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1,189 of 1,198 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2011
Okay. Let's start with the facts:

a) I have twins who turn 4 years old tomorrow.
b) They always want to play with my tablet (especially the "Birdy Game")
c) They need their own tablets so they will leave mine alone.

Therefore, I bought each of them their own LeapPad Explorer tablets.

After reading some of the reviews about the other Explorer products, I decided to set these up before their birthday tomorrow. So many people lamented the set up process that I knew I needed to get this done before the actual day. I thought I could take them out of the boxes, get them all set up and place them back in the boxes so that they could open them tomorrow. I had no idea what I was in for.

The bad:

1) It is a very sad statement about the world we live in that the only way to remove the tablets from their packaging was to completely destroy it (as in totally torn apart and in pieces). I was stunned that every panel of the packaging was glued shut and there was no way to detach it without tearing the cardboard.

2) In order to load the 4th free game and purchase new apps for the tablet, you have to connect it to your computer (trust me, the tablet reminds you several times until you do this) and install the LeapFrog Connect software. Installing the LeapFrog Connect software took 15 minutes with the CD. I'm not sure why. It doesn't appear to be that large of a file.

3) The LeapPads were shipped to me 2 weeks ago and already it has a software update that has to be made before I could get anything set up. Updating the software took over 30 minutes (DSL connection) even though it claimed to only take 15 min.

I have now been sitting at my computer for 2 hours and am still waiting for the first one to be completely set up. I keep going back to check the status bar and am completely frustrated by how long this is taking.

Oh, and one other thing. Since I bought these before they had been reviewed, I did not think about the lack of an AC adapter. Given the amount of battery these require, I would have expected an AC adapter to be included. I did check out the ones for sale here on Amazon and am confused. The image for the Leapster AC adapter is identical to the one being sold on the LeapFrog site, but on Amazon, it says it does not work with the Explorer. Who to believe?

So frustrated before my children even had the chance to play with these.

The Good:

UPDATE: They are in love! My children have had very little exposure to computers and video games, so they are very much novices when it comes to navigating. That said, this was the last present they opened and they started using them right away. My husband and I have had to do some coaching on the use of the controller, but for the most part we've left them alone to explore it themselves. I purchased the separate Dora game for my daughter and she absolutely adores it. My son loves to play the Monkey Soccer game app I downloaded from Leap Frog.

One HUGE plus that I had not anticipated is that when you buy an app from the Leap Frog App store, you can install it on 2 LeapPads! This is AMAZING for us! Now, both of my newly 4 year old twins have identical apps on their devices and I get more bang for my buck.

They've had their LeapPads for the past 2 days and they've proven to be one of their favorite presents. We have limited their time on the LeapPads, so our original batteries have not worn out yet. I will be purchasing the AC adapters and maybe even chargers for the car.

Overall, I am satisfied with my purchase. Now, if they could just make the setup less frustrating, that would be amazing!

Update #2 (19 days in): My children do not use their Leap Pads every day, but I would say they have used them 12 out of the 19 days they have had them. I limit their use to about 30 minutes at a time. Today was the first time we got a message about needing new batteries. So, we got essentially 6 hours or so of playtime on our first set of batteries. I'm not complaining, though. They took pictures, played a multitude of games. I did purchase the AC adapter and plan to see if I can get both of my 4 year-olds to sit at their work table with the LeapPads connected. I will definitely invest in some rechargeable batteries.

Update #3 (26 days in): So, we did not change the batteries when we got the warning. So far, we've had at least another hour of play. We're going to see how far we can push this until the batteries die.

Update #4: It looks like approximately 8 hours for a set of batteries.
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209 of 220 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2011
My daughter got her LeapPad two days ago. She likes it so far but seems to be already getting tired of the apps that came with it (story studio, pet pad, art studio and a game of your choice). If you already own Leapster Explorer you will be able to use the games you own, if you don't - be prepared to spend between $7-10 for each app. You might still want to purchase Explorer games as well ($15-25).

The installation and software update took about 2 hours!!! My daughter had to go to bed before she even got a chance to play with her new toy. The next day she wouldn't stop playing with the LeapPad, and by 6pm we had to replace the batteries. We use 2 rechargeable sets and have been replacing the batteries once every day so far.

