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InnoTab 2 vs LeapPad 2
Vtech InnoTab 2 vs LeapFrog LeapPad 2The kids tablets have had an upgrade - but which is still the best?
The Vtech - LeapFrog debate is almost becoming an annual event; here featuring InnoTab 2 vs LeapPad 2. Previously, my website InnoTab Interactive Learning Tablet vs LeapPad Explorer was one of the most popular sites on the Internet looking at both the InnoTab and LeapPad, and became a recommended reference and authority for parents. This success was largely down to the tens-of-thousands of visitors who helped shape its contents and provide an invaluable source of advice. If you were one of those visitors, then thank you.
So, I decided that InnoTab 2 vs LeapPad 2 was worthy of another round of analysis. Both Vtech and LeapFrog have made improvements to the original tablets - and both have certainly come up with the goods. If you thought the decision on the first installment was difficult enough, then I can promise you that InnoTab 2 vs LeapPad 2 is going to be even harder!
What's new on the Vtech InnoTab 2?
The difference between the InnoTab and InnoTab 2
This is the InnoTab 2 from Vtech. Straight away, you can see that there's been some re-styling of the original InnoTab. The tablet has a fresher look, there are more buttons, the built-in speaker has moved to one corner and there's something new on the top... could it be that they've added a camera, just like on the LeapPad?
Well, the answer to that question is yes. One of the major niggles of the original InnoTab was the lack of a digital photo/video camera, being one of the features of rival tablet, the LeapPad. This is the biggest obvious addition to the InnoTab 2 and Vtech have put it to good use - not only does it record both photos and video, but it rotates, so images can be captured from both front and back.
The InnoTab 2 also includes a built-in microphone (somewhat obvious, if you've added the ability to record video). Inside, Vtech have also increased the amount of onboard memory, from the original 64MB to a more useful 2GB. But don't panic - they haven't done away with the SD card slot for memory expansion.
Here's a breakdown of the key technical specifications of the InnoTab 2:
- 5-inch color touch screen with graphics capability and tilt sensor
- Built-in speaker and microphone
- Integrated digital photo/video camera which can be rotated for front-and-back image capture
- 2GB onboard memory with SD/SDHC card slot for additional storage up to 32GB
- Connects to PC/Mac with included USB cable
- The InnoTab 2S, includes Wi-Fi capability to allow secure downloading of apps direct from the Vtech website
This Wi-Fi version enables a secure connection to content on the Vtech Learning Lodge Navigator, where kids can browse for apps that they'd like and create a wishlist. The wishlist can then be sent from the InnoTab 2S to a parent's email. Accessing the wishlist from a home pc, tablet or smartphone, parents can then complete the purchase for Wi-Fi download to the InnoTab 2S.
The learning apps that come with the InnoTab 2:
Personalize your InnoTab 2
Personalize the InnoTab 2 for up to four users. Children can choose their own individual photo wallpapers, user names, avatars, written messages and voice greetings. A great idea - as long as the kids are willing to share their InnoTab 2!
Interactive e-books help children learn comprehension, vocabulary and pronunciation. WIth stories based on children's favorite characters, reading comes to life with full color animation, sound and music. E-books include a pop-up dictionary to help with understanding words and following the story context.
Creative activities and multimedia apps
Children can exercise their artistic talents with the art-studio app. Here they can draw their own pictures using fingers or the included stylus, then color them in and bring them to life by viewing them from side-to-side. Take photos and make home movies with the built-in camera and then play them back, or maybe just listen to some favorite music, all through the pre-installed media players.
Even more apps and games to download
By connecting the InnoTab 2 to the Vtech Learning Lodge Navigator, via home computer, children (and parents) will have access to hundreds of educational apps, e-books, games and activities to download. Parents can set up an account with the Learning Lodge and use it to follow their children's progress on a variety of lessons and educational milestones.
See what the new Vtech InnoTab 2 has to offer - This is the promotional video from Vtech - now including details on the InnoTab 2s:
What I think is exciting about the InnoTab 2
Upon release of the InnoTab 2, I was really impressed with what Vtech had done to improve on the original InnoTab. It's clear that they've listened to feedback, taken note of what was happening with other kids tablets and then responded with something as good, if not better, than the rest.
The addition of the built-in camera is always going to be a selling point, but the fact that it rotates as opposed to having two individual front and back cameras, is a nice touch.
Vtech have kept the SD/SDHC card slot for memory expansion up to 32GB, so you've got all that space to store your kids favorite movies, music and treasured creations. The increase of onboard memory up to 2GB is a welcome addition in terms of usability without an SD card.
The built-in microphone is another new addition. However, what makes it more interesting than just being able to record sound, is that Vtech have developed a range of new games apps that use the microphone as an additional input device to control the action. New apps will also be available that use the InnoTab 2 camera for augmented reality gaming. Here, kids will be able to interact with characters that are superimposed onto the real world, as seen through the camera and displayed on the tablet screen.
Most exciting of all is the InnoTab 2S, which includes built-in Wi-Fi. Using this, kids and parents will be able to visit the Vtech website directly, without the need to connect to a pc, for secure downloading of apps straight to the InnoTab 2. Details of how the Wi-Fi connection is used are shown in the Vtech video above.
Get Your Hands on the Vtech InnoTab 2 / 2S - What's in the box and the optional extras:
The InnoTab 2 Learning App Tablet comes with photo/video/MP3 players and the other apps described above, stylus, USB cable and instruction manual. It requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included.
