Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Disney Netpal and Buzz Robot

I had another wonderful opportunity through the Silicon Valley Moms Blog and Techmamas (thanks, Beth). Disney is really growing on me. We're planning a trip next year and we love their movies, but I have to admit I cringe sometimes when we buy something with a Disney character, like underwear, knowing we're paying a little licensing fee. The underwear is the same, right? Why should I pay more? But I, with my SV Mom blogging buddies Ana, Linsey and Jessica, had the opportunity to see a product Disney will be releasing shortly that really has added value. It took me a while to write about it, but I have not been able to stop talking about it to friends and family.

I'm talking about a new ASUS netbook with a Disney interface, the Netpal. It is beautiful on the outside (Magic Blue or Princess Pink), sturdy on the inside and perfect for parents and kids.

Here are the notes I took at the press briefing about the 8.9" netbook (same as my own Dell, but thinner)

- Internet safe, fun, easy
- Available in August
- ASUS (started netbook in August 2007)
- Being released in 32 countries - 19 languages

Desktop with a wide array of parental controls
- XP Home standard desktop available
- Disney Desktop - with controls, fun, etc. (recommended)

Pick from tons of icons - each kid has own password, different access, different approved programs, password. The kids only see the approved programs.

Can set what programs are available by day and time (e.g. radio Disney) in 2 hour increments. The settings for the parents are password protected, can't change clock to override time restrictions.

Question? Can child set or change their own password? (No, which is much better for my forgetful kids)

1) Top - toolbar, 2) Desktop, 3) Tray (shows all programs allowed)

Desktop (Disney theme), tray color/pattern, Notes (like a fridge)

- Play radio Disney, request song, see last 10 played, "shoutout" widget
- Mix central - manage music, download site (
- pix (Disney digital cameras have lots of cool features): friendly user interface, bobble - head videos (with the kids heads)
- Disney browser: loads automatically (optimized for screen, screened for content), no place for typing in url, you just click on the website screen capture of approved ones
- star brings up kids favorites (rather than typing url)
- screen capture of all the sites you can go to
- click on shield and enter password, then type url, then add the site to the appropriate users, and expiration date
Email: need your own email address (no Disney email)
- any email from unapproved sites goes to a filter (password protected for parents)
- approved senders, receivers (icon driven)

- look at history of use (or do not record history)
- Some back to school programs for donating computers

mouse, bag
mp3 players and cameras

After we all drooled over the Netpal, they brought out what may be the big high priced toy this Christmas. I guess it was the Wall-E robot last year. I jumped on that bandwagon, but went for the U-repair non-robotic one which fit my price range. Toy Story III is coming out, and there's a pretty awesome robot: Buzz Lightyear - coming out in October. He starts out as a spaceranger, and he doesn't believe he's a toy, until the kid convinces him he's a toy. He can be programmed to do up to 64 movements. It really looks great, my kids would love it. Toy Story 1 and 2 released in October in 3D and Toy Story 3 will be released in June 2010.

- voice activated command
- remote controlled
- lots of different options to react to a single command
- play games with the robot - fire at him, he'll move away
- push record/program mode - up to 64 changes, then push button, record own movements

You can also head on over to Bongamom and Techmamas for reviews on these Disney items. I didn't get either of these products, or any compensation for this, barring a bag and stuffed Buzz. The photo is from Beth at Techmamas.

1 comment:

  1. Andrea ConorDecember 20, 2009

    thanks for giving a play by play about this. I've been thinking of a way to give my kid a more enriching experience while writing his essays. I've come across a number of units but this one seem to be the most interactive of all.