OK so you’re thinking of buying a tablet for kids this Christmas?
There are plenty of options available, yet we parents know that something like an iPad or Kindle might be an option but how long would it last in the hands of a six year old?
The internet is a big scary place with some nasty things floating around, so how do we know our kids are surfing safely without constant supervision?
The answer is The LeapPad Ultra by Leapfrog a nice compact and tough tablet that offers plenty of kid friendly interactivity and it’s safe to use on line!
I tested this with a six and eight year old, the younger one really enjoyed using it, where as the older one became bored after the novelty had worn off, so this is probably of more interest to the lower end of the 4-9 age range.
So what makes The LeapPad Ultra different from all the other tablets out there?
For one it’s a tough piece of kit able to withstand all kinds of punishment the version I used was thrown across the room by a 9 month old, had yogurt and other food stuffs smeared all over it and it performed flawlessly.
The leapPad Ultra is the successor to the popular LeapPad 2 and has a large 7 inch touch screen, very similar to an iPad and with an added stylus its very user friendly.
Storage is very good with 8 Gig available and with a front and rear facing camera with video recording; this was a very popular device especially when used with the editing software.
The LeapPad Ultra comes with 11 apps and you can down load more at a reasonable price and these are great kid friendly apps especially photo fun which was the most popular allowing the user to take photos and add them to a variety of animal faces.
Art studio is a basic paint app similar to windows paint yet again very interactive
The big thing that all parents will find attractive about The leapPad Ultra is the built in Wi Fi, peer to peer gaming and of course safe web browsing.
The leapPad Ultra uses ZUI technology a kid safe web browser that only allows safe content all of which is approved by 200 parents and teachers and Leapfrog actually monitor and approve all content on The leapPad Ultra so your kids can`t down load something that is age inappropriate, and with the addition of a parental lock via a code you have total control over the on-line content, so the days of wondering what little freddy is watching on the internet are over.
Ok the content isn`t brilliant at the moment but that will improve with time yet there are some great educational videos and tutorials available.
The software on The leapPad Ultra is all about fun and education with a helpful voice over telling the child how to use the various apps, it’s all geared up for the child’s personal learning and the parent can monitor their progress via the leapfrog site, very impressive.
Now we come to the bit every parent dreads about buying electronic toys, how many batteries does it use? Well folks its good news The leapPad Ultra is rechargeable either by a power lead or Usb.
There’s also a built in mp3 player and an SD slot for games (also available from leapfrog) we were sent Monsters University which proved very popular with both my little testers.
With the addition of an app called pet chat, kids can chat to each other but only using pre-installed phrases and greetings, this is apparently to avoid cyber bullying and it also aids spelling and grammar another great idea.
To be honest I can`t fault The leapPad Ultra its beautifully designed, tough and with the child friendly WiFi and educational content it’s great for kids and I think this is going to be a big seller this Christmas.
The leapPad Ultra
Educator approved content
Kid safe web
Ultra tough build quality
Access to 500+ games,E books and more
Peer to Peer gaming
7” Hi-Res Touch screen
Age range: 4-9 years
Price: £119.00 (price varies according to retailer)