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The crazy world of toys for Christmas: tablets for children; Vtech Innopad vs Leapfrog LeapPad

Updated on November 26, 2011

Tablets for little hands

One cool toy for children, this winter, is a tablet, a learning tablet. This name, learning tablet, may describe better what is all about, then the name toy, because this innovative product is just like the real thing. Apart from the design, more appealing to the little ones, and the apps that comes with, this children tablet runs just like its big brother. And what is extraordinary, it has been designed for kids as young as four.

a leappad learning tablet
a leappad learning tablet | Source

LeapPad from Leapfrog

There are two companies disputing the market for these tablets: Leapfrog and Vtech. The tablet from Leapfrog is called LeapPad and is far more popular as it has more features. It is also a little more expensive. But good luck in finding it.

One of my college saw two of them in a toy section of a store I won’t name it here. The second day she went there to buy one but it was sold out. Then she went to that store’s website but was also sold out. Finally, after one day of frantic research she found it at another store far away from her home. She drove there and bought it and the trip was well worth it because the next day they were out of it as well. But the Leap Pad appeared on Craig list for twice the price, and a week later someone on Ebay was trying to sell it for five times the retail price. Now, you’re lucky to find it on Amazon for twice it is worth it.

innotab learning tablet
innotab learning tablet | Source

Innotab from Vtech

As the LeapPad sells out at the major toy retailers, on store and online, the second company comes and fills the gap. It is Vtech and its tablet called Innotab. This you can still find it but hurry up, the supplies are going, going, gone. Innotab is a les expensive but lucks certain features. Which is not such a big deal if your kid can live without a camera and a wi-fi connection.
And just to get things straight: is not the kid that’s going crazy about it, it’s the mom and dad!

Now, lets see why are parents going banana over it. They may or may not have a tablet of their own but they seems they want a tablet for their children very badly. (As you may know from my profile page, I work in retail. My store has a toy section very well supplied. As the LeapPad have sold out, the parents are now coming looking for Innotab, which we still have, in a limited quantity.)

LeapPad most important features

This learning tablet is designed for children 4 to 9 years old. It has a build in camera and video recorder, 100 e books, apps for games, touch screen, built in microphone, tilt sensor and a 2 GB of system memory.

Leapfrog is an award winning company that makes educational toys for kids. So, the main purpose of the LeapPad, is to make children explore a variety of activities from reading to photo editing. And that’s a good thing because in a digital world one has to know to use this new technology. The tablet works with their previous cartridges made for Explorer. So, what is about this learning toy:
It is a ebook reader, with 100 books in the library. It builds reading and math skills almost customized for each child as the level automatically adjust to the kids progress. Parents can watch the children’s development at the company website, after signing up.
It is a camera, it takes pictures and videos
It is a game system, kids can play games. This tablet has a motion sensor that will entertain the kids also keeping them engaged.
It is a computer, with real computer software. The art studio allows photo editing and story creation.

Here are the full features and description as per company:
Works with all Leapster Explorer™ cartridge games and apps
Plays cartridge games
Personalized home screen with child's photo
Motion-based play with a sensor
Book apps that provide a fully interactive, cinematic reading experience.
Story Studio that lets children create stories with their photos, artwork, writing and voice recordings.
Animation Studio app
Included Art Studio
Built-in microphone
Handheld gaming
High-resolution finger touch screen
Personalized learning pet that reinforces writing skills and fosters nurturing skills
Downloadable learning apps
Works with LeapPad apps
Automatically adjusts the learning level for each child
Animated visual dictionary
Audiovisual cues for sounding out words
Word-by-word audio and visual assistance
Remembers a child's progress from game to game
Built-in tutorials
Reinforces writing skills with stylus play
Stroke-by-stroke guidance for forming letters and numbers
Ability to customize math skills and spelling lists in games
Personalized recommendations based on learning progress

Approximate retail price: $99.99 to 119.99
Game cartridges approximate retail price: $24.99 and up
Apps approximate retail price: $5 and up
Screen resolution: 480 x 272
Batteries: 4 AA
AC adapter available
Processor: 400 MHz
USB port
Headphone jack

Innotab most important features

Innotab is another learning tablet, for kids 4 to 9 years old, from Vtech that also makes Mobigo and V Reader. This new product is similar with the LeapPad. It is an interactive ereader, has story narration and character voice and many more.
Games can be played by touch, flick, drag, tilt or move. It doesn’t have a camera but it comes with more apps then the previous tablet. It has an MP3 player, a bonus feature. Parents can keep track of their kids activities on the company’s website, after signing up. It also comes up with Stylus Pen.

