Asus eee pad Transformer

Two years ago, we panned the Disney “Netpal” netbook, but have since had to swallow our words (albeit with a fine sauce and some good bread). We thought it was overly cutesy when we used it and dismissed it out of hand. What we forgot was we weren’t the audience; our tiny relatives loved it.

The Disney NetPal turns out to be a smash hit with the little ones. If you note the “Net” part of the name you will realize it’s designed as a netbook computer, meaning smaller than a regular laptop – but just right for small hands. It has the old Windows XP operating system, which Bob still likes and is still found on about half of all desktop computers. It includes a lot of Disney apps and games, as well as Microsoft Works. Amazon sells it new for $415 new, or used for $300.

If you don’t care about the Disney stuff, the ASUS “eeePC” is a $200 netbook with Windows 7. Or consider the $400 ASUS eeePad Transformer, an iPad-like device that comes with an attachable keyboard and boasts an 18-hour battery life. It’s only available for pre-order; Best Buy and other stores are already sold out online.

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