LeapFrog Epic hops into the Android tablet for kids market
LeapFrog has revealed its latest child-focused tablet, and its first to run on Android. The 7-inch Epic tablet is said to combine the parental control and kid-safe environment of previous LeapFrog tablets, with a selection of Android games and apps that children love. The Android-powered Epic tablet has also been designed to offer a customized experience which can grow with the child.
The big news about the LeapFrog Epic, which is aimed at three to nine-year-olds, is the move to Android 4.4 rather than the proprietary system used on the firm's LeapPad devices. This move follows in the footsteps of the VTech InnoTab Max from last year, and countless other Android tablets for kids including Amazon's Fire HD (Kids Edition), the Nabi DreamTab HD 8 and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 3 Kids.
What LeapFrog hopes to bring to the increasingly crowded market of Android tablets for kids is a customized kid-friendly experience and its respected catalogue of learning titles. While this is the first LeapFrog tablet not to use cartridges, many of its educational titles will be available alongside vetted Android offerings such as Fruit Ninja and TocaBoca titles, via the Learning Library store. All apps are free of adverts, links or in-app purchases and the tablet will ship with more than 20 pre-installed.
In addition to a customizable home-screen and titles which level-up as a child develops (we all know what it's like to buy something for your kid only to find they've outgrown it by the time you get home) the Epic offers a number of other parent-pleasing features. Parental controls allow grown-ups to set limits on what, when and how long up to three children can use the device. The Leap Search browser also ensures safe web access by only offering access to approved, kid-appropriate web content, though parents can widen what's available for older users.
In terms of specification, the Epic has a 7-inch touchscreen and a 1,026 x 600 pixel resolution (only 170 pixels per inch, just a bit higher than the original iPad mini). It boasts a quad-core 1.3 GHz processor, which should mean it's fast enough to keep up with whatever your kid is doing. It also has 16 GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 32 GB via a microSD card slot, and 1 GB of RAM. Along with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, the Epic boasts 2-megapixel cameras front and rear and a advertised 6-hour battery life.
Though it looks more like a traditional tablet than some ruggedized kid-tough models, the Epic should still be able to survive in the all-too-often clumsy hands of little users thanks to a chunky bumper which can be removed when a child gets older. This means that once a child is less likely to drop the Epic, or use it as a coaster for their glass of milk, they can get a sleeker, more grown-up looking tablet.
The LeapFrog Epic will be available from September priced at US$140. You can see it in action in the promo video below.
Product page: LeapFrog Epic