What separates the toddler and youngster aimed PeeWee Pivot 2.0 Tablet Laptop from an ordinary Atom-powered netbook? Two of the thing are: The swiveling screen comes off to become a self-contained tablet; and the manufacturer's price is $600.
Before shoppers desperate to please their pie-eyed youngsters justify getting bilked, they should check out the specs. The CPU is an Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz, with a whopping 1GB of memory to play with. For storage, it wields a 160GB PATA hard drive (I wasn't sure parallel ATA still existed). Networking goes up to a speedy, wired 100 megabit or Wi-Fi b/g/n.
(See Related: Kids Review Kids' Tech)
The full spec list goes like this, including some of my own comments:
* Either Windows XP Home or Windows 7 Starter [The manufacturer's page mentions both.]
* Intel Atom N450 1.66GHz [I'd expect something a little more robust for the price]
* Accelerometer, which rotates display as needed
* 1GB RAM [Definitely requires a healthier memory supply]
* 160GB 1.8" PATA HDD
* 2-in-1 SD/MMC memory card reader
* USB 2.0 Interface for external storage [such as a DVD or BD drive, not included, so the kid can watch Toy Story 3 on the 1024x600 display.]
* 2 USB 2.0 Ports [Another point of stinginess]
* 1 RJ-45 10/100 LAN port
* Bluetooth [No mention of what version]
* 10.5x7.6x1.2" (D), 3.7 lbs
* 10.1' Touch Screen, 1024x600 Standard, 1366x768 Available [At extra cost, we're sure]
* Integrated UMA Intel Graphics [Loathed by enthusiasts everywhere]
* Integrated 1.3MP webcam
* 1 Year Depot/Mail-in Parts and Labor Warranty
* Includes stylus/pen for resistive touch input [That's likely to either be handy, or under the fridge, depending on the child]
* Ruggedized: Tested with 50cm Drop Test [Manufacturer PeeWee PC should really play this up.]
We realize netbooks with removable screens that contain accelerometers are more expensive than typical netbooks. That's fine. Standalone tablet PCs are going for $600 and more as the craze builds off the Apple iPad's momentum, and most are not spill proof resistant. Perhaps the PeeWee Pivot line is even the first tablet brand for kids (I can't find an earlier one, anyway). Cool, another bullet point.
Understand, however, that the premium you'd be paying is for the product's lack of break-ability--plus 15 pre-loaded, education games (all kids love edutainment!) and some proprietary Internet safety and privacy software.
At the very least, parents, make sure if the rug rats find one under the tree this year, it's not a gift abandoned on the shelf by March.