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LeapFrog Leapster 2 vs Leapster Explorer: Which is the Better Leapster?

Updated on March 2, 2013

We are LeapFrog Leapster Family

Leapfrog Leapsters have been in my household for at least eight years now starting with my ten year old's bulky silver and blue thing that didn't take batteries. We are ardent Leapfrog fans having practically all products in our household except for the Didj.

We long ago retired the original bulky Leapfrog Leapster and purchased the newer model which is the predecessor to the Leapster 2. Unfortunately, my middle son is rather rambunctious and decided to swing the Leapster by it's stylus and well when the stylus broke off, the Leapster went flying and the rest is history.

For a while that was the end of Leapsters in the house even though we still had the Tag. Luckily, when his birthday rolled around he was allowed to pick out something at the store and he chose the Leapster 2. We still had all his games from his other Leapster 1 I guess you would call it, and he was able to use them in Leapster 2.

The following Christmas his younger brother received a Leapster Explorer as a grab so currently we have both of them in the house which is why I decided to review them for anyone who is thinking of purchasing one.

Review of the LeapFrog Leapster 2

The Leapfrog Leapster 2 is the continuation, evolution, and modernization of the Leapfrog's flagship product the Leapster. Since I am familiar with the original Leapsters, I can accurately say that they have come a long way since their inception.

Leapster 2 is made for children ages 4-8 and is designed to be integrated with an online program called Learning Path which will track your child's progress through their play and then give you a report. The Learning Path report will also tell you what skills you child is exposed to as well as which games or activities may be good to enhance their future learning.

Currently there are over 40 games and I am happy to report that if you owned the original Leapster those games can be used in the Leapster 2. One reason for their huge popularity is the assortment of favorite character games such as Toy Story, Spongebob, and Scooby Doo. Children are also able to play online using the LeapWorld application where they can play more games and even develop their own character complete with a home.

Now is here the downside. The Leapster is a ravenous battery eating monstrosity. I am not exaggerating. First it takes 4 AA batteries in a compartment located on the backside. Then I notice that if I don't buy the more expensive Lithium batteries that thing can eat through 4 regular AA in like a day. It can get to be expensive buying batteries to support this thing.

One solution of course is to buy the AC adapter which is cheaper even though you'll still have to shell out more money, but on a positive note it is half the price of the recharger and the never ending battery supply.

But if your willing to spend a little extra I do recommend the recharger because it will recharge the actual batteries which means you can maintain the portability which is a good feature.

Review of the Leapfrog Explorer

The Leap Frog Leapster Explorer is the latest addition to Leap Frog's vast array of educational products. A hand held gamer like similar to Leapster 2, this system takes a step even further into modern technology with a slew of newer features such as an E Reader function and camera accessory integration.

Leapster Explorer improves on the screen resolution of other models and also adds features such as Flash Cards and Video as well. The games seem a little bit harder than a lot of the Leapster 2 games but also included expanded play and options. The camera accessory can take up to 1000 pictures and they have a game library to rival Leapster 2 since the cartridges are a new smaller design and unable to be used in the Leapster 2. Just like other Leapster hand held systems you child progress is tracked through Learn Path with recommendations and ideas to improve your child's educational experience.

Similar to Leapster 2 the Explorer will eat up regular batteries so it is a good idea to purchase the recharging station or use Lithium batteries which will last longer. The camera/video will cost extra as well as the E books and Leaplet apps so the money can start adding up over time. Also since my children are pretty young we even haven't begun to utilize the multitude of newer features not present in other Leapsters, but I imagine as they get older we will start to.

Leapster Explorer TV Ad

Which Leapster is Right For Me?

Leapster System
Leapster 2
Leapster Explorer
4-8 years old
4-9 years old
Touchscreen, Stylus, Best Seller, Online Features, Green or Pink
Video, Camera, E Reader, Leaplet Apps, Flash Cards, Online Learning
Prices of System
$69.99msrp (but usually marked down to $49.99)
Prices of Games
AC Adapter($12.99) Recharging Station($34.99)
Camera and Video Recorder($24.99) Recharger($39.99)
Great for just starting out, economical, great games, #1 best seller
Great for kids who can appreciate advanced features, more options and abilites


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    • profile image

      Ryane 5 years ago

      Thanks very helpful.

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      Teresa paul 6 years ago

      Thank youi for this. I found it very helpful as I am looking into buying one for my daughter.