Today I noticed some minor scratches on the front of the LeapPad (on the screen and on the casing). You might want to pick up a screen protector (LeapPad Gel Skin is available in October).
The idea of stylus might be a little dangerous for a 4 y.o, but I guess, if you are concerned about that, you can put it away until your child gets a little older.

I have to admit that there is a wide selection of games available for this device, and Explorer compatibility is a definite plus. However, I believe buying an android tablet would've been a better choice. I have seen some sold for the same price as the LeapPad. Even if you spend a little more it might still be worth it, as many android apps are available at no cost. Other companies are also coming out with similar tablets (such as VTech's InnoTab). Nintendo DS is mostly for gaming but it has similar art studio, a camera and a wi-fi and doesn't cost much more (unless it is a 3d model). My advice: spend some time researching other options before investing $100 (closer to $200 with all the extras) on LeapPad.

***UPDATE. I decided to change my rating to 4 stars and here is why: For those who are on the market to buy an educational toy, can't decide which one and your kids are too young to play with a tablet, LeapPad is a very good choice. It does have a big 5" screen, the graphics are good, it has a camera, a video recorder and a microphone (unlike Leapster Explorer). It lets players create separate profiles and sign in under different names, it has a USB cord to upload the pictures, videos and art to the computer.
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260 of 279 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2011
Purchased for my 4 1/2 yr old boy & friends' 4 1/2 yr. old girl. Both children enjoy using parent's iPads. Son, Nintendo DS.
Both adept at playing w/electronic gadgets- Smart Phones, Laptops. ( of course enjoy other forms of play & learning not using electronics;)
Was excited to buy LeapPad Tablet-because of LeapFrog quality of educational toys, & best learning DVD's.
Disappointed that LeapPad Explorer Learning Tablet did not meet our expectations.
CONS: !) Excessive, "difficult" to Open Package
2)Too Loud-(even at lowest setting)- Purchased earphones for kids.
3) Need computer to Sync & Download b4 use-(30 minutes+-) & to get Apps.
4) Apps-expensive -quality, graphics etc..just ok
5) Eats up batteries (Buy recyclables & AC adapter)
!) Games very good ($18-25) and backwards compatible w/Leapster Explorer.
2) Kids enjoy playing but still ask for IPAds or other gadgets.
3) Leap Pad Tablet is 100% Educational vs. the distractions of movies, other games etc.. on IPad, Nintendo's (these have educational content too!)
Bottom Line-
Fun, engaging, educational for children 4 yrs+ but long term use w/ ability to grow w/ kids yrs. later like iPad or even Nintendo's Handheld is limited.
What begins as $99 educational toy- easily became an over $200+ w/ purchase of LeapPad Tablet Case$17,Rechargeable Batteries, Games, Earphones, Apps etc..
I will also purchase soon to be released V.Tech InnoPad ($79). I'm curious to compare VTech to this LeapPad Tablet ($99). No camera is included on Vtech, tho and MP3 player is.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2011
My daughter is 18 months old. We do a lot of traveling and i have read that this is for ages 4 and up, but also read it can be great for a tech savvy toddler. This keeps her so entertained on trips, its incredible. She LOVES watching her favorite videos, doing the coloring for the artwork, and loves the pet and the games with it. she actually plays the games, pops the balloons, ect. i am shocked that she is as good with it as she is. She even clicks her name and signs herself in with the stylus. If you have a younger child and have been wondering if this would be good, it is! she is pretty rough on it, too, being that shes 1 and man does it hold up well. def. recommend this.
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48 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on August 24, 2011
I think this is a winner! Since getting an iPad2 and having to share it with DD, I've been looking for something that would be similar for just her to use. Voila Leapfrog saves the day with this fantastic new leappad. It is fully loaded with a still camera, video camera, microphone, durable shell and large, brilliant screen. The download on Mac for Leapfrog Connect was quick and easy (5 minutes.) Upload of new update and 1 free app was about 10 minutes. A lot of people are saying they wish this had wifi, so let me tell you why I am happy it does Not have wifi. WiFi could be accessed by outside sources, if you are in a public place you wouldn't want someone to be able to access your child's LeapPad's photos, videos and name that is on it.

I do wish that the LeapPad had an expandable memory slot (something iPad is also lacking), but taking into consideration that it has 2 GB of memory should hold a good amount.

If you are buying this system, to use to the full potential you will have to buy leapster explorer cartridge games. When I heard about the launch of this system and that it would work with explorer games, I started buying them when I found them on a great deal so we have a small collection already. Mostly you can find them for less than fifteen or twenty here on Amazon.

