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LeapFrog My Own Leaptop, Green
Color: Green|Product Packaging: Standard Packaging|Change
Price:$24.99+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on June 19, 2017
Save your money and buy the old version on EBAY! I always read Amazon reviews before I purchase items, unless I am making a repeat purchase. When I bought this Leap Frog "My Own Leaptop" in June, 2017, I realized it was a newer version than the one I purchased in 2012, but I figured they would have simply made improvements upon the old model. Wow was I mistaken! I should have read the recent reviews by parents like myself who know how fantastic the old version of this toy is and how the new version pales in comparison. Don't waste your money on a new one. For the same price or less you can buy a vastly superior, used old version on EBAY (see what the old version looks like in my review photos). This is what I did and I will be returning the new model. We debated saving the $6 in return shipping cost to give the new version we bought to someone else as a gift, but decided we cannot in good conscience give an inferior toy to a friend. The old version requires that you download LeapFrog Connect software and connect the Leaptop to your computer. To do this you must have the LeapFrog "My Own Leaptop" USB connector cable (see last photo), internet access, a USB port, and Adobe Flash software (an easy, free download that the LeapFrog software prompts you to download if you don't have it). I still had my cable from the Leaptop I purchased five years ago so I didn't need to make sure the used one I purchased from EBAY had it. I bought the used leaptop shown in the photos for $8 with free shipping and no cable. It arrived today and with new batteries and my old cable I was able to reprogram each of the customizable features and now it's perfect! Below is a comparison of the personalized features of the old version and comparable features of the new version.

Old Version:
- Upon turning it on it says, "Hi [says your child's name]!"
- You can select one "sing along" song, and five melody songs for it to play, and it also plays a song spelling out your child's name
- When you push the "blog" button, it reads a blog entry and then asks your child [by name] about their day
- You can personalize three "email" messages by selecting text from a dropdown menu (you cannot type your own message) and entering the sender (e.g., "Grandma" or "Betsy"). The result is an interaction like this:
"You have an email from Mommy [or whomever you program in]. Let's read it! Dear [says your child's name], I love you so much [the message I chose]. Love, Mommy. Let's reply! Dear Mommy, I love you too. Love, [says your child's name]". So it simply reads an auto-generated "reply" and says it is from your child, rather than prompting them to "type a reply." The Leaptop also periodically prompts your child to push the email button, by asking, "Have you checked your email?"
- In the alphabet mode when your child pushes the first letter of their name it will switch between one of two results. One result is this announcement: "[First it names the letter.] That's the first letter of your name [says child's name]. Let's celebrate your letter! [Then it plays a fun little jingle.]" The second result is an announcement naming the letter, saying what sound it makes, naming the letter again and saying an animal that starts with that letter.

New Version:
- Upon turning it on it says, "Hi."
- You cannot select songs. You get what it comes with.
- There are no blog entries.
- When you select the "Messages" setting it literally says something like this:
"I have a message for you. Message: I spent all day... What's your favorite [game/place]?"
or "You have an email from me. Let's read it. Hi. Writing emails to you makes me happy. Love, [Scout or Violet, depending on whether you have the boy or girl version] Let's reply. Push the letter buttons to write your reply, then push the paw pad." When you do as instructed it says out loud each letter you push, and then says, "Well done," but that's it. So you could push, "JWZL," for example, and push the paw pad and that would be your email. It doesn't read the reply you type (which makes sense since most children will push letters randomly).
- There are no blog entries.
- In the alphabet mode when your child pushes the first letter of their name it will switch between one of two results. One result is this announcement: "[First it names the letter.] That's the first letter of your name [it shows child's name on screen, but does not say it]. Let's spell it! [Then it spells your child's name.]" The second result is an announcement naming the letter, saying what sound it makes, naming the letter again and saying an animal that starts with that letter.

We gave the Leaptop we purchased in 2012 to our son when he was 18 months old. He is now 6 and he still loves to play with it. Our daughter who is about to turn 3 enjoys playing with her brother's Leaptop so much we finally decided we should get her one of her own (hence our purchase and return of a new version on Amazon, and a satisfying purchase of a used old version on EBAY). Reasons why we like the old version follow. Both of our children really like singing and dancing to the music and playing at receiving and writing emails. They also get very excited about the blog entries. Neither one of them has ever been too enamored by the facts about animals (although they both are very interested in animals in general), with the exception of a few favorites. I do think the letter sounds have been valuable from an education standpoint for both of our children. The main reason our children, and in turn we ourselves, like the old version of this toy so much is because it engages them directly by name so frequently through the alphabet, music, email and blog modes. The new version simply acknowledges the first letter of their name and the spelling of their name, but never actually says their name. This makes it so much less personally engaging and since younger children do not always know how to spell their names, the new version may as well not be personalized at all for them since it never actually states their name. We brought our 2012 Leaptop every time we traveled with our son from about age 18 months to 3 years. His interest waned enough after that that we no longer brought it on travels, but it remains a much beloved toy for home use to this day. We are extremely confident that the used old version of the Leaptop we just bought our daughter is sure to be her new favorite toy.

