbooks for quite some time as laptops for kids and the Netpal is now officially a netbook made for kids. At a $350 price tag it might be a bit of a tough sell, but is definitely more useful for kids than $350 worth of plastic toys. Although, come to think of it, Disney could probably sell a lot more of the Netpals if they came out with High School Musical and Hannah Montana branded versions, I doubt many kids would be able to resist those.