New York - Toshiba, in conjunction with Best Buy, will roll out a kid-centric laptop later this month.
Dubbed the Kids PC, the laptop is based on a Toshiba Satellite L635. When it ships on Sept. 28 it is expected to carry a suggested retail of $599, but will probably have a lower street price, said Mark Lackey, Toshiba's product manager, digital products division.
The Kids PC will only sell through Best Buy.
The laptop is intended specifically for kids 7 to 12 years old and was designed using a combination of Best Buy's customer data and focus groups that included children.
Toshiba specifically avoided using a netbook as the basis for the Kids PC, said Lackey, adding that most kids enjoy playing Flash-based games that do not work well on an Atom processor. Also, most netbooks do not include a DVD drive, which Toshiba feels is needed so kids can watch movies.
The Kids PC has a somewhat scaled-down specifications set compared with the L635, using an Intel Celeron processor, 2GB of memory and a 160GB hard drive. It also has a different industrial design incorporating lime-green edging over a gray casing. The wrist rest and cover have a ruggedized appearance, and the keyboard is semi-sealed for easy cleaning.
But those are the only physical kid-friendly changes.
The unit comes with Kidzooey software, which creates a protected environment for children to surf the web. Also included on the hard drive are two free movies, "The Princess and the Frog" and "Toy Story 2," through the CinemaNow movie service.
NetNanny parental control software is also included and must be set up by the parent before the unit will function.