Everybody needs a tablet. Even the very small. That’s LeapFrog’s view, at least. Earlier this week, the highly successful manufacturer of game/toy hybrids announced the ‘LeapPad 2,’ a tablet engineered for users aged three through nine. LeapFrog’s ‘tech’ raises a question: when’s a good age for kids to get their hands on the real deal?
The LeapPad 2 works a bit like an iPad on training wheels. It has high resolution cameras on its front and back, video recorders, faster processing power than LeapFrog’s previous bits of kiddie tech, and 4 gigs of RAM. That’s not a bad little package of tech for a toddler’s toy. The tablet comes with several free ‘apps,’ including Cartoon Director and Pet Pad, and can download more content (games, eBooks, and more) from the LeapPad App Center.
The tablet itself will be available for $99.99 USD on July 18. Downloadable apps are priced at $5 and up. Yikes! iPad users would riot if $5 was a standard app price!
Still, LeapFrog makes good, sturdy educational toys that kids love, and they really do help ease youngsters into a high tech world. The LeapPad 2 is a decent choice for toddlers, all of whom have PhD’s in dropping things and spilling apple juice. What about kids aged 5 and up, though? They’re more in control of their movements, and better prepared to handle the responsibility of a real iPad (preferably an older model bequeathed by mom or dad). And with so many real apps out there for children, even babies, should kids just skip the LeapFrog stuff and dive straight into the real McCoy, provided mom and dad have the funds to let them do so?