The original Leapad looked like a talking book and was introduced in 1999.
A lot of kids cut their reading teeth on these books . Your book could read you a story, or you could or use the attached stylus to press on a word or sentence to hear with a mere tap of your pen. Pressing on pictures yielded other surprises. And it had pages, just like a real book.
The device has continued to evolve, almost to a fault. A few years ago the Leapfrog product line was a bit of a disaster with too many products and no salient message to the consumer..
With the launch of the LeapPad 2 and the Leapfrong GS that’s about to change. The focus is on providing kid friendly experiences on grownup looking devices. Last holiday season the surprise winner at retail was the LeapPad , a newer hipper/ electronic book form factor that cost a quarter of the price of “grown up tablets” like the iPad. Included in the line were some very grown up features and a full bevy of carefully plotted learning software. The net result was to take te burden of choice off of poo
Apps include a music player, a cartoon creation app,, an Art Studio creativity app for drawing and the Pet writing app. Plus you can watch movies and read books. All for $99. Content is increasingly including full length movies as well as educational adventures. Partners have included Disney, Discovery and now Sesame Street. Parents will be able to track progress and get suggestions on a special online parenting area
re’s higher resolution front and rear cameras / a video recorder, twice the memory (4GB) and a faster processor. Better battery life and an add on alternative rechargeable pack made me feel a bit better about the environmental side of the equation. The apps that come with the LeapPad 2 are designed to inspire reativity and exploration.
The Leapster GS ($69.99) is a revised gaming system offering a thinner design, larger screen 3 ½ inches),, built-in accelerometer, 2GB of memory and a camera / video recorder. The GS is the Gaming System – meant for educational game learning, while the LeapPad 2 focuses on mimicking the diversity of the iPad experience. The GS has bigger buttons and feels a bit faster on response time. Augmented reality games that put the child in the game and through learning portals bring a smack of hipness-next gen to the machine. letts
Here’s Techmemes video of the GS in action
And a look at LeapPad2 from LeapPad