LeapFrog Announces the LeapPad 2, a New Kids’ Tablet

LeapFrog has announced their follow-up to last year’s popular children’s tablet, the LeapPad 2. The original LeapPad was designed to be a kid-friendly tablet, providing age-appropriate educational and entertainment material. Since its release, the LeapPad has been a hot item, and has been honored by the Toy Industry Association as Toy of the Year for 2011.

The LeapPad 2 will feature higher resolution cameras on the front and back, as well as a faster LF 2000 processor and 4 GB of on-board memory. The same comfortable, rubberized grips as the first LeapPad will be there, keeping the LeapPad 2 kid-friendly. The touchscreen, which can be used with touch or with a stylus, is still the same 5” display from the original, with a 480 x 272 resolution. This year’s iteration will now be compatible with an internal battery pack and recharger, but those will be sold separately.

As for software, the LeapPad 2 will come installed with a music player loaded with LeapFrog learning songs, Cartoon Director, Art Studio, Pet Pad writing app, and one other choice from LeapFrog’s assortment of apps. The LeapPad 2, like the original LeapPad, will be compatible with game cartridges sold separately. That means that LeapPad users are locked into what LeapFrog offers – not a bad thing, since the company has proven itself in the realm of education thus far, but could be a turn off for others looking for more options with their choice of tablet for their children.

The LeapPad 2 in practice keeps the Internet away from children completely. Instead, kids used the apps installed to write, draw, or read books or comics. The Cartoon Director app mentioned above allows kids to put themselves in pre-made cartoons, giving them control over the action.

Pricing is unknown as of now, but pre-orders on the LeapFrog website for the LeapPad 2 begin on July 18th.