With the introduction of the LeapPad in 2011, and now the LeapPad 2, the Leapster Explorer has been left in the dust -- in fact, my kids' Leapster Explorer has been gathering dust on our shelf. But with the introduction of the Leapster GS, parents will definitely be taking notice! This latest version of the Leapster had definitely "leapfrogged" its predecessor. Almost everything I didn't like about the Leapster has been resolved: * I found the Leapster too chunky; the Leapster GS is much sleeker and more streamlined. * The Leapster did not have a built-in camera (it was sold as a separate accessory, and it was pretty clunky and pixelated); the Leapster GS has a built-in camera and videocamera. * It was so difficult to change the Leapster's batteries (you needed to twist the locking mechanism with a quarter coin in order to open the battery cover); the Leapster GS battery cover simply slides open. What's more, the Leapster GS has a larger screen, faster processors (for faster response times), and more built-in memory (so it can hold more apps). It even has a built-in motion sensor so kids can play the motion-based games that they love on other videogaming platforms -- but of course, Leapfrog's games have an educational component so parents are much happier to let their kids play! Kids can use their old Leapster Explorer game cartridges in the new Leapster GS; in there are also new games available that utilize the new features of the GS (built-in camera so you can put your face on avatars, motion-based games, etc..). I'm glad to see that the Explorer GS still has the tethered stylus and the ability to create 3 separate accounts for 3 kids -- these are 2 features that I really loved in the old Leapster Explorer. However, I'm sad to see that the GS still does not use rechargeable batteries -- it requires uses 4 AA batteries, which, with constant game play, can go dead in about 1 week. * Disclosure: I received a Leapster GS and games to review, but the views and opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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