I hope this review is helpful to parents considering buying a Leaptop. I cannot recommend the old version enough and I'm grateful there are people selling quite a few of them on EBAY. Just keep in mind to look for one that indicates it has been tested and is in good working order, and that it includes the cable if you don't have one already.
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44 comments| 166 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on July 26, 2010
So, the product's "out of the box" behavior is fine, and as described. My child enjoys playing with it. Is he learning much? I don't know. He's still very young. Mostly we got it so that he'd play with his own leaptop instead of our (real) laptop. It's been somewhat successful.

One of the reasons we decided to get this product was the advertised features of customization. Having customized content for him sounded great. Much to my dismay, the product wanted to install a "sniffer application" which seemed dubious, but after a precursory inspection, I hesitantly continued.

After getting the application installed, the product wouldn't continue unless I gave them copious amounts of personal information, which I didn't want to do. I called up customer support this morning, and the representative said that I should just put in incorrect information, that it didn't matter. That seemed like a good idea, but that made me wonder about whether a fake email address would work, or whether I would need to validate the email address.

When I asked him about the importance of a real email address, he seemed to gloss over my real question and said something like "That would work, but you will miss out on the learnings of your child." Ignoring the fact that he didn't speak or understand English perfectly (despite what corporate America says, "learnings" isn't a word, and he used it frequently, but that was only the beginnings of our difficulties in communication), my interest was piqued about what they could discover about what my child was learning. It took a lot of repeated questioning, and eventually he said that it would update me on my child's progress in spelling and arithmetic. If you've even glanced at this product's description, you'd know that spelling and mathematics are not part of this toy at all. When I called him on that, he mentioned that that was information that could be gained from other toys, so I pressed for information specific to this particular toy. He eventually said that it would tell me the progress of how well he is learning the alphabet. That claim was dubious at best, seeing as how there isn't really any way of testing that with this particular toy, and when pressed on the issue, the representative didn't understand my query. Eventually he also added that it would tell me the usage patterns of my child. That was actually plausible information, but it took about 15 minutes to get that information from him from the original query about data gathered.

All in all, the toy is fine, I just don't like the company policies, specifically with regards to personal information, and hiring practices. (Oh, the representative personally guaranteed to me that the company would never go out of business, so my personal information would be guaranteed safe. And in my difficulties communicating with him, and I asked for more clarification, he would so frequently repeat himself, claiming the moral high ground by stating "as I've already mentioned...")

As you can see, I'm annoyed.
1313 comments| 94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
The manufacturer commented on the review below
on February 21, 2011
I'm so mad at Leapfrog this morning. We've been enjoying the My Own Leaptop toy and it was especially fun after we personalized it to know our youngest daughter's name. Today I decided to connect it to the computer again to change up the "emails" that it reads to her. The toy refuses to sync and wiped out all of the personalization. There's a "reset" feature, that also refuses to work. Although there's a specific error number along with this message, there's no help topic for this error message in their online support. I called customer service twice, and both times after extensive holding it transferred me to dead air. In an attempt to get some parent-to-parent support, I tried to join their online forums but their site bombs out without a message just trying to accept the terms of service. How can I be let down so many times by the same company! Now when we start the toy, it says "I found an error! Please connect the Leaptop again!" Until they get serious about fixing bugs in their products and on their website, or decide to at least answer the phone, I can't recommend this product to anyone.
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on August 18, 2017
I got this for my 1 y/o toddler a year ago. This is a perfect introduction to ABCs for babies. My son has been playing this ever since he was 12months. Simple buttons. Not much going on. Just simple ABCs, its sound and an animal each letter represents. I can honestly say this is where he learned his ABCs. He got familiarized with all the letters and its sound and knows his ABCs before he even turned 2. Fairly durable. He has thrown it around many times and it is still intact! The sound did go out after a year. But I think he may have spilled juice on it. I opened it up and fixed it by putting a coin on that circuit giving it sound. I noticed the sound would come back on when I'd press on it so I put a quarter on it and fixed it right up! lol I do wish the screen/visuals is a little bit better. I did see a newer version of this laptop recently and the screen is colored... still crappy graphics. About $6 more than this...
Overall, Highly recommended. This is a perfect "laptop" for babies. They do not need a smart phones or tablets at this young age. MAYBE a very limited time when needed. It really does give it a negative effect on them. I've seen it with mine.
Also, I might add... If you are wondering about this vs the VTech laptop (which I just recently acquired as well for my now 2 year old) to buy to a one year old todd, I'd buy this first. The VTech one is more like an advanced version. more like for 2.5 ot 3 yo. :)
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on December 16, 2016
Item was not as described, doesn't have the features they claim it to have. I don't keep toys unless they are good ones because I hate toy clutter ( you know the toys your kids pick up and put back down within seconds and it just becomes clutter instead of a toy) so I will be sending this back

