Should I buy the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate?

What does the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate have to offer?

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate
(Image credit: LeapFrog)

The LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate is one of a number of tablets out there designed specifically for kids. We think it’s one of the best tablets for kids around, but we want to help you work out whether it’s right for you and your little ones in 2022.

The LeapPad Ultimate is described by LeapFrog as the perfect first tablet for kids. It’s been designed for children aged 3-9 and has proven a popular choice for parents thanks to its focus on education and safety, as well as its hardy, droppable design.

What are the specs of the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate?

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate

(Image credit: LeapFrog)

Tablets designed for kids are never going to be the most high-powered machines, but then you don’t really want them to be. These are focussed on doing what they do well, providing a safe digital environment for your kids.

So there’s a 1Ghz quad-core processor and 8GB of storage space behind this tablet, but that’s more than enough for what it’s for. It has a 7-inch 1024 x 600 screen, though the chassis is much larger to accommodate for being handled and carried by less careful hands.

One of the things you really want to consider is battery life, which is posted at around 5 hours. I’d say that’s more than enough screen time for one day, as long as you remember to put it back on charge at night.

It also has 2MP cameras on the front and back and can record video at 480p, these obviously aren’t the highest standard of camera quality, but it’s a good introduction to photography. It’s a great way for your kids to have a bit of fun taking pictures.

It has a 3.5mm headphone jack so that even if the kids are just chilling watching a cartoon, you can have some quiet time too. It will connect to the internet, but there’s also a cartridge slot for use with LeapFrog’s library.

What are the best features of the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate?

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate

(Image credit: LeapFrog)

The LeapPad Ultimate is packed full of things for your kids to do, and ways for you to make sure they’re not up to anything you aren’t comfortable with. There are big usable buttons on the front that make it easy for kids, as well as an attached (so you don’t lose it) stylus, which can be helpful for young ones still perfecting their fine motor skills.

It comes preloaded with a library of educational content that prioritises a child’s core skills. Skills like mathematics reading and science as well as music, puzzles, logic and creativity. You’re also able to buy resources separately, with over 1000 games, videos, eBooks and more that LeapFrog’s educators have either designed or approved.

Learning is also augmented and automatically managed through LeapFrog’s Just For Me feature, which will adjust the difficulty of tasks or subjects when it feels like your child has mastered the level they’re currently on.

It has a child-friendly web browser called LeapSearch, which offers a curated and suitable web browsing experience made easy through the use of pictured labels to categorise searches. There is no capability to turn this off or open up web browsing with parental permission. This means it should be impossible for them to find the bad parts of the internet, even by accident.

What else do I need to know about the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate?

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate

(Image credit: LeapFrog)

The one big consideration with the LeapPad Ultimate is that while it’s a great way to get young kids to learn, and play – and hopefully teach them to respect, and handle with care, your households tech gadgets in the future – it is best used for education.

The limitations of the LeapPad Ultimate are great for peace of mind; you know your child isn’t going to accidentally stumble on something they shouldn’t. But these limitations will also prevent it from being used to do things that they will absolutely want to do - even if you approve.

You won’t be able to access YouTube here, or Netflix or download Minecraft for example. So, if your kids are into that stuff, which they invariably will be. They will need some other way to access that than this tablet.  

For this reason, while it suits ages 3-9, it probably doesn’t have a long shelf life at the higher end of that age bracket.

What are the alternatives to the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate?

There are several similar brands that make tablets designed for young children, Kurio has a range of these kinds of tablets for example. LeapFrog also has a larger range of similar tablets like the Epic and Epic Academy.

You might find one has more battery life or more storage space but they all broadly work in the same way. They create curated, learning-focused environments that are good for introducing your children to tech gadgets in a safe way.

On our list of the best tablets for kids, you’ll find an array of tablets that can be used by all ages from young children to teenagers and even some options for household tablets that can be used by all the family. What you need is down to you.

Geraint Evans