In an age where young kids are growing up in a world of technology, they are hanging up your calls to your brother, ordering pay-per-view movies on your TV, disconnecting your phone from its Touchstone charger and running rampant on your tablet PC. (Side note: With a 16-month old running around my own house, I have never experienced any of these things personally...)
The good news is that developers are picking up on these trends and are creating apps to go on your devices. The bad news with apps on grown-up products is that the kids can still get into stuff they shouldn't and can sometime cause severe problems for your laptop, or a $99 charge on your TV bill.
LeapFrog wants to change all of that. With more and more kid-based Apple apps, LeapFrog is taking it in a whole new direction with the LeapPad Explorer. Sure we've seen baby computers and things like that before, and LeapFrog has some of those products already on the market, but this is a full-on tablet for kids ages 4-9.
We have details on the product after the break.
The LeapPad Explorer features 100 learning games and apps along with a webcam, microphone, video recorder, gyroscope, accelerometer and 2GB of memory. Add that to a 5", 480x272 touchscreen that responds to a finger or stylus and the fact that is looks just like dad's TouchPad and it seems like this will keep LeapFrog at the top of the list for parents wanting new learning tools for their children.
What's even better is that this tablet is as inexpensive as the CVS Android 0.4 tablet, coming in at just $99. The games that come included and the ones that can be downloaded later this year all come with auto-adjusted difficulty to tailor your child's learning to his or her ability. The LeapPad will also remember your child's progress for each game and each book. For prices, apps are $5 and the cartridges are $24.99.
Senior vice president and chief product officer Craig Hendrickson said,
We wanted LeapPad to offer kids the ability to create their own personalized experiences and have fun while learning at their own pace with content that automatically adjusts to their skill level. LeapPad’s apps inspire kids to explore their inner creativity. Whether doodling on photos taken with the built-in camera, creating a story about themselves in the Story Studio, or bringing their favorite characters to life with the Animation Studio, there is truly something for every child.
With lessons in spelling, reading and math mixed in with fun games, it seems like it really will offer something for every kid.
Last year, LeapFrog launched the Leapster Explorer, which when compared to the LeapPad, looks like the Atari compared to the 360. The Leapster Explorer only had a 3.2" touchscreen and didn't have all the extra things I mentioned earlier that make a tablet fun for the kids to bang on.
Launching August 15th, the LeapPad really looks to put the pressure on parents to decide to either let their children beat up their expensive $600-$900 electronics or to let their little ones have their own fun toys to play along with mom.