The LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra is the very latest version of that popular teaching tablet toy. While there are in fact some significant upgrades to this version, there is also a significant price increase as well. This kid-friendly tablet is made from ABS plastic and measures 6.1 (H)x9(W)x0.9(D) inches. It is larger and weighs more than the LeapPad2. The screen is now a total of 7 inches with a resolution of 1024×600 which is quite a big difference from the LeapPad2 which has a 480×720 resolution and 5-inch screen.
The controls that are placed around the screen area remain to be the same as the LeapPad2 although they did change the texture of them. They placed the power button on the left side of the Ultra rather than directly on top next to the screen just as it does on the LeapPad2. You will find that there is a headphone jack located on the top side of the tablet right next to the mini USB port and the cartridge slot. The home button is toward the bottom right of the screen and the volume buttons are located just to the right. There is a toggle button that is centered under the screen.
Although they really did not change much when it came to the looks of this tablet they did make bigger changes on the inside. The Ultra comes with 8GB of memory as well as an 800 MHZ ARM chip. This new tablet comes with WIFI capability that is powered by Zui and is considered to be Web-safe.
Ultra’s WIFI Capability
In order to use the WIFI capability, you will need to access the parental settings. As the device turns on you will see a Parent icon that is located towards the bottom of the log-in screen. The tablet will then ask you for a parent code that is 4 digits long (in order to get this code you will have log onto LeapConnect and connect the Ultra Tablet to your account, then a number will be provided.) After entering your code you will be able to connect the Ultra to your WIFI. Keep in mind that the Ultra will not connect to any public hotspots.
This new capability also means that you as a parent can download new apps from Leap Connect. Another great function is that your little one can connect to another as long as they are 50 to 100 feet away and they will be able to play games together.
This web safe capability allows children to access LeapSearch and they will be so excited to be able to browse apps and videos all on their own. Keep in mind that this tablet will not go online except in Zui.
Ultra’s Rechargeable Battery
Another change that LeapFrog made is to include a built-in Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. It is said to last up to 9 hours without needing to be recharged. The battery is not made so it is user removable (meaning you will not be able to remove it if something goes wrong) so if anything happens to the battery you will most likely have to send back the whole tablet for any repairs that it may need or to have it replaced.
Ultra’s Price Tag
The price tag for the LeapPad Ultra has been raised around $50.00 more than other LeapPad Toys. Although they have made some great changes to the software as well as the hardware such as a bigger screen, built-in rechargeable battery, WIFI capability this price tag still is a shock. When compared to other products that are on the market that have pretty much the same specs with a lower price tag.
My 4-year-old found it very easy to navigate around the games and apps, she had no issues with figuring out how to play with the Ultra. Although I have to say she has played with previous versions of LeapFrog LeapPads. She loves playing with the stylus and I believe it was easier for her to put the stylus away in a hole rather than the magnetic slot. I was also impressed that you are still able to use the cartridges from previous versions of LeapPad on the Ultra.
Keep in mind that this tablet is truly a toy, it is not like other tablets on the market where you are able to connect to the internet and check your email and so on. The one great thing about this is that it is a learning toy that is chock full of educational apps that will teach your child math, writing, reading and so much more.
The price of this toy tablet even with all of its bells and whistles I believe is really too much to pay for a toy (you may not think so). The rechargeable battery on the Ultra is defiantly a plus compared to earlier versions of the LeapPad, but on the other hand, if it breaks you cannot just buy a new battery the whole unit has to be sent back for repair or replacement.
Depending on what you’re looking for, you might find that this tab is the perfect one for your kids. I have tried them all and have to say, it performs pretty well and can stand up to some bumps and falls, which is always a perk!
- Easy to use interface
- Very Kid Friendly Design
- Rechargeable battery
- Can use older version cartridges
- Price tag – Expensive
- Low Display Resolution
- Stylus holder improved
- Needs more Content
- Apps can be a bit pricey