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on 25 August 2011
After some debate between getting an explorer and donating my DS to my son I eventually made the purchase after I saw that the leappad had superceded the explorer.

Truly one of the best purchases I have made for him. His dad is quite into gaming so he obviously wanted to be involved with his own games too. This little gadget is great - when you recieve it you get 4 apps, a pet pad - a la nintendogs, an art studio, a storybook studio (which we haven't really looked at yet) and an app of your choice. We chose the T-rex e-book as he loves dinosaurs.

The pet game is fairly decent - washing (which requires child to blow over microphone to blow dry their pet! - very DS-esqe!), feeding, a frisbee style game (which involves shaking the pad madly!) and a tricks section which requires the player to write letters in order to get the pet to perform. Emphasisng it's use as an educational toy.

The shampoo and treats are used up and require you to connect to your pc to download more - but worry not - it's not a con for more money! Simply by playing on the game they collect tokens which are exchanged for further products, either for your pet or bits for other games you might own. At this point it also uploads data on your childs progress which is useful to see how they are getting on.

The art gallery has been used extensively so far too, the usual gadgets available.
E-book also good highlighting the word that is being read as well as offering additional information when you click on a specific image, e.g. Troodon had large eyes making them good at hunting in the dark. It also offers background sounds and songs that add to the story.

There are a range of apps that can downloaded from leapfrog, ranging from £3.50 to £7 so you don't need to even buy a boxed game to begin with.

The camera is only low resolution but is easy to use - and of a similar quality to the stand alone cameras available for this age range. And it also allows them to be strectched, scribbled on etc., saving both the original and the edited version. So if you were considering a camera anyway this is probably a better choice value for money wise. We have got quite a few decent pictures of people and pets and he's really pleased with the images which is all that matters.

It's not perfect of course - the screen is a little smaller than it appears on the leapfrog website, but still large enough for the games and books to be easily viewed. and it EATS batteries! Decent batteries do last for maybe 6 hours of play - but don't be tempted into cheap ones - 2 hours we had from one pack! (now looking to buy rechargable ones!)
Then there is the cheeky 'preview app' showing your child a range of downloadable of apps that they will obviously want to get downloaded! But i guess it also allows them to make their own choices of games, etc.

In summary - durable, sturdy, educational but needs lots of battery power! And my son loves it!
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on 8 January 2013
Got this as a xmas present for my 3 year old son.
It is almost always with him now.
He absolutely loves it :-)
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on 15 October 2011
bought this LeapPad for my son who is going 4yr old this coming December. he's very happy with it! and uses it most of the time! i bought the games Toy Story 3, and Penguins of Madagascar, and he's enjoying it.

it uses 4 AA batteries and 'eats' its power a lot! so i bought the best LSD [low self discharge] or 'hybrid' rechargeable batteries around. i got 8 pieces. 4 in the LeapPad being used and another 4, all ready and fully charged from my 2hr charger, in case if the other set discharges. it takes over 8++ hours of play for a set of 4 batteries. a great saver!

i bought and choose this LeapPad over the VTech InnoTab because it has already an integrated camera [only less than 1 megapixel] on it. no need to buy a separate one! also most gadgets now have cameras installed! and i think also in my opinion, that the LeapPad is ahead over the InnoTab because of this, its Camera! remember it's a toy! and it is not a high resolution camera, so don't expect the pictures taken to be like a real digital cam!

i find this LeapPad also sturdy and durable because my son dropped it already many times on our hard floor but thank God, it is still going! it is solidly built! this is our 2nd Leap Frog product in the house. others are VTechs', even our family car! (just without the letter -h). cheers!

*UPDATE [16/01/2012]: i put gel skin into it to protect it from more bumps as well as to cover old scratches (sides and back). coz my 4 yr. old son is not so careful! [see pic]. thx.
review image
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on 15 September 2011
Cannot beleive that Leappad have gone to the trouble of creating such a great toy which uses old power technology - batteries are so last decade. The expence of continually renewing the batteries is making me wish I had stuck with my son using my DS. Even rechargeables we have had to invest in do not last very long.
Please please at least bring out a power pack with it so when at home he can sit with it plugged in whilst playing. Better still have a rechargeable power source included like the DS.
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on 1 May 2012
We bought this for our 3 year as a gift from his new baby sister and all I can say is that the product is excellent, it takes great pictures and video BUT is badly let down by it's poor battery life design!

