At an event in New York this evening, Dell released a new netbook co-branded with juvenile entertainment monolith Nickelodeon. The new “Nick Mini” is based on the successful Dell Mini 10v, retooled with extra branding, design and software additions to make it more of a kid-friendly gadget.
Officially called the “Dell Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition”, the new netbook is the start of a big partnership between the two companies. It features a themed design based on Nickelodeon’s trademarked splat image; the slime runs down the back of the display and out from under the keyboard. It even comes with a Nickeleon display theme from the design wizards at Stardock. When the Start menu is opened up, an animated drop of slime runs down the side of the screen to great effect.
The hardware itself is essentially a rebranded Dell Mini 10v; there’s no surprises in terms of features or abilities. The real difference between the two systems all comes down to the software. Since it’s being targeted toward children, it needs to make the parents happy, too. To that extent, Dell and Nickelodeon are also putting forth a concerted effort to get moms in on the deal, too. The Nick Mini comes with a 15-month subscription to McAfee’s Family Security software, which lets parents track and direct what their children do online. It also comes with LoJack for Laptops, so if it ever gets stolen, the child’s parents will be able to log on and find out where it is.
To get kids involved, Dell and Nickelodeon manage to come up with some engaging content besides green paint and animated slime. Owners of the new netbook will be given access to Nickelodeon content that can be downloaded locally; it’ll be updated every two months and occasionally include exclusive shows and episodes before they air on the cable channel. There’s also an animation that rests on the desktop with a link to Whyville.net, an edutainment site that offers content from the CDC, Woods Hole, NASA, and others.
It hasn’t yet been disclosed how much the new Nick Mini will cost; while Dell assures us it’ll be “competitive”, they also said that the branded Mini 10v will carry a premium over it’s less-slimed brother. The netbook will be available on both Dell.com and in Wal-Mart stores starting in October. The Wal-Mart retail channel is a smart move for the Rock Rock giant, as they’re likely to get a lot more exposure to moms and kids there as opposed to a more traditional location like Best Buy. For those who are averse to slime-covered netbooks, Dell’s Design Studio will also offer options from other Nickelodeon shows, like SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly.