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LeapFrog believes it has found the cure for the normal kids’ tablet home screen. The 7-inch LeapFrog Epic ($119.99) runs a proprietary UI along with Android, featuring an interactive virtual world that kids can customize and make their own. Designed for children between 3 to 9 years old, this slate includes a nice set of software and enough parental controls, nonetheless it costs and weighs a lot more than other kids tablets.
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Wrapped in its Kermit-green rubber case, the LeapFrog Epic is cute and grippable. The tablet was not suitable for durability, but its bumper can provide parents some confidence that the Epic could survive getting spiked on the floor. Within my testing, the tablet survived a few falls from my 29-inch-high desk onto our office’s hardwood floor without experiencing any problems.
LeapFrog located the Epic’s raised power and volume buttons on its top edge. The tablet’s headphone jack and micro USB port also take a seat on its top edge. They are deeply recessed when the bumper is applied, though we’d no issue connecting cables with the case on. Its microSD slot is obscured by the case, however, which can only help keep carefully the cards from finding yourself in Junior’s mouth.
The Epic’s display isn’t great, nonetheless it may suffice for young eyes. When I streamed video on the tablet’s 1024 x 600-pixel display, I noticed good color, but poor detail. Solid colors looked accurate but flat on the panel, which rendered Adventure Time’s Jake and Prismo in accurate yellows and pinks. The image quality had to endure live-action clips like Taylor Swift’s “Out from the Woods” music video, which appeared dim and filled the screen with jagged edges that managed to get hard to see anything clearly.
According to your colorimeter, the Epic’s display isn’t particularly vibrant. It could produce 74.6 percent of the sRGB color spectrum, which is slightly above the Fire Kids (69 percent) and like the Xtreme 2 (74.6 percent). The common tablet (99.6 percent) shows far more colors.
The colors the LeapFrog Epic does show aren’t particularly accurate, which isn’t that uncommon for kids’ tablets. The Epic scored 3.02 on our Delta-E test for color accuracy (where lower is way better), which is near to the average tablet score (3.0). The Amazon Fire Kids (1.4) is way better, as the Kurio Xtreme 2 (3.6) is worse.
Our tests showed that the Epic’s panel can only just emit 211 nits, making sense, given its dim and flat output. It really is like the Xtreme 2 (198 nits), but dimmer compared to the Fire Kids (296 nits). The common tablet (364 nits) is a lot brighter. The Epic’s display offers good viewing angles, however, as even at 45 degrees, the colors didn’t distort.
When parents create the tablet, they create a user account with LeapFrog and a four-digit code that may keep their kids out from the parent mode. Then mom or dad enter the names, birthdates, genders and current school grades for three child accounts, which is less than the Xtreme 2 (eight accounts), and the Fire Kids Edition (four accounts). In this mode, parents may also select which applications each young one account has usage of.
By default, kids only get access to the LeapSearch app, without any address bar and only offers preapproved bookmarks to kid-friendly sites such as for example Time For Kids, Disney Jr. and Highlights Kids. Parents can truly add more sites to the preapproved list in the kid Controls app. With these limitations, I cannot imagine a scenario in which a child could happen after inappropriate content.
Unlike any other kids’ tablet we’ve seen, the Epic provides an interactive virtual world on its home screen. Kids could make this world their own by selecting among three animation styles and adding moving stickers such as a twinkling pixie or roving robot. If you enter in where you are, the elements in the Epic’s world will match what’s happening outside your window. There’s even a tiny house in the heart of the virtual city which has a mailbox that sparkles whenever a new word of your day is ready.
The LeapFrog Epic posseses an overwhelming 31 apps. They range between educational titles to games and demos that promote content that can be found in the LeapFrog iphone app store. LeapFrog promises that the titles it offers and sells are educator-approved, and vetted by its team of child-development experts.
Each of the free titles are created by LeapFrog itself, and the business estimates their combined value to be $140. Not absolutely all of the programs come preloaded, as some are likely to download in the backdrop during setup. Unfortunately, not absolutely all of those software automatically installed on our review unit, but we could actually easily download them from the parent mode’s App Manager section.
The LeapFrog App Center store are available by simply clicking the shopping cart software icon in the youngsters and parent modes. App profiles on the store let parents really know what ages a title is suitable for, and adds screenshots and a short description. Fruit Ninja Academy: Math Master ($5, ages 5 to 9) adds simple equations to the favorite franchise’s hack-and-slash gameplay. The Disney Pixar: THE NICE Dinosaur game ($10, ages 4 to 7) teaches fun science facts. The tablet will not support the Google Play store, nevertheless, you can download the Amazon App.
The tablet includes a handful of software that inspire creativity. Photo Fun Ultra enables you to impose images together with your own selfies, tweak color balance within your own photographs and add mirroring effects. Coloring with Leap School provides your son or daughter with line-drawn images that kids tap to fill.
Educational titles include Alphabet Stew, a less complicated version of Boggle, where you find words by tapping adjacent letters. THE TERM of the Day software teaches kids definitions by asking them to drag letters right into a box, where in fact the word they form has already been spelled out to reveal a related drawing and sentence that uses the term.
Kids will use your pet they created in Pet Pad Party as their avatar in your pet Chat app. This limited messaging client lets kids send other LeapFrog users preloaded messages such as for example “Play Tic Tac Toe?” and “I’m being silly.”
The music application includes a total of 21 songs that include two renditions of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and duplicate versions of “Muffin Man” and “Old MacDonald.” These aren’t the very best performances of the songs, but they’re sufficient.
LeapFrog promises peer-to-peer gaming, however the only titles with this feature should be purchased separately. Those games are LeapFrog Kart Racing ($9), Arturo’s Bug Adventures ($10) and Busy Beehive ($10), and you could only play them against other Epic owners.
Comparatively, Fire Kids Edition owners get a year of usage of Amazon FreeTime Unlimited. This subscription service is generally $2.99 per month and includes usage of over 10,000 kid-friendly apps, games, books and Television shows, from brands like Disney, Sesame Street and Nickelodeon. The Kurio Xtreme 2 includes 61 preloaded apps.
Unless your son or daughter is a stereophile, they will most likely not mind the Epic’s mediocre audio tracks output and you will definitely appreciate its limited volume. The speaker on the tablet’s back produced sufficient sound to fill a tiny bedroom with an unhealthy rendition of Taylor Swift’s “OUT OF YOUR Woods.” While Taylor’s vocals sounded clear, the notebook muddied the track’s synthesizers and took all of the kick out of your drums. But, the more simplistic songs within the tablet’s music iphone app sounded much clearer.
LeapFrog has given the Epic minimal horsepower, and it shows. Armed only with a 1.3-GHz MediaTek MT8127 ARM Cortex A7 processor, 1GB of RAM and a 16GB SSD drive, it had been slow at only about everything. When I moved between apps, I often sat for approximately 5 to 10 seconds since it loaded. When I enabled the net browser for the kid account, I learned these devices moved at a sluggish pace with only three open tabs. The waiting and sluggishness may try the patience of small children.