Great Netbooks For Kids And What’s Up With Intel AppUp

Posted on July 24, 2011


If you haven’t already noticed, we live in a world of portable technology and apps. And thankfully, now more than ever, much of the portable tablets and netbooks available are more affordable than ever. When you’re a parent with kids, what are your options? What’s durable? What can you take on vacation without packing a suitcase full of batteries and wires? I recently met with some wonderful folks from Intel and they took some time to share some new great products and their recently-launched app store that works with these devices. Let’s take a quick look at two particularly great, kid-friendly netbooks.

I want to focus your attention on two in particular today. Both of these would be perfect options as you look to purchasing back-to-school gadgets.

Classmate PC (Retail $500)

As soon as Mark Miller and Agnes Kwan, Intel’s Communication group for netbooks and tablets, brought my attention to this marvelous piece of technology, my ears really perked up. A kid-friendly netbook that’s just under $500 and is water-resistant and shock absorbent? It folds up nicely with a little handle for carrying and has a swivel screen, too. This little piece of technology is so impressive that there are countries around the world ordering them in bulk for their young students. A few of the technical specks are: 160 GB, HD 10.1 inch high resolution touch screen and 1 GB ram. This is the perfect school solution for kids and teens and after getting to take a look at it myself, I couldn’t help but want one for my kids even though they aren’t in school yet. It’s durable and delivers on performance and, needless to say, if they keep making this one when my kids are in school, it will most likely be the one we are buying for them.
Acer Aspire One Happy (Retail $260)

Acer has been in the business of making netbooks for quite a while now, and for good reason. Their little machines deliver on quality and performance. The Acer Aspire Once Happy is perfect for both kids and teens. While not as durable as the Classmate PC, it still offers up a lot of wonderful features (and sells at about half the price of the Classmate). It comes in plenty of colors, so I know this particular netbook will appeal more to girls. The netbooks measure 1-inch thick and weigh a little over 2.5lbs, while the keyboard is 93-percent full-sized. It comes with Windows 7 basic. For the more technically inclined who are wondering, the specks include: The Intel Atom N570 Dual-Core Processor, 10.1 Acer CrystalBrite LED display (1024 x 600 resolution), Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 3150, 1GB DDR3 SDRAM Memory, 250GB SATA Hard Drive.

Intel AppUp

Another reason I met with the folks from Intel was to learn more about their recently-launched app store. Now, I review apps as a part-time job and came with high expectations. Most of my time and energy is focused on iOS app (Apple), so I was eager to learn about what their goals are and to test some of the apps for myself.

I was pleased to see that they have gotten some of the big developers on board. I saw familiar games such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja and even tried them out on a few tablets and PCs.

Intel’s AppUp is a feature than can be added to most Windows 7 PCs and tablets. Some will come preloaded with their version of the app store and others can simply download it as a program. At this point, they offer up several thousand apps – not near the selection of other stores such as the Android Marketplace or the App Store, however, they are focusing on quality rather than quantity and are focusing on being developer-friendly. They are taking the PC app world by storm and offering up great options for Windows-based tablets.

There’s a heavy focus on educational apps being offer by Intel AppUp. Here are a few we discussed. If your computer has the ability to download Intel AppUp (Windows XP or 7), I highly recommend you do so. It’s free, and you can purchase and download these educational and artful apps to help your kids beat the summer heat when it gets just a bit too hot to play outside. Also, be on the look out for budget-friendly tablets hitting the market soon that come loaded with MeeGo (an indication you can utilize AppUp apps on the device).

I’ve listed just a few of the apps we discussed and looked at during our meeting. There is so much more at AppUp – so be sure to head on over and browse around!
Algodoo ($4.99)is a fun way for children to learn more about the world and the universe around them

Cozi Express (Free) keeps the whole family organized with a shared calendar, to-do lists and a family journal.

21 Days ($3.99) If mom wants to adopt a new time-saving habit or replace an existing habit with this new one – Habits can help.

Fine Cooking Menu Maker ($1.99) makes it easy to find a recipe, create a shopping list and plan a cooking schedule.

Searchik (.99) for eBay and Amazon give the user the ability to simultaneously search both eBay and Amazon and compare search results.

Hannah is an educator, mom to three wonderful children ages 3 and younger and proud wife of an Operation Iraqi Freedom Veteran. She is the founder of My Appinions is a site where she posts reviews of iOS apps of all kinds but with a heavy emphasis on ones with educational and practical value. You can find her on Twitter @MyAppinions and Instagram as Banjonomad.

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