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Launched last summer, the LeapPad Platinum is one of the many children’s tablet from educational brand Leapfrog.
With a strong track record in educational toys since its inception in 1999, Leapfrog has developed this tablet with an extra large screen and its new Imagicard technology.
At £99.99, it’s more expensive than the LeapPad3 (£89.99), but has far superior resolution on its 7 inch screen, which is also bigger than its predecessor’s 5 inch.
It’s in a crowded (but certainly lucrative) market for kid’s smart gadgets, which includes the Zoompad Android (£54.99) at the lower end, the comparable VTech InnoTab Max (£99.99) – although this has only half the memory – and the Kindle Fire HD Kids 6 inch tablet (£109.99).
Tesco has also brought out its revamped hudl2 (£99), which has an 8.3inch screen and 16GB of memory, and can be made kid-safe, so there’s no shortage of choice.
How do you set up the LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum tablet?
It’s easy to set up, and can be done either be connecting through your home wifi, or using the USB cable with your computer.
I charged the LeapPad Platinum first – which takes 5 hours for full charge – but you can set up while it is still charging.
The paper instructions with the LeapPad Platinum are quite minimal, but luckily the tablet is fairly self-explanatory.
The whole set up includes selecting your country, and entering your child’s details (see below), plus setting up the parent lock feature. All-in-all it took about 20 minutes.
In regards to children’s details the tablet will ask for your child’s name, date of birth, and so on, which some parents might not wish to share.
How does the LeapPad Platinum work?
After the initial set up, working the LeapPad Platinum is easy. It turns on using a small silver button on the side, then you choose the user, which can be personalised.
The home screen then pops up with a choice of apps and games, just like on an iPad. Using the attached stylus or their finger, your child can select what they want to play with.
Straightforward arrows, ticks and crosses are used for going forwards, selecting or going back, plus there’s a directional movement button.
There is also a home button on the front of the tablet, which means your child can get back to the home page at any time.
What new features does the LeapPad Platinum have?
The LeapPad Platinum includes its new Imagicard technology – using the camera to bring to life games and apps from physical cards.
There are six Imagicards included in the box, and the tech essentially works the same as a QR code: you point the camera at the card, and it brings to life a character on screen, or opens up a game.
We also tested Leapfrog’s Paw Patrol Imagicard game, which includes 30 game cards – though you can also play the game without using the cards.
Is it as responsive as an iPad or adult tablet?
No. Although you can use your finger or the stylus to play games, it doesn’t have the responsiveness of an iPad or adult tablet and I noticed a few times when my son was playing that he struggled to get a character to move to the exact place he wanted.
There was an instance when the whole tablet froze as well, but we resorted to the trusty switch it off and on again method.
Tell us about the peer-to-peer feature
With the peer-to-peer feature, your child can play games or ‘chat’ with another child who has a wifi-supported LeapPad device, but they must be in the same room.
One of the pre-loaded apps, Pet Chat, allows kids to use the feature by using a series of ready-to-go phrases like ‘Hi!’, ‘How are you?’, or ‘See you later, alligator’, as well as phrases to describe their favourite things and a range of emoticons.
The Pet Pad Party app also allows children to play with each other’s pets using the function. We did manage to get the Pet Chat working using the LeapPad Platinum and our LeapPad3, and I can see it could be fun, but it felt quite limited.
I had a few issues with the wifi disconnecting when trying to use the peer-to-peer feature on Pet Pad Party, which I wasn’t very impressed with – the tablet seemed quite glitchy in that respect.
How does the LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum compare to the LeapFrog LeapPad 3 tablet?
We’ve also tested the LeapPad3 and it’s certainly a step up from that tablet in terms of screen size and resolution.
I think for the extra £10 it’s well worth it, especially if it means your child is distracted from asking to play on your phone or adult tablet.
We’ve got more tablet and laptop reviews here:
What do you think of the screen on the LeapFrog LeapPad Platinum tablet?
The 7-inch screen is a plus, as it means the games are so much easier to see than on the smaller LeapPad3.
The screen is actually 15cm wide by 9cm high, compared to the LeapPad3 at 11cm by 6.5cm.
My son immediately picked up on how much easier it was to play on the games, and how responsive the touchscreen was.
Is it too big for your little one’s hands or just right?
I was worried the LeapPad Platinum might be too big for my three-year-old son’s hands, as it seemed so much larger than the LeapPad3, but he actually had no problems at all using it.
The actual size of the LeapPad Platinum is 23cm x 15cm x 2.5cm, and as it’s aimed at children aged 3-9, I think older children particularly would find it closer to using an adult tablet.
Does it feel heavy or too light, what do you think of its weight?
The LeapPad Platinum weighs around 550g, compared to the LeapPad3 at 385g. It is a fairly chunky design, but it didn’t feel especially heavy. My son told me he didn’t find it too heavy – and he certainly didn’t seem to need to put it down!
What is the resolution like?
The resolution is noticeably higher than the LeapPad3, as it’s 1024×600, compared to 480×272. It seemed very clear and sharp.
What is the audio like?
