Computer manufacturers know that the way to get long-term customers is to hook them while they’re young—so it’s not much of a coincidence that computer maker Dell has partnered with Nickelodeon on a new Dell Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition, a version of the Inspiron Mini 10v netbook with special slime-themed kid-oriented artwork, custom wallpapers and icons, and an animated custom interface that ties in directly with landing points on Nick.com so kids can keep up with Spongebob Squarepants and all their other Nickelodeon favorites.
The computers will be on sale through Wal-mart and from Dell directly; Dell also plans two additional Design Studio themes based on Nickelodeon properties Spongebob Squarepants and iCarly.
“Moms insisted that we deliver on three things when it comes to a computer for their children, ” said Dell’s VP of consumer sales and branding Michael Tatelman, in a statement. “First, help provide a safe computing experience. Second, provide superior educational content as well as a world-class entertainment experience. Third, partner with trusted brands. The Dell Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition passes with flying colors on all counts.”
In addition to tying in with Nick.com, the custom desktop animation ties directly to Whyville.net so kids can tap into educational games and activities sponsored by everyone from NASA and the CDC to Scholastic Publishing. The netbook also comes with a 15-month subscription to McAfee Family Security, offering extensive parental controls so parents can keep an eye on kids’ online activities. The netbook also supports LoJack for Laptops so it can report its location if it’s stolen or lost.
Under the hood, the netbook is pretty much exactly what one might expect: an Intel Atom N270 processor, 1 GB of RAM, a 12 GB hard drive, a 1.3 megapixel Webcam, and 802.11b/g Wi-Fi wireless networking. Dell hasn’t announced pricing for the system, but it should be available in Wal-mart and from Dell directly in October.