*Moms Living Thrifty received a LeapPad Ultra for the purpose of this review. All opinions, experiences and thoughts expressed are my own. Your opinions, experiences and thoughts may vary.*
What’s so cool about the LeapPad Ultra?
One of the hottest toys this season is the LeapPad Ultra. No doubt. It offers a hi-res 7-inch screen that is responsive to light touch, 9-hour rechargeable battery, front and back cameras, 8 GB memory, kid-safe Wi-Fi, durability and a whole slew of other cool features that are just perfect for kids. With 11 apps included, your child has the ability to begin playing with it immediately. At a price point of roughly $149.99, our first thought was, “Is it worth it?”
LeapPad Ultra Review – The Pros and Cons
Every product has its pros and cons, and the LeapPad Ultra is no different. There are going to be things that some people like better than others, but you’ll find my personal list of pros and cons below.
LeapPad Ultra Pros
Looking the product over in the box, I have to admit that the LeapPad Ultra looks pretty enticing to me as a parent. It offers plenty of cool features that my son would love:
- Front and back cameras – little ones will be thrilled to be able to take pictures of whatever they wish, including themselves!
- Secure Wi-Fi capability to quickly and easily download apps and more.
- Ability for parents to control and monitor content.
- Light touch screen so that it seems as if those tiny fingers can move mountains.
- A long, 9-hour battery life that’s rechargeable.
- Very easy to use.
- It includes 11 apps for free.
- It is capable of playing a variety of the Leapster cartridges.
- Stylus – which is attached to a durable cord – a bonus for those of us who have kids that tend to misplace the small accessories quickly.
- Durability to withstand the occasional drop. Like most of you, if I’m going to spend $150 on a product for one of my kids, I definitely don’t want them breaking it before they’ve even had a chance to figure out how to use it.
LeapPad Ultra Cons
Although this product has very few cons that I could find, there are a few that I found that were worth mentioning.
- The price of the apps – unless you have a coupon or discount code, I found the apps to be pretty expensive. Ranging in price from $4.99 to in excess of $80 for some of the bundles, I think that’s a bit pricey considering the initial cost of the product. Of course, with gaming consoles charging $20 – $60 for a single game, I suppose it’s not necessarily unreasonable. To offset the costs, I’ve found many new and used compatible cartridges that I purchased for my son.
- Although the LeapPad Ultra seems pretty durable, I like to have a bit more protection. For instance, I purchased a Nerf case for my son’s 3DS because I knew that it needed the extra protection. I feel the same way about this. Yes, it’s durable, but a product can only withstand a certain amount of abuse before it breaks. Unfortunately, I have yet to find a protective case that I feel will properly protect it.
- You do not have the ability to add additional sites to the LeapPad. Only those sites, images and videos approved by Leap Frog can be visited and viewed. That’s not really a con, but may be a drawback for some parents, as many kids enjoy playing on other popular kids’ sites online.
The LeapPad Ultra – Out of the Box
I’m happy to report that getting the LeapPad out of the box is probably the most difficult aspect I’ve had to deal with in the review of this product. There must be some sort of fabulous trick to getting it out without completely destroying the box, but I didn’t figure out what that trick was. So just an FYI parents: If you’re wanting to check it out and get it ready for your kids so that they can immediately play with it when they open it, be very careful if you plan to put it back in the box to wrap it.
The Ultra is very well packaged, but it was all very easy to remove from the plastic casing after removing the box. There’s no twist ties or plastic rings to break, so you and your kids can immediately plug it in and get it ready for play.
Out of the box, the LeapPad Ultra seems like a pretty sturdy tablet. It comes with the charging cable, instructional books and I also found a coupon included in the packaging for a percentage off of a purchase of games. When you first set up the LeapPad, you’re also prompted to purchase apps at a discount — but only if you purchase within the first hour or two of use (I can’t remember exactly how much time I had, but it wasn’t much)
Setting it up is a snap. In fact, I think it took me less than five minutes to get it kid-ready. Of course, I did charge it overnight first so that I could ensure that it was ready to go for the long haul. When my son got his hands on it, there would be no stopping him – and there wasn’t.
When setting up the Ultra, you’ll be prompted for basic information. Your language, country, parent information and your child’s name. I’m sure I’m forgetting something, but it’s really all quite basic information that you provide. This makes the set up process pretty quick. Once it’s set up, you’re ready to play!
My son consumed himself with the ability to take pictures – – and he took a ton of them! Then his sissy helped him figure out all of the cool things that he could do to them to jazz them up. He liked playing the preloaded apps, too, and got several hours of play on the LeapPad Ultra before he finally gave it a break.
The LeapPad Ultra is a pretty durable tablet that’s perfect for kids. The apps and game cartridges help to enhance the fun of learning and also allow kids to connect with each other as they play. With a wide range of features available on this tablet, I think it’s worth the money spent, especially considering that the main focus of the apps and game cartridges is education. Although I think that the apps and games are a little bit pricey, I do find value in the fact that they aren’t teaching our kids to shoot each other, but instead, are teaching our kids to learn and have fun doing it. Overall, I feel that the LeapPad Ultra is provides good value for it’s price point of $149.99 and its durability will allow it to bring children countless hours of educational fun.
We’re giving away a LeapPad Ultra!
Would you like the chance to win a LeapPad Ultra for your little ones? Our friends at Kmart are giving us the opportunity to give one away in celebration of their “Kmart Fab15” hot toys list, so be sure to enter for your chance to win it. Leave me a comment below telling me what your favorite feature of this kid-friendly tablet is, then head on over to the LeapPad Ultra Giveaway page to complete your entries!