Is this Disney laptop a beauty or a beast?
Asus is the manufacturer that came up with the whole idea of a netbook computer, a smaller, cheaper kind of laptop that’s ideal for relatively undemanding users.
Having tied in with Lamborghini for its high-end VX5 laptop Asus is trying a similar thing with its Eee PC netbook range.
The result is the Disney-themed MK90, which is aimed at young people aged between six and 12 and available in pink or blue.
The Disney theme is obvious: the famous mouse-ears logo sits in the middle of the lid and there’s a subtle pattern of the Mickey Mouse head laid into it and the area surrounding the keyboard.
The screen is a 9in widescreen model although if you’re used to other netbooks with the same case size it looks a little smaller than it actually is.
Audio is provided by two tiny speakers mounted just under the screen which were capable of making some quite loud noises but quality wasn’t great and they gave a very tinny sound.
Technically, it’s old-fashioned as netbooks go. It’s built around an Intel Atom N270 processor and has 1GB of memory and an 160GB hard disk. Those are the kind of specifications we would have expected from last year’s models and consequently they’re eclipsed by the components found in other non-branded netbooks at the same price. It uses the older Windows XP Home operating system rather than the newer Windows 7, but this combination is nippy in use.
It’s fine for most of the things users in the target age group will be doing, with one possible exception being that video playback was a little jerky. The battery life is around five hours and the charger is small and light. As with all netbooks, it’s not much good for games and doesn’t have a CD or DVD drive.
Round the edges are three USB sockets, a network connection (it can also connect to wireless networks), a VGA socket for connecting a monitor or TV and microphone and headphone connections. There’s a memory card reader too (which takes SD and Memory Stick cards). Mounted above the screen in the lid is a Mickey-Mouse-shaped webcam.
Software-wise the Disney content consists mainly of online applications – there are icons on the desktop but most transfer the user to a website on which they have to set up an account before use. There’s plenty of Disney material, from cartoons to games and a radio station full of American kids’ tunes. It does come with parental-control software installed, though.
Although the MK90 is not expensive for a netbook (it can be found online for £50 below the RRP) there are better laptops around without the Disney branding.
Read more reviews
Not a bad computer, but in the end you’re paying a lot for the Disney branding Good points Parental control software pre-installed; Disney media access made simple; good keyboard and touchpad; smart case design Bad points Lower spec than equivalent non-Disney model; boys’ (blue and serious) and girls’ (pink and flowery) versions
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