In 2012 you can buy smart phones where the charge can last for at least 24 hours with high use, laptops where the battery can last for days and a million other things that, with a simple charge the battery life is excellent.

So why did leapfrog decide to design a high power toy that runs off 4AA batteries? We bought a pack of Duracel high power battery's and they went after 45 mins of use! Thats £4.99 for every 45 minutes you're child will use this toy, leap frog tell you to buy the charger for £9.99 but what use is that for a portable toy that you're child wants to take pictures and videos with on the go?

This toy had the potential to be something special, it could so easily have been designed with an internal rechargeable battery that lasted for 12 hours between charges but to save on cost and maximise profit leap frog choose not to. Product quality was sacrificed for profit and a great toy made practically useless... Save your money and buy something else!
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on 18 August 2011
I brought this from argos and it is fantastic, in fact its so great ive preordered the pink one for my daughter and intend on giving it to her for christmas my eldest daughter had the origional leapster years ok and now my younger ones play it so that gives you an idea how it will last if looked after i doubt it will take a lot of bashing about but the kids will be so into what they are doing they will just sit and play it! can be taken anywhere and the built in camera/video is just brill and they can turn thier images into cartoons! only had it just over a week so still got loads to learn but i would surgest getting one now if you want this for xmas as i can see it being a hit also the games are so much cheaper on amazon and you can buy a case(well preorder!) for it on here that will keep it safe and hold games which is great for travelling couldnt recommend enough, one more thing go with your childs abilites rather than the age surgested as it says up to age 9 but 1 of my daughters has special needs and she is 11 and she just loves the fact she can do the games on here which builds confidence something she doesnt have much of so that is another reason to get one! hope this helps i rarely do reviews only when i think the product deserves it!
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on 10 May 2012
I did tech support for Leapfrog and the Leappad...well its pretty badly made. So many issues we've had, so many returns we had to deal with and its not even a good tablet. Its made for kids, you would expect to plug it in to your PC and away you go...oh dear now that won't happen!

Unless you are really technically minded, you will struggle...we even had IT people who struggled. Its a mess of a tablet quite frankly with a lot of features going wrong. One day your child could be enjoying it, the next because of cheap chips and so on, it'll stop working and bang, your child's learning progress has vanished!

Battery is dire, the power supply you can buy separately has to be always plugged in AND not all rechargeable batteries work.

Durability, now this is aimed at 4-7 year olds...they drop this thing onto hard floor from their height...smashed screen. Even with a protective skin on that could still happen. Leapfrog MAY replace it but you're going to wait several months for that and sometimes they MAY refuse you because the guarantee does not cover accidental damage. Innotab, well its actually got good protection my daughter dropped that down the stairs and not a mark! Why couldn't Leapfrog do the same...they're not even doing that for the Leappad2 Yes there is a Leappad 2 coming out this year for all of those who were desperate for shops to finally get stock...you've bought a out of date product for a high price.

Then the pricing of apps, oh dear me! You know the ones you buy in the shops on cartridge for £20? They're STILL £20 to be digitally, not only that but most of the cartridges are actually £10-£15 in shops now anyway. Sometimes you'll buy an app...and yeah sometimes it wont work so you'll be on the phone to the tech support for around 5-10 minutes trying to sort that out!

As for cartridges...Leapfrog only plan to make 5-7 new ones a year so you best hope that your child likes the same titles but with different characters!

I got my daughter a Innotab and zero issues, plugged it in, works fine. There's no camera but then never mind. Only downside to it is you do need a SD card however they are very cheap and also let you put music and films on there for your child to watch. You just cannot do that with a Leappad.

