netpal themes

The Disney Netpal is an Asus netbook created for kids and slathered in Disney branding. There are three things that set this 8.9 inch netbook apart from most other Asus Eee PC netbooks:

  1. It features Disney themed lids, including a pink princess design and a blue Mickey design
  2. Users can choose from a number of Disney themes for the Windows XP interface with options including Cars, Lilo & Stitch, and Hannah Montana
  3. The kid-themed applications feature tight parental control software that let you limit how and when your child uses the computer

For instance, instead of a standard web browser, you get a Disney Browser with no URL bar. In order for kids to visit a web site, a parent will need to add the site to a list of pre-approved web pages by first entering the parental password. Same goes for webmail. There’s also a Disney branded media player and picture viewer, and parents can configure th software not to allow the kids to slack off during weekday hours when they should be doing homework, or set other time controls.

The folks at PC Magazine got to spend some time with the Netpal, and shot a brief video overview which you can check out after the break.

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4 replies on “PC Magazine takes the Asus Disney Netpal for a test drive – Video”

  1. This is really made for five to nine year olds, and most of those kids are smart…but not conniving enough to bypass the parental codes. If you give this to above a 10 year old you just doing them a disservice they’d need a computer that could do school work, etc. But Netpal has its place. It is a damn nice computer too, since it has a keyboard that is fairly spill resilient and a heavy screen hinge from what I heard.

    My eight year old (going on nine) nieces will have her ‘Pink’ Samsung NC10 soon and I’ll tell you if she likes that. She was too old for a Netpal, but I think she would have accepted it and enjoyed some of the nanny-features as helpful. But she has the same computer I have now, so that makes maintenance easier for me. (Also, I just wanted to see the build quality ten months later on the Samsungs with my own side by side.)

    1. You are probably correct – until a kid reaches that age where they
      start to question what they are told. . .
      The controls should have the desired effect.

      The trick would be to teach them to avoid the things they need to
      avoid before they reach that age. Or at least before the
      renewal shows up in the mail with your kid’s name on it.

      But then again, the world can’t get adults who should know better to turn
      on their firewalls.

  2. A NetBook that we can really call a: “Micky Mouse NetBook”?
    Oh, boy, what fun we can make of that!

    Hey, kids, checkout SystemRescueCD – learn how to change
    the parental control password.
    Yeah, right, that is going to last about two days after they
    learn how to type: “Google”.

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