By Tech Powered Dad | April 23, 2012
I finally got a chance to do a LeapPad review. It’s something I’ve wanted to take a look at for a while, and I finally realized that one of my friends has one. He was easily persuaded to loan it to me for a few days.
The LeapPad has been a hot toy since last Christmas time, when it became difficult for a lot of people to get their hands on one. While I heard a lot of positive feedback at that time, I heard some negatives too: slow response time, small viewing screen, low resolution camera, etc. Having played with it myself, I think those complaints are valid, but only if you’re comparing it to an iPad. I can’t imagine kids will even notice what they’re missing, but will instead focus on the positives of a fun game system that encourages learning at the same time. Besides, the LeapPad costs a tiny fraction of what an adult tablet costs.
If you’re not familiar with the LeapPad, I’d break down the kinds of things you can do with it into a few major categories.
eBooks on the LeapPad emphasis real reading skills. The tablet will read the book out loud to your child, but the words are also displayed on the screen and are highlighted as they are read.
I watched a little Dora on the LeapPad I was working with. This was a hit and miss experiment. The video quality of Dora was pretty low, noticeably different from anything else I did with the LeapPad, leaving me to wonder if the problem was with the LeapPad or with Dora. Dora also looks pretty crummy on Netflix, so I can’t say for certain what the quality would be of other videos on a LeapPad.
I can say, that you can skip around to other parts of the video almost instantly, which I really appreciated. Just touch the screen and drag the progress bar, and you’re done.
The LeapPad tablet does feature a camera that allows kids to take still pictures or video. Yes, the resolution is fairly low compared to a real digital camera. Most kids won’t even know the difference, as they can take pictures that are easily recognizable to show their friends and family. It’s very easy to use, just point and shoot.
Games and Apps
Leapfrog is really known for their educational games, and the games I tried out on the LeapPad were indeed very good. In addition to a variety of games based on popular movie, tv show, and story characters, there are also apps that allow you to interact with the tablet in other ways, like drawing.
Bottom Line LeapPad Review
The LeapPad tablet isn’t perfect, but as far as kids toys go, it’s pretty amazing. It’s easy to recommend for parents of young kids, especially homeschoolers.