There is both a InnoTab 2 (which will let children access the internet safely) and a LeapPad 2 (which is a little quicker) so if you really HAVE to get something from VTech or Leapfrog as opposed to just buying your kid a cheap Android phone/tablet for the same price or EVEN a DSi which is cheaper, has cheaper games, has a massive number or titles to buy with lots still coming out and has proper learning titles then yeah wait for the new versions of Leappad/Innotab but my advice would be to avoid the Leappad completely. It could have been great but Leapfrog cheaped out on it, its certainly not as good as quality as the Leapster range they did.
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on 25 September 2012
I have leappad and now a leap pad 2 also. My daughter (nearly 4) absolutely loves it! There are a few differences between the two pads but I would not discount either as the differences are negligible (main ones being a bit more memory, music player and extra camera at front) . The downloadable apps are from around 3.50 rising to 7.50 and when I purchased a few recently I got 33% off this price. This is a much loved robust toy for a young child. I would recommend it to any parent with a young child.

Things to consider if you are buying, get rechargeable batteries or a mains power adapter.
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on 4 September 2011
The leappad is a great toy for children. We have many leapfrog products including the leapster explorer. My son was 4 in may and had an IOU for his birthday to get the leappad which we now have.
The setting up does take time (id do this prior to xmas day for those buying for xmas) as the updates took 15 minutes and I also had the software installed for other leapfrog toys, so this could add more time if its your first leapfrog connect toy.
All leapster explorer apps can be transfered to the leappad and therefore this can also take time too.
Once opening the box you can play straight away, but limited to what, therefore connecting is the best thing to do. Once all updates etc are done your ready to play. You get a choice of the 4th app, which I did find limited as we had all but 1 of the offered apps, therefore we didnt have a "choice". Personally i would have preffered an app card like you get with the leapster.
All leapster explorer games work on the leappad, we already had a few so my son was playing straight away. He finds that when playing the games his thumb slips away from the A button, as its onscreen and not a button. The screen for playing cartridge games is no bigger than that of the leapster as the extra screen is used for the A and B buttons and L and R. Also the "home" key is under the direction pad, causing occasional press resulting in restarting leappad.
We have found that my son goes back to the leapster explorer to play the cartridge games as he preffers the "buttons" and also L and R are in the correct place and easier to use.
If your child has unlocked parts of a game, this is stored on the console and not on the cartridge, therefore switching consoles starts games again etc...
We also have most apps. These are now able to be paid for online, which is a great add on. Leaplet cards are of a value of £5 each. Please be aware of this as some people are selling leaplet cards for a stupid £20+ value!
The app center as its now called (leaplet store) is great and some good game. The prices have changed recently and vary per game / app.
I love the new rolly poly game which uses the motion of the leappad to be played.
If you already have a leapster explorer (with camera) then I would think hard about the upgrade to the leappad. Im currently not finding anything different other than 1 game, rolly poly. Remember screen size is only same!

Although they seems some negatives, this is only in comparrison to the leapster explorer!

It will eat batteries if you buy cheap batteries or those not for high drain useage. I do find this the biggest problem with leapfrog products as I have friends that I recommend these products too, Then I hear, they dont use it much. The reason being as there is never any batteries in the unit!! We use high rechargables and dont have any problems.
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on 3 January 2012
My single biggest regret of 2011 was buying one of these for my son at Xmas.

Firstly, it takes 4 AA batteries, which drain in no time at all, even the top Duracell ones.

The camera is low quality rubbish, very grainy and poor images - but the biggest con of all is the so-called 'apps'. They advertise this product as having "over 120 apps", which may be true, but these 120 apps all across ALL age ranges, which basically means only about 20 out of the 120 apps available are suitable for my 4yr old. The other 100 apps are for kids aged 8 , 10, 12 etc.

The website which sells these apps is awful, for instance - Dora The Explorer Game £20, Spongebob Game £20........that's all it says. No description, no clue as to what the game is about or what the kids have to do etc. You basically have to buy them 'blind' and hope they are good. Not even a demo to try first. I bought 2 apps at £7.50 each, and they are very very basic, the sort of games you get for free on a cheap mobile phone. They've taken the whole Ipad sensation, and put the word LEAP in front of pad, to make you think it's some kind of cool gadget, but it's really not, believe me. It's no coincidence that these are going for £60 brand new now, whereas they were over £100 just 4 months ago.

Would have been far better off getting a 2nd hand ipod touch.
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