Top positive review
1,441 people found this helpful
Finally a tablet that has what we want!
on August 4, 2013
We've owned the original LeapPad, LeapPad2, and recently the LeapPad2 Power. We've also owned the InnoTab and InnoTab2S. Our favorite has been the LeapPad2. But then in walked the LeapPad Ultra . . .
SO, HOW ARE LEAPPAD2 AND LEAPPAD ULTRA THE SAME?
- Both have a front and back camera. On the LPU it's now placed to the left and off to the side.
- Both use a stylus. On the LPU it's placed on the bottom instead of the side. This helps with the whole left-hand right-hand dilemma.
- Both have a cartridge port for additional games, and uses purchased apps. Previously owned games will transfer once you register, and old LeapPad cartridges will fit.
- Both come with preloaded apps. The LPU comes with 11 apps, the LP2 only 5. When you register your LPU you get one free app (pick one of 3 preselected apps, not any app in their app store - bummer!).
- Both have additional accessories you can buy like gel skins, carrying cases, ac adapters (now included with the LPU), and headphones.
- Both have a mic, and volume (now moved to the top right side of the tablet, I find it awkward here). I couldn't find a contrast button on the LP2--it's very bright.
HOW ARE LEAPPAD2 AND LEAPPAD ULTRA DIFFERENT?
- LP2 has an age requirement of 3-9 years. LPU is upped to 4-9 years.
- Faster processor. However, the LP2 took 5 seconds from the time you selected an app to load. The LPU between 10 - 13 seconds depending on the app. This part is a bit of a struggle with small kids and I'm not quite sure why this didn't improve. A big disappointment is that it took LP2 only 21 seconds to reach the main app screen, but LPU 59 seconds!!! This is a huge disappointment, I really hope that changes with the next LPU2 (because you know there's going to be one).
- LP2 is smaller with a 5" screen (480 x 272). LPU is larger (about the size of the InnoTab) with a 7" screen (1024 x 600 resolution). In fact, the LPU reminds me a lot of the InnoTab in shape and size, but the LPU is much more solid. It looks and feels like quality hardware. The color scheme is much the same as the LP1, with more white than green, or pink (if you purchase the pink one, there's no pink on the green, or vice versa). The LPU also seems more durable.
- LPU video recording is now at 480p. That's not high definition, but it's better than the 240p the LP2 offered.
- LPU is more touch friendly and pressure sensitive. This was always a problem for us. My son started using the LP2 when he was 3 and preferred to use his finger over the stylus, but the LP2 wasn't always responsive that way. LPU is more like an iPad. The stylus is more for writing games, but you can still use it to select apps and navigate.
- LPU uses a rechargeable lithium battery that can be charged using the included AC adapter, or USB chord. Get up to 9 hours of play. We haven't used ours long enough to know if it really lasts 9 hours, but I'm assuming it does, or is fairly close. Battery life indicator is on the top right corner, just like you would find on most tablets (as well, the Internet connection quality). The LP2 used a battery compartment and took 4 AA batteries, the LPU's battery is internal.
- LP2 comes with 4GB of memory. LPU has 8GB! More than enough for our needs.
- LPU includes some new apps. The one I was most excited about was their Utility Suite. This includes a calendar, calculator, notepad, clock, voice memo, and stopwatch. This was a nice bonus! The Innotab came with a few of these apps, and I always thought it was a nice touch. As well, LPU comes with a standard MP3. I wondered why LeapFrog made us purchase this as an additional app, (it only became included with the new LP2 Power).
- LP2 works a lot like an iPad and tilts with just about everything, including the menu screen.
- Power button has been moved to the back.
- LPU comes with a Pet Chat App. I'm not so big on this one, just because I think texting is crazy enough, and here we are teaching little kids to text. However, that's what we do these days, so I guess they might as well learn--safely, and responsibly, using pre-assigned completed words (no OMGing and LOLing here). Kids can send each other emoticons, but not pictures. To use this feature kids have to pretty much be in the same room, or the same house. The two tablets do not connected over the Internet, they just communicate by being in close proximity (about a 50 foot range). My son hasn't had an interest in this one, mainly because he has no one to chat with yet.
- There's a parent control access. Parents can enter a code to lock down what you don't want your child to have access to, such as purchasing apps from the app store. By the way, setup was very nice, I thought the process was very easy to understand, and found our wireless connection very easily.
- One thing that's really cool is the new peer-to-peer play apps. We haven't been able to test this yet either, as we only own one tablet. But I'm really looking forward to my kids being able to play games together. (Again, players must be in the same room, no racing with kids across town). Through the Pet Chat app kids can play additional simple games like tic-tac-toe.
- LPU has thick rubber that runs along most of the sides of the tablet for extra padding. LP2 was just plastic all the way around. Still, you probably want to purchase a gel-skin for this anyway.
- Okay, let's talk Internet capability. This is the exciting addition. The InnoTab 2S kind of touched on this, and I mean, kind of, because they didn't allow for any browsing capability. It was only for downloading apps, which you still couldn't do directly over the tablet. LPU knocks it all out of the park. Now kids can use LeapSearch to connect to the Internet using a kid-safe-browser. Kids can search for images, videos, and websites by category, and view content that has been preapproved by LeapFrog's panel (a bit 1984 to me, but makes sense). Apps can be purchased through the LeapFrog store and synced over the Internet (we haven't used this feature yet). One nice feature is that kids can browse the app store and look at games, books, videos, and songs that they like and add it to a wish list. You can enter your code and purchase it for them.
WHAT'S THE OVERALL REIVEW?
Yeah, get it!
My son just turned 4, and by far this is the best "toy" tablet. With all of the incredible updates and additions, it's as if LeapFrog heard what parents and kids wanted, and redesigned a new tablet to accommodate our wishes--but still with the value and vision LeapFrog is known for. My only reservation is that the speed is slow and it sometimes crashes, or "fake" crashes and you're sitting there wondering what's going to happen. If it does crash just press the power button and hold it. I haven't lost any information, it just reboots. If you're in a position, I still think an iPad or a Nexus 7 is a good buy for a kid, with a good protective case. These "toy tablets" are great, but they have limitations. Buy into one knowing that they aren't perfect, but they sure are durable and kids do enjoy/love them.
Hope this review helps. Definitely would suggest passing on all the other tablets and purchase this one. Curious to see what vTech (InnoTab creator) has to offer in competition. One thing I would like to see on the LPU is an ability to add videos/movies. The InnoTab2 offers this ability, but you have to convert videos and I found it a pain, but would like to see LeapFrog improve on this and offer this feature on their tablets.
**If you haven't already taken advantage of this, here are two FREE app codes:
The Book of Super Awesome Stuff (e-book): 5813 1140 1518 1413
Alphabet Stew (game): 5813 0790 4610 4973
UPDATE: What is the deal with this LeapPad crashing so much???!!! That's unacceptable for small kids. Downgrading my rating from 5 starts to 4 stars. Time will tell if I drop my rating again..
UPDATE: It stopped crashing so much :)