Here are some of the features and specs:
System memory: 64MB
High-resolution finger touch screen
Tilt sensor for motion-based play
Downloadable learning apps
Art Studio
Built-in microphone
MP3 player
See and hear words as they are read
Visual dictionary
Core skills for reading, writing, geography, social studies, mathematics and science
Creativity skills like drawing, animation, storytelling and music
Spanish vocabulary
Play and learning details for parents
Personalized recommendations based on learning progress
Price: $79.99 to $99.99
Cartridge game price range:$24.99
Apps price range: $4.99 - $7.99
Batteries: 4AA
AC Adapter
Screen resolution: 480x272
Screen size: 5"

Now, if you do decide to go crazy and buy your toddler a tablet than I have one more piece of advice: keep in mind that kids’ span is short and they will get bored with a game or a book. So, you have to keep buying books and games, and apps and other things that, in the long run, will cost you more the the tablet itself.
Sure, the cost of having one is easily surpassed by the advantages of giving your kids an early start on the digital world.


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    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Jeyaramd, I like your thinking. Though, the technology is here, and is not going away any time soon. Our kids either learn to use it sooner or later. Greetings to you!

    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Crystal, I'm sorry you couldn't find a leap pad and I hope your son still believes in Santa because Santa is real (My daughter, who is 7, said that he is as real as your mom and dad, because they are santa).

    • jeyaramd profile image


      6 years ago from Mississauga, Ontario

      Thank for the great hub. The LeapPad seema like a great product for kids aged 4 to 9. I guess they will find our Ipads a little less exciting. Anyway, like someone had mentioned. Its not like its an emergency to have it wrapped by Christmas. Christmas is also about getting kids excited about giving. We should not emphasize receiving so much. So, until the price goes down, I am betting on getting them to read a book. Call me old fashioned, but I like reading kids books where I can write the date and from whom it is on the book itself. Somehow, it feels more sentimental. We still have to monitor our children and spend time educating them. The world of technology is a supplement teaching aid if any. Parents are the ultimate teaching gadget. Thats not only available for Christmas, but year round. How is that for breaking headlines.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I thought that my son really didn't want one a leap pad but it is all that he ask for everyday! He goes around saying that he hopes Santa will bring it for him on Christmas! I can not find it any where and he is only 5! This might be the year he stops beleving in Santa :( I hope not, If I can not find it I will just have to tell him the elves don't have enough parts cause to many kids wanted it this year and Santa didn't make enough!

    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Good for you Nick.

      I'm sure kids can wait. As a matter of fact, some kids are too young to even care about it. I saw, once, in my store, a mom with her 4 year old daughter. The mom was trying to get the little kid interested in a Leappad but the kid was holding a phone toy that was playing music on every key and ignored her mom and the tablet. I found it funny and interesting.

      Thanks for stopping and commenting.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      I think it's crazy people are spending more than twice as much than retail simply so their kids can have it by Christmas. This may be a bit rude, but it jsut goes to show how moronic, impulsive and greedy our society has become. These things will be so easy to find within days after Christmas...Why can't the kids wait. Nothing like teaching them a bit of patience. I could have gotten one on ebay for only $125, but what's the point. If I wait a month, I can save $25 or more. What a joke all this hype is.

    • cameciob profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Purple Turtle, this is a very good point you make about these two tablets. And it is true, as I see in my store as well.

      I'm glad you got the leappads for your kids. It may not be available again before Christmas.

      Thanks for stopping by.

    • Purple Turtle profile image

      Purple Turtle 

      6 years ago from Home

      Very informative hub on the Leapfrog LeapPad and Vtech Innopad. I have already gone out and got my kids the LeapPad. If you look at the history of the two products and companies it appears that the Leapfrog products tend to evolve a little less frequently. This was a plus for me because I did not want to buy more games a few months after Christmas just to find out that the console I had was "out of date" and that the games where no longer on the market for that model.


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