Thankfully, the volume can be adjusted as I found it quite loud when my son insisted on putting it on full volume.
He seemed to really enjoy listening to songs and music on it, and took great delight in the nursery rhymes on the included ‘Scout’s Jukebox’.
Do you have to buy a lot of additional extras, which all add up or is everything included?
The spending is limitless, as Leapfrog has an online app centre selling more than 700 extra apps, games, e-books, learning games and videos, which range in price from £2 to £20.
But there’s no need to buy anything extra initially, as the LeapPad Platinum does have ten included apps, although these are quite limited and include basic functions such as a clock and calculator.
Ultimately you will have to spend more – but the wide range of prices means you could use new apps as rewards, or Christmas and birthday presents.
What are the included apps like?
Although the LeapPad Platinum promises to include 10 apps, this is somewhat of a stretch as these include basic features such as a calendar, clock, notepad and calculator.
Like on the LeapPad3, the more exciting apps are a music player, photo editor, art studio, voice memo, and video camera.
The included Pet Pad Party game also allows children to create their own cute monkey, dog, cat,penguin, unicorn or other pet, give it a name, colour, and play a series of games with their new pal.
There is also the option to download a free app from the Leapfrog app centre, and there were three choices for my son’s age range.
Is this more of an educational tool or is it an all-round entertainment tool?
The LeapPad Platinum does have good educational value as many of its 700-odd games and apps are tied into a specific learning skill such as maths, reading, creativity or science.
I liked the fact you could get apps to help learn a language for example.
But ultimately, I would use it for entertainment – not necessarily a bad thing – for if we were going on a long journey, rather than as a learning tool.
Is it easy to connect to the internet? Is it a safe connection? What do you think of the limited internet capability?
It was easy to connect to wifi from the get-go, but I did find the wifi very hit and miss. The LeapPad Platinum connected using our home access code so, as far as I could tell, it was as safe as using any of our other devices.
However, there were several times when it seemed to disconnect itself, so I had to repeatedly enter my password, which was frustrating. Like with the LeapPad3, the limited internet capability was both a positive and negative.
I felt totally happy letting my son browse the LeapSearch app, as it is packed with pre-screened content appropriate for children, such as tutorials, animal videos and music. However, there’s no chance to get online for a quick Google browse yourself, even in parent safe mode.
Did you have any safety doubts when using it?
No, none at all.
What is the battery life like?
At 5 hours, the battery life on the LeapPad Platinum is slightly lower than the LeapPad3, which has a 6 hour battery life, but I guess that’s down to the larger screen. It was fine for us, and perfect for a train journey or short haul flight.
How long does it take to recharge?
Around 5 hours to fully charge from empty.
Does it come with enough storage space?
The 8GB of storage is apparently enough to store 40,000 photos or around 100 apps, which I imagine would be plenty for our use.
What age would you recommend it from and to?
Although Leapfrog recommends the LeapPad Platinum from age 3-9, I think it’s more ideal for children at the lower end of that range. The main reason is that it has fairly limited features compared to some of the very sophisticated technology out there that children are used to. It’s robust, chunky design is also probably better suited to younger children, but I think it would be ideal for those aged 3-6.
Tell us about the camera and video recorder.
There’s a 2 MP camera at the front and back of the camera, plus the tablet has 480 pixel video recording.
It’s not the best quality ever, but perfectly fine for kids to use for fun snaps and videos.
The camera is also used for activating the Imagicards feature – you simply hover over the card and it recognises the unique code on each card to unlock a game or character.
Is it strong, durable?
Leapfrog describes the LeapPad Platinum as “our most durable LeapPad with a shatter-safe screen and wrap-around bumper to withstand a child’s tough love”. It definitely felt very robust, and I really liked the look and feel of the rubberised bumper, which made the tablet easy to hold onto.
What do you think about the different types of software, is it versatile enough, span enough ages?
With more than 700 apps and games ranging from £2 up to more than £20, and spanning the age range 3-12 there was a wealth of choice of software, and I think the issue would be choosing which ones to get!
Who would the LeapPad Platinum be most useful for?
Families with children aged 3-6 who want a good quality, robust tablet that is internet-safe, entertaining and doesn’t cost the earth.
Is the tablet value for money?
At £99.99, the LeapPad Platinum is only marginally more expensive than the LeapPad3 (£89.99), but actually has twice the memory (8GB) and a higher resolution (1024×600), as well as the larger 7-inch screen.
With features including front and back cameras for photos and video, several included apps, and its durability, it is good value for money.
What’s in the box?
- LeapPad Platinum tablet
- AC power adapter/charger
- USB cable
The LeapPad Platinum is a quality children’s tablet, with a large, high-resolution screen, robust casing, and fun look.
There are plenty of educational games to choose from its online store, but the wifi was glitchy and it may not keep older children’s interest for long.
If you can get a deal, it’s a fun birthday or Christmas present, but if you want a tablet you can use too then it’s not for you.
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|Model||LeapPad Platinum Tablet|
|Child age (approx)||From 4 years|
Dimensions & Weight
|Camera||Front and back cameras & video recorders|