Innotab vs Leappad – Detailed Comparison
Innotab vs Leappad
Searching for a Innotab vs Leappad detailed comparison? The Vtech Innotab and the LeapPad Explorer are the hottest tablets in town for little kiddies. Both these learning tablets are i-Pad lookalikes and chock full of nifty features designed to engross children. They are both targeted at kids in the range of 4 to 9 years, look similar and have a range of applications and games – this may make it a bit difficult to decide which one to go for.
If you’re a parent debating about choosing the innotab tablet or the leappad explorer, look no further. Here’s my detailed comparision of the innotab vs the leappad.
When it comes to design and build, the Leappad wins over the Innotab because it just seems more solid and compact. The Innotab is larger compared to the leappad because of the casing; both have have the same 5 inch touchscreen. The build isn’t really a biggie though if you are going to hand this over to a child in the age range of 6-8. It’s the younger children who are more likely to drop and drag the tablet everywhere by the stylus. Since both these tablets are new, only time will answer the question of which one is more durable/kid-proof.
They can both be operated with a stylus but the Vtech Innotab has a lot more hand room. It’s also way more touch-oriented because it uses the motion sensor and touch screen for pretty much everything. Additionally the Innotab tablet comes with a stand, which makes it handy when you want to use it to watch movies or as a digital picture frame.
Innotab Tablet Memory
Initially the Leappad’s 2GB in-built memory seems like a good bet compared to other’s 64MB. However the latter is expandable which means you can load a whole lot more content on the Innotab tablet by buying an SD card. SD cards are pretty cheap costing from around $5 to $15 for 4GB to 16GB. So you can expand the tablet’s memory to 16GB if you wish, which isn’t possible with the Leappad. It’s easy to hook up your PC or MAC to the tablet with a USB port.
Photos, Music and Movies
One of the very real advantages the Innotab has over Leapfrog’ tablet is its video player and Mp3 player. The Leappad only plays Leapfrog movies and you have to buy them, which can be quite annoying sometimes. Even if you do have the dvd at home you’ll have to pay again to be able to have your child watch it on the tablet. Additionally the 2GB memory limit, restricts how much you can put on it anyway.
This is where the Innotab tablet truly shines in the whole Innotab vs Leappad equation because of the expandable memory. You can easily transfer, photos, music and videos from a computer to the SD card. This allows you to load up the Innotab with your kids favorite DVD’s, tv shows, or even their favorite youtube clips. You can fit around 9 hours of cartoons on a good quality 4GB SD card, which is pretty neat when you want to keep the kids entertained on long road trips. A minor gripe is that there aren’t any controls on the video player yet which means you need to watch it from the beginning if you stop it anywhere. Hopefully this will be addressed in future versions.
Ultimately the Innotab tablet doubles up as an excellent portable mp3 and dvd player.
The LeapPad scores over the Innotab in terms of camera functionality. The LeapPad comes with a built-in camera, microphone and video recorder which the other totally lacks. While this is a pretty neat feature, you only get low resolution photos and videos. You can make out the difference in quality though the kids may not mind if they enjoy taking videos and pictures and adding cool effects to them.
Games & applications
For starters there are a lot more games and applications you can download with the Leappad and the games are more sophisticated in comparison. The applications do take some time to install in the Leappad whereas they work out of the box with the Innotab. However the prices are also correspondingly higher. Leappad applications start at $7.5 to $20 and you need to first buy a card to download anything from the site. Vtech Innotab applications start at a much cheaper $2.99.
Both devices have e-reader applications and art applications.
The Innotab tablet comes with two pre-loaded games called Ice Escape and Pinball Letters and one free ebook called ‘What’s That Noise.’ In Ice Escape, kids help a penguin find fish by clearing out blocks of ice and creating a path for the penguin. In Pinball letters they tilt the tablet to roll a ball through numerous obstacles to get to letters they need to spell a word.
The Art Studio in the Innotab beats the Leappad’s art app because of the exciting drawing tools. In addition to the standard ones, kids can use a car to drive over the canvas, painting with the aid of the tyre tracks. Kids can also tilt the tablet and have a rainbow paintball leave multi-colored ribbons all over the canvas. There’s also a cool coloring book application called Colour & Pop.
Additionally when you register you get 3 free coins which you can use to buy additional games.
The LeapPad Explorer comes with a game called PetPad where you take care of a virtual pet and a story studio. The studio enables your child to create a story out of any videos they record, art, writing and photos, which can be quite exciting. They can share their stories with their friends using email and Facebook which is also a lot of fun.
More games and apps are being added all the time by both companies.
E-readers & Added functionality
Both these tablets function well as ebook readers with neat cartoons and popular stories. Leapster Explorer owners will be glad to hear that the LeapPad is backward compatible with explorer content. The Ultra ebooks found in The Leappad are excellent because they automatically adjust the reading levels to the match your child’s ability and have different reading levels.
The Innotab’s ereader, has an automated voice to read out words aloud while they are highlighted, letting kids listen to the book. The animated ebooks sound quite cool with different voices for various characters.
Kids can interact with words by tapping them to get their definitions.
The Innotab tablet has a definite edge over the LeapPad with its quasi PDA type functionlity. There’s a stopwatch, calendar (where you can add stickers and notes), a clock, address book and a calculator (will engage the older children more.)
Cartridge based games cost around the same for both tablets being in the range of $20-$25. When reviewing the Leapfrog game Pixar pals on the cartridge I found they had three simple games which were quite basic. I looked at the Toy Story game offered by Innotab and found the graphics to be okay. However the cartridge had an ebook and two creative activities in addition to three games. The Disney Princess cartridge for the Innotab had three games, 2 ebooks and a special game for kids to make their own book. It also came with an application that lets kids make their own custom princess. One of the creative activities required you to have an SD card to save the results.
So overall Innotab’s cartridges definitely offer more value for the same amount of money when compared to the Leappad cartridges.
Both these tablets are battery hogs so be prepared to either buy rechargeable batteries or get an AC adapter to keep the tablet powered in.
Innotab Vs Leappad Conclusion
In a nutshell, the LeapPad Explorer is smaller and more compact, comes with 2GB memory and has a camera and video recorder. It has more educational value for pre-k thru 1st grade kids but probably won’t challenge older children. The games are more polished but also more expensive ($7.5 to $20) and you can only download content purchased from Leapfrog onto the Leappad which can be a bummer.
The Innotab is $20 less when compared to the LeapPad, though you will probably want to shell out $5-$15 for an SD card. The price works out to be pretty much the same in that case if you do expand it to 16GB of memory. It has no camera/video recorder but works very well as a dvd and mp3 player plus you get to load it with videos, music, movies of your choice. The games for the Innotab are cheaper at $2.99, the tablet’s additional functionality engages older children and the software cartridges are better value.
If you see your child using the camera a great deal then the LeapPad is the tablet to go for. If they do have their own cameras though or aren’t too into cameras and video recorders, then the Innotab tablet wins hands down. The ability to add content of your choice to the tablet gives you more options for both education and entertainment on those long trips or rainy days.
Getting the tablet is also just the first step since you’ll need to buy more applications and cartridges over time especially given how easily kids get bored. The Innotab offers fantastic value in the long term.
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