The InnoTab 2 is compatible with the range of games cartridges for the original InnoTab. Additional individual games and apps can be downloaded separately from the Vtech Learning Lodge.
As with the LeapPad 2 there's a variety of accessories to accompany the InnoTab 2, ranging from carry cases to battery packs and AC adapters.
Give us your opinion: InnoTab 2 or LeapPad 2 - But if you have any questions, please use the Comments and Questions section further down this page. Thank you.
Which learning app tablet do you think is now the best?
What's new on the LeapFrog LeapPad 2?
The difference between the original LeapPad and the LeapPad 2
This is the LeapPad 2 from LeapFrog. Looking at it, you'd be forgiven for thinking that not much has changed from the original LeapPad, in comparison to the InnoTab transformation. However, there are a number of key enhancements that make the LeapPad 2 better than the LeaPad, and this is what LeapFrog have really focused on - refining what they already know works well.
Like the InnoTab 2, the LeapPad 2 has gone for front-and-back image capture, by adding a front-facing camera to compliment the already exising camera on the back. Not content with just doing this, they've also increased the resolution of both cameras up to 2MP.
Further increases include the amount of onboard memory, up from 2GB to 4GB, an increase in processor speed and an increase in robustness. Yes, to take account of the fact that the LeapPad 2 now has a recommended age range starting from 3 years, the internal bracing has been beefed up to make it more durable.
Here's a list of the key features of the LeapFrog LeapPad 2:
- 5-inch touch screen with graphics capability supporting tap, flick and drag actions
- Built-in speaker and microphone
- Front-and-back facing 2MP photo/video cameras
- 4GB internal memory
- Access to the LeapFrog website when connected via PC/Mac with included USB cable
Learning apps on the LeapPad 2:
LeapFrog Learning Songs
LeapFrog Learning Songs is one of two apps that come pre-installed on the LeapPad 2. There are five songs included, each having a theme to help children learn subjects like the alphabet, numbers and more as they follow the song and sing along.
Pet Pad is the second of the pre-installed games apps on the LeapPad 2. Children can create and nurture their very own virtual pets. As the children learn to write different letters, their pets in turn can learn new tricks.
The Art Studio app comes at no extra cost, but requires an Internet connection to download. Once the LeapFrog Connect application has been installed and registration of the LeapPad 2 has been completed, the remaining free apps can be downloaded. The Art Studio allows children to draw, paint and color their own masterpieces.
Cartoon Director is another of the free apps that requires download from the LeapFrog website. Children can create, direct and narrate the action in their very own cartoons. By adding photos taken with the LeapPad 2 camera, they can even include themselves as characters.
Downloads from the LeapFrog App Center
One further free app download is available from a choice of apps, once the LeapPad 2 has been registered with the LeapFrog website. You will also have access to hundreds of other games apps and activities for the LeapPad 2, for which prices will vary. In addition, parents can make use of the LeapFrog Learning Path to check on their child's progress and achievements against learning targets.
Watch the new LeapPad 2 in action - The promotional video from LeapFrog:
What I think is exciting about the LeapPad 2
I think that the transition from LeapPad to LeapPad 2 can be described as subtle, but noticeable. The tablet looks pretty much the same as the original, and the philosophy has clearly been to make what may be the best that little bit better.
The addition of a front-facing camera was probably inevitable, but an increase in the pixel count to 2MP is a nice refinement. Sure, it's not going to rival many of the digital cameras integrated into adult tablets and smartphones, but for a kids tablet it certainly adds more quality.
I was surprised that LeapFrog didn't opt for an additional card slot for memory expansion, as this is one of the big selling points of the InnoTab. However, an increase in the onboard memory to 4GB on the LeapPad 2 is a step in the right direction and should be enough for most kids needs.
Another example of being what's inside that matters, is the faster processor. This is good, as it leads to the development of more processor-intensive games, which can only mean one thing - more fun! On top of this, the LeapPad 2 will also benefit from turning on quicker, loading apps quicker and gameplay being that much smoother.
FInally, a more robust construction to the LeapPad 2 for its new recommended age range of 3-9 years (which incidentally, is the same as the new InnoTab 2). This was always going to be welcome for something handled by this age group, carried around and taken to school, fought over with siblings, etc. One of the strengths of LeapFrog products that I've heard from many parents, is that they last.
Get your hands on a LeapFrog LeapPad 2 - What's in the box and some optional extras:
The LeapFrog LeapPad 2 comes with stylus, five apps (an Internet connection is needed to access some of the apps, which are provided free), USB cable and instruction manual.
The LeapPad 2 requires 4 AA batteries, which are not included, and is compatible with the LeapPad 2 Recharger Pack which is also sold separately.
The LeapPad 2 is compatible with the range of LeapFrog Explorer games cartridges. In addition, once connected via a home computer, you can download even more eBooks, videos, music, creativity studios and games from the LeapPad App Center.
The information presented on this site is based on that provided in the manufacturer's literature and that of their retail agents. The author cannot guarantee that there will be no variations of specification, contents, games etc., for actual products purchased.
The information contained in the replies to any of the comments and questions submitted to this site is provided 'as is', and is based on the experiences and opinions of the site author and data available on the Internet. The site author cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information from Internet sources, or that manufacturer's data may not change without notice. However, reasonable effort is taken in providing correct information at the time of writing. Any opinions are those of the site author. The site author is not connected in any way with either Vtech or LeapFrog.
Steve Charles is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Images on this site are from amazon.com for the products shown.
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