*Okay so that was my original review. But I never got around to sending it back soooo it was wrapped and put under the Christmas tree anyway and I guess I can eat my words because my son loves it. He has the leap frog phone that is super awesome already so when he saw the leap top he was stoked. He is 3 and a half and just starting to understand that there are abcs and things so he likes to play with it. We did a bunch of traveling the week after Christmas and he played with it for the almost 3 hour car ride up and back the majority of the time. He grabs his leap top and his phone and plays "office" with them. His older cousins enjoyed messing with the thing as well. I'm talking 5, 9, and 11 year olds. I wasn't pleased that some of the features weren't as impressive as described but my son doesn't care. He likes it. A great toy for car rides or chill time. The volume had two levels and the lower level isn't annoying in the car. I'm tempted to buy another for my almost two year old to have for car rides, we travel a lot and I'm not ready to go for utter zombie children with a DVD player in the car yet so this is a good alternative. Overall I can't believe I'm saying it, I would recommend to a friend. It is small, has staying power(meaning he will play with it for good chunks of time) and it doesn't annoy the tar out of me so there you go, buy it. And especially buy the leap frog phone too, that thing is the best toy phone on the market right now. These two paired together are awesome, the leap top covers alphabet, the phone covers numbers and counting and is actually surprisingly more impressive then expected.
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on August 5, 2014
All of these toys are interactive but they're not really individually customizable for children. In this day and age I feel like there needs to be a system for our children that we can customize specifically for them.. I initially thought that was what Spot and Violet were and was very surprised to find out they did no more than say my son's name (badly and awkwardly at that) and sing songs..

This thing doesn't do much more than you'd expect.. I don't recommend it unless you want your child to drone on.
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on December 30, 2013
I purchase a LeapFrog My Own Leaptop for my 17 month old daughter and one for her cousin who is the same age. Both babies are having a blast with their Leaptops!
It is great for teaching ABCs and asks the child lots of interactive questions. You can program it to send the child "e-mails" from mommy, daddy, or whoever you want, and the computer reads it to them! You can also choose what songs to program into it, as well as your child's favorite things. And of course. you can go back and change them later if you want to.

We adults all had fun setting up the customizable features on the Leaptops. You will not go wrong with this toy!
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on December 17, 2016
This is a perfect educational gift for the growing tot! I am a bit surprised by the size because I expected it to be smaller(although I did check the product specification).I liked that the whole packaging and the product itself does not look cheaply made. The alphabet 'keyboard' is also just the right size and easy to press compared to other laptop toys I've bought for my son before. Let's not forget that the songs and the animation screen will sure keep the your child's attention.
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on March 20, 2015
Christmas present for a 2yo, and it's holding up well. Didn't take long to figure out either. Adults will appreciate the variety in music and volume control, plus the auto-off.

Update 18 months later: Still being played with! Now the animals and music tend to be used less than the "email" functions. The lack of backspace (not that the child knows what that is) seems to provoke occasional breakdowns when a typo happens, but it's definitely worthwhile.
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on December 20, 2012
I got this toy for my 2 year old's birthday. I luckily realized that I had to set it up first before she could play! I love that you can have it say her name, and also have the correct spelling. My daughter's name is not spelled the way it typically is, so that was a big plus! I love the little messages you can customize, and the fact that you can pick what songs that it plays. My daughter took to this toy right away! She loves it. It is our car toy. It is super easy for her to figure out (where some of the toddler laptops are not so easy). Thanks leapfrog for making another fantastic product!
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