The Leappad 2 Power is functionally identical to the standard (and cheaper) Leappad 2 tablet, but for the inclusion of a rechargeable battery kit and charger that Leapfrog also sells separately. The compelling advantage of Leapfrog's kit is that the batteries can be recharged in the unit, unlike conventional AA rechargeable batteries, which would need to be removed first. While it seems a money grab initially, the design prevents the inadvertent (and unsafe) recharging of alkaline batteries. In a pinch, alkaline or rechargeable AA batteries can be swapped into the unit.
We bought the Leappad for our 4 year old son for Christmas. This is a great toy for the younger end of the recommended 4-9 year old age range. Older kids, or kids who've previously had much exposure to "grown-up" Apple or Android devices are unlikely to find this a compelling alternative. That said, all the content available for it is of good educational value, and without the advertising or in-app purchases so common on iOS and Android devices. Games and apps can be "installed" via interchangeable cartridges, or purchased on-line and downloaded into the unit's internal memory, which is sufficient to hold a couple dozen apps at the same time, and without risk of your little one losing the carts.
The overall build quality is excellent, with commendable display and sound quality, given the selling price. Both cameras are trash VGA resolution affars that perform atrociously in low light conditions, but are commendable relative to the selling price of the unit. The unit is also suitably ruggedized for the child demographic it is targeted at, and includes thoughtful design touches as a stylus that is tethered, and which easily stores in a niche on the side of the unit. Leapfrog sells a series of rubber cases for these that add an additional layer of protection inexpensively.
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