If you are worried (as I was) about so much battery usage, there is an a/c adapter port. The adapter is sold seperately though (again you can find here on amazon.)

It was also a bonus to get an extra stylus incase of loss or breakage. It is nice that the LeapPad holds the stylus with a magnet so it is easy to put into the side.

Bottom Line:

Would I buy this again and recommend to someone else? YES, absolutely

Includes: some apps already downloaded, camera, microphone (internal), 2 styluses(one with string attachment)

Does Not Include, recommended purchases: a/c adapter, headphones, leappad explorer cartridge games, case (Leapfrog is releasing them in a couple of months but in the mean time you might want to use an insulated softside lunchbox as we do), gel skin (leapfrog is releasing soon)

Last word: the only issue I foresee is that LeapFrog wants you to spend between $7 and $10 for apps, quite a few are just an app version of something we already own from LeapFrog. In Example, all of the learning videos we have them all on DVD, I don't think I should have to pay $10 again for the same thing I own already. They should be giving a huge discount to current owners of those. Same thing for most of the books, we have them with the Tag system. Hopefully they will either come out with new ones or something.

***UPDATE 11/17/11***
My daughter has really enjoyed playing all of the new apps that Leapfrog has come out with. I've been able to use the old leaplet download cards which were marketed for use with the leapster explorer to download apps for the leappad. You can find these download cards on clearance at big box stores and sometimes here too.

Second thing is that we've had to find a solution to carry the games since everyone has overpriced the original Leappad carry case (I will not pay fourty dollars for it!) We found a great case to use as a holder for leappad games as well as leapster games too. See my photo along with the product photos.
It comes in Pink and Black and works fantastic!
Kroo CNDSZNP2-HD Western Digital My Passport Portable Hard Drive EVA Case (Hot Pink)
Kroo Portable Hard Drive EVA Case (Black)
review image
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on October 6, 2011
We purchased this LeapPad for my daughter's fourth Birthday.

Pro's: Over 100 plus games are available for purchase.
It comes with 4 games included.
It has a built in Camera/Video Recorder.
It is educational, and still super fun.
It takes rechargeable batteries.
You can purchase an AC Adapter and skip batteries altogether if you choose.
The App center allows you to download Movie Apps, some are as long as 36 minutes! Its like having a DVD player included.
You can track your childs learning online.
You child earns tokens that they can spend on treats and game additions.
It comes with 2 Stylus.
Its durable.
The graphics are awesome.
Some of the cartridge games that you can purchase in the store are available to download to the LeapPad, so you don't have to worry about losing the cartridge.
Apps range from $5 to $20 . The cartridge games that you can download are $25.
You can purchase app download cards as gifts, kind of like giving an itunes card.
You can pay for apps using your credit card or app download cards in the App Center.

Con: No recharging station, but to be honest, purchasing the rechargeable batteries and AC adapter are cheaper than a recharging station anyway.

My daughter really loves this LeapPad. The games are very detailed and very fun. I love that I can track her progress, and see what she is learning and what she needs help with. She has spent lots of time playing the games, taking pictures and video's and creating books. She loves to edit her photo's. It is very similiar to how she plays with my Ipad2, she can take pictures, watch movies and play games. Best of all, I get to play with my Ipad2 alot more often. You won't be dissapointed. It has been worth every penny!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2011
Just picked up this leappad for my daughter's 3rd birthday. She loves it. although its no iPad, she's not exactly old enough for one of those yet either. It responds a bit quicker than the Leapfrog Explorers, and the screen is nice and bright, very colorful. the touch screen works well.
A few comments on previous reviews regarding 'issues'.
Setup - yes, you have to have a computer, and yes it has to be of sufficient competency otherwise it'll just take a bit longer to crunch the numbers. The software is downloadable from Leapfrogs website, the included cd just contains a hyperlink to their webpage. Once the software was installed, following the quick start instructions, I created a profile for my daughter on the Leappad and plugged it into the computer (Windows 7, x64) and it was recognized immediately, and connected in about 2 minutes. Software download and sync took about 15 minutes, eject, reboot, ready to go.
Packaging - the best in modern anti-theft design, but if you slit the pieces of tape and open it from the bottom it all comes apart fairly well and not destroyed. This helps with setup and re-packaging and gift wrapping later.
Issues - The 'Sneek Peek' feature, or Leapfrogs version of childsafe adware... kept hanging up the pad when my daughter would try to watch one of the preview video/ads.. don't know whats wrong with it. but if you press and hold the 'Home' and 'Volume Up' buttons at the same time you can get into the Parental settings menu and disable the 'Sneek Peek' feature. Good to know. You can also remove profiles, date/time, & calibrate the screen from this menu.

