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LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer tablet hands-on (video)

If you have kids and own a tablet, chances are you've passed it to the back seat on occasion, asking your five-year-old to help you navigate to the beach, or to beat an otherwise hopeless level in Angry Birds. Now, you can reward them with a tablet of their own. Available in green and pink, the $100 LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer includes a 5-inch, 480 x 272-pixel (16:9) touchscreen, 2GB of built-in storage, and a durable housing -- but your 5-9 year old isn't going to get caught up on specs. They will take notice to the built-in camera (with video capture), microphone, stylus, and accelerometer, however -- all of which enable custom kid-friendly apps and educational games, including Disney Animation Studio, an interactive reader, and compatibility with over 100 downloadable apps and LeapFrog cartridges, which range in price from $5 to $25. There's no wireless connectivity, so you'll be tethering with Windows or Mac OS to download additional content, and to share your child's creations with family and friends.%Gallery-127320%
We're certainly far outside LeapPad's target demographic, but we did have a chance to go hands-on with the device earlier today, and felt that the tablet was solidly built, with a well-rounded feature set and sufficient expandability options -- for a kids toy, of course. Games and apps took advantage of the Pad's features, such as Roly Poly Picnic, which uses the accelerometer to navigate through a maze, spelling out simple, three-letter words along the way (like all apps and games, Picnic is adjustable based on your little one's age and skill level). There's also a video player (currently limited to 4:3 content), photo, and video capture apps. Shipping August 15th, the device doesn't have a ton of horsepower under the hood -- a 400MHz processor means apps won't launch with the speed and grace of an iPad 2 -- but for a $100 toy, the LeapPad will do just fine. PR and hands-on video are after the break.

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This year's must-have gift inspires children to create their own personalized learning experiences with 100+ learning games and apps, and an on-board camera & video recorder

EMERYVILLE, Calif. and NEW YORK- JUNE 29, 2011-LeapFrog Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE:LF), today unveiled LeapPad™, a personalized learning tablet designed for kids ages four and up. As the leader in educational entertainment, LeapFrog has combined the latest technology, enhanced educational curriculum, and most entertaining characters to fuel a child's learning in a durable form factor that mirrors popular adult tablets. LeapPad, now available for pre-sale, is revolutionizing the way children learn by offering the next generation in learning, digital reading and personal creativity. Designed with best-in-class educational curriculum and featuring endless and fun ways to play, this new tablet will be on every family's wish list this year.

"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," said Craig Hendrickson, senior vice president and chief product officer for LeapFrog. "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."

Not Your Parent's Tablet

Designed for little hands and big imaginations, LeapPad will launch with LeapFrog's largest library ever and offers more than 100 learning game cartridges, books, apps and videos, by year end. Expanding the fun across platforms, the existing library of Leapster Explorer game cartridges and apps is cross compatible with LeapPad.

Unique to LeapFrog products, games auto-adjust so kids can learn at just the right pace – and each LeapPad book app is actually three books in one – offering each story at three different levels. LeapPad even remembers a child's progress from game to game and book to book to keep the content challenging and engaging. Kids can build a strong learning foundation with phonics skills, mathematics and spelling, and then take learning beyond the basics to geography, world languages, music, creativity, science and life skills such as brushing their teeth. As they embark on new learning adventures, kids can also practice their writing skills with step-by-step guidance and a child-sized stylus.

LeapPad is All About You!

Built with 2 GB of memory, LeapPad encourages learning on the go and inspires curious minds to imagine more with a complete suite of innovative creativity tools featuring a built-in camera and video recorder, microphone, as well as art, story, and photo studios. Adding even more fun, kids can stretch, stamp or draw on their pictures to create personalized snapshots. LeapPad's Animation Studio teaches children how to animate beloved Disney characters.

With Story Studio, kids create their own stories all about them using the built-in camera, personalized artwork, and even their own voice. This new app offers kids the opportunity to create more than 27,000 story combinations, including imagining what they want to be when they grow up, building their own family tree and more. Best of all, LeapPad allows parents to easily and instantly share their children's masterpieces with family and friends via email or Facebook.

Experience a Brand New Way to Read!

Kids will experience an entirely new way to read with LeapPad reading apps – interactive cinematic book experiences designed to guide children through the story and develop a whole new love of reading. The variety of entertaining features engage children page after page. Each book is actually three books in one, as children read at their own pace with auto-adjustment of the story text.

Children can touch the words to hear them sounded out and benefit from a visual dictionary to help build phonics, comprehension and vocabulary skills. With the microphone, children can record their own narration and show their parents what they have learned. These apps bring reading to life through animation and motion-based activities while featuring popular characters such as Disney's Lightning McQueen and Cinderella, helping children improve their reading skills.

Tech Specs

LeapPad has 2 GB of memory, and a 5" touch screen with 480x272 resolution. It offers kids motion-based play with a sensor and includes a built-in camera, video recorder, microphone and stylus.


LeapPad will be sold at MSRP $99.99 USD, with downloadable apps priced at MSRP $5.00 USD and up and game cartridges at MSRP $24.99 USD. LeapPad is now available in green and pink, and for pre-sale at major retailers* in the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland. For details visit LeapPad will be available at major retail locations beginning August 15 and in other countries such as Australia and New Zealand later in the year.

*Pre-sale at is available only in the U.S. and Canada beginning August 1.