If you have kids and own a tablet, chances are you've passed it to the back seat on occasion, asking your five-year-old to help you navigate to the beach, or to beat an otherwise hopeless level in Angry Birds. Now, you can reward them with a tablet of their own. Available in green and pink, the $100 LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer includes a 5-inch, 480 x 272-pixel (16:9) touchscreen, 2GB of built-in storage, and a durable housing -- but your 5-9 year old isn't going to get caught up on specs. They will take notice to the built-in camera (with video capture), microphone, stylus, and accelerometer, however -- all of which enable custom kid-friendly apps and educational games, including Disney Animation Studio, an interactive reader, and compatibility with over 100 downloadable apps and LeapFrog cartridges, which range in price from $5 to $25. There's no wireless connectivity, so you'll be tethering with Windows or Mac OS to download additional content, and to share your child's creations with family and friends.
Gallery: LeapFrog LeapPad Hands-On
We're certainly far outside LeapPad's target demographic, but we did have a chance to go hands-on with the device earlier today, and felt that the tablet was solidly built, with a well-rounded feature set and sufficient expandability options -- for a kids toy, of course. Games and apps took advantage of the Pad's features, such as Roly Poly Picnic, which uses the accelerometer to navigate through a maze, spelling out simple, three-letter words along the way (like all apps and games, Picnic is adjustable based on your little one's age and skill level). There's also a video player (currently limited to 4:3 content), photo, and video capture apps. Shipping August 15th, the device doesn't have a ton of horsepower under the hood -- a 400MHz processor means apps won't launch with the speed and grace of an iPad 2 -- but for a $100 toy, the LeapPad will do just fine. PR and hands-on video are after the break.Permalink | | Email this | Comments