Bottom Line - best Leapfrog product I've seen, especially with today's day and age of the 'tablet', and can take the old cartridges from the Explorers as well. Well worth the money, especially at 1/5th the cost of an iPad. especially for a 3 year old. 100% kid safe, YMMV, and closing thought - a tech savvy 8 year old would probably like a real tablet for Christmas.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2011
I write a parenting blog called and I received a LeapPad for review. I can tell you first off what a relief this has been for both my husband and myself. Our preschooler just couldn't keep his sticky (literally) little paws off of our ipad. He was always so intrigued by it, and my husband had more apps downloaded on it for him than us put together! So it's nice that he now has his OWN tablet that can occupy him through the weekends and on family trips. He carries it around in his little bear backpack when he's not on it. He sits between my husband and I on the couch and uses it, and it occupies him longer than any of his other toys and personal electronic devices.

The way we see it is computers will become a major part of his life, especially once he starts elementary school, and so I don't feel bad about letting him spend as long as he wants on it since the apps he is using are all educational. (It's not like plopping him down in front of the TV.) The apps that he plays with are directly correlated with what he's learning in school now, which is awesome for us. It's like reviewing school on the weekends, in a way that he enjoys and has fun with. We've been doing a lot of letter and number recognition, along with word building and learning about unusual animals and science. I also love that the screen is large, and the video picture is SO clear. He feels just like mommy and daddy now that he has his own camera. He especially loves the drawing feature, since he's really into art and creating.

I wish the battery life was a bit longer. We frequently make 5 hour trips down south and he likes to use it on and off throughout the trip, which can be draining on the battery when it's not turned off properly. He is having so much fun that we'd like to buy more games for it. I love that there's such a wide selection available, and that they're also compatible with the Explorer (which he got last Christmas). However, they are on the pricey side to me, so that'll have to be done in moderation.

Other than that, we love our LeapPad, and it's replaced his LeapTop for his #1 favorite personal electronic device.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2011
I bought two pink LeapPads for my 3 and 5 year old daughters. The first one took about 20 minutes to set up because I didn't know the LeapPad Connect software doesn't work with Windows XP 64 so I used my XP laptop. The second one took me exactly 12 minutes to open the package, set it up, download the apps, and put it back in the package without any evidence it was ever opened. Since this may be helpful to some people, here are instructions on opening the box without destroying it.

1. Hold package with the bottom facing you. The right side has a rounded corner. Slice the clear tape holding that corner with a knife and then slide your finger across the overlapping panel to open it.

2. Grip the two holes in the inner package and slide the whole thing out.

3. Slice two more pieces of tape on the right side of the tablet that holds the clear plastic.

4. Above and below the LeapPad the plastic meets the cardboard at a right angle. You need to insert a knife right into that angle and slice the clear plastic there. Then the plastic holding the tablet in will open like a book and you can take it out.

When you put it back together you can't even tell that the plastic was cut. All you need is one piece of clear tape to seal the box flap after you put it back in. The CD is under the tablet, but you don't have to take it out if you don't want to. The software is on the website. The USB cable is under the card on the left.

I did have one problem with the download. I chose the music video as my free app, as it was the only one for children 3 years old, but it said, "that code cannot be applied at this time." So I chose one of the games instead and that worked fine. Once the download started it took 4 minutes to complete and a message pops up that says syncing is complete and that you should click Eject before unplugging the USB cable.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2011
Our kids got these as gifts and they love them (4 and 5yrs). The interface is very kid friendly. They love the stylus and how it controls all the features. The best game to start with is the Mr. Pencil Saves Doodleberg, as it teaches how to use the stylus and also basic things the LeapPad can do. I would definatley pick this over an iPad for young kids due to simply misdirection with the iPads. They tend to take kids out of apps to get them to buy more things (ie in app purchases). With the LeapPad only the parents can buy additional material unless your child knows how to use a computer. It will be much harder to ruin this than and iPad as well.
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