Kids tablets will always be popular and although my children have grown beyond products such as the LeapPads I am always intrigued to find out how they are progressing. With this in mind, I asked to borrow the two latest Leapfrog tablets to see just how much they have improved on the previous generation.
I will start by looking at the Leappad Platinum. The Leappad Platinum looks and feels very much like the previous Leappad tablets that we have reviewed in detail. It has the same chunky robust casing that gives you confidence that this is suitable for children from a young age. The Leappad Platinum is recommended for children aged 3 to 9, but realistically your 9-year-old will not be happy with this product. It looks far too young and babyish and although it features some fantastic specifications they will want something a little more grown up which is where the Leappad Epic comes in. However, I will get to that in a moment. The Leappad Platinum is a 7″ multi-touch tablet that is available in green and purple with a 1024 x 600 resolution which is a lot higher than the previous models. It has a built-in rechargeable battery which will last for around 5 hours and has 8GB of storage which is double the amount found in the Leappad 2 or 3. The camera is still only 2MP which is a shame as this could do with improving but with the Kids safe internet, access to the Leapfrog Connect library of games and the ability to play the Leapfrog cartridges plus the imagicards which bring games to life it is a great starting point.
The LeapPad Epic is also a 7″ multi-touch screen but is run on android and has a completely different look and feel to the previous LeapPad tablets. With a removable bumper and no bit clunky buttons messing up the aesthetics on the tablet, it looks a lot more grown up and would be ideal for the children at the higher age of the 3 to 9 age range. The LeapPad Epic has 16GB of storage that is expandable up to 32GB and it also has bluetooth capabilities which the previous LeapPads don’t have. Coming more in line with how people purchase games the LeapPad Epic does not have the capability to play the cartridge games that Leapfrog sell for the other tablet devices but it seems to play the same apps as the LeapPad Platinum. It still only has a 2MP camera front and back which I do think is a downfall for these tablets as kids love taking photos but this is certainly moving Leapfrog in the right direction and allowing them to reach a more mature audience. The Leapfrog Epic still has some great features for the young ones as well including a home screen that they can add moving stickers too and an easy to navigate menu. As it is android based I had hoped that you would be able to download another app store such as Google Play Store or Amazon App store but this doesn’t seem to be the case. It would also be good to see the ability to have a more grown up home page. Although the tablet physically looks better for older children the content is still too young for its target audience. Both Elizabeth (7) and Alison (6) said that they enjoy playing games on it but would want to download Minecraft and other free apps that they play on it for it to replace their current tablets.
All in all, I think Leapfrog have come a long way with the quality and design of their tablets but they still have a way to go to secure the older audience however I highly recommend them for children aged 5 and under and the quality of the educational apps and games available are fantastic.