Dell Inc on Tuesday unveiled a line of Nickelodeon co-branded personal computer for children, the first in a series of branding deals intended to galvanize its consumer business.
Dell's move is the latest example of PC makers using design and targeting particular demographies to stand apart from rivals such as Hewlett-Packard Co and Acer Inc in an increasingly commoditized industry.
The Dell Inspiron Mini Nickelodeon Edition will come clad in the Viacom Inc channel's trademark green slime design, with additional designs based on programs such as SpongeBob SquarePants and iCarly.
The 10-inch netbook has wireless Internet access, weighs less than 3 pounds and comes loaded with entertainment and educational content. It will also feature a personalized user interface with Nickelodeon-branded desktop wallpaper and icons, and easy access to the channel's online content.
Michael Tatelman, vice president of global consumer sales and marketing for Dell, said the Nickelodeon netbook is just the start of its co-branding effort as it pushes into areas such as college students and pro sports.
The PC, like the smartphone, has become a 21st century symbol of self-expression. People are identified by what they carry, and people identify with what they carry, he said.
Leigh Anne Brodsky, president of Nickelodeon and Viacom consumer products, said the sweet spot for the PC was the so-called tween market.
This really is not a toy. This is the real deal, she said.
The world's No. 2 PC maker did not announce pricing for the netbook, which will be available in October in the United States through Dell's online store, and at Wal-Mart Stores Inc outlets and Walmart.com.
The Nickelodeon PC is based on Dell's Inspiron Mini 10v, which starts at $300.
(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Richard Chang)