LeapFrog Enterprises is unveiling a new kids educational tablet dubbed the LeapFrog Epic today.
The educational company realizes that kids are obsessed with tablets, particularly Apple iPads. But the company believes it can add its own unique educational content that will be a hit with younger kids and their education-minded parents.
LeapFrog’s own parents survey showed that 91 percent of parents with kids ages 3 to 8 say their child uses a mobile device. And 64 percent have a tablet designed for an adult, and 57 percent have a tablet designed for kids. About 66 percent of parents say they want a tablet with a child-friendly interface. 61 percent want it to be for little hands, and 61 percent want a personalized experience for their child’s age.
Not surprisingly, that describes the features of the $140 LeapFrog Epic tablet. The 7-inch tablet is designed to let kids explore, play, imagine, and create. The homescreen of the tablet is playable, as it features a town that comes to life. The art style can be tuned to the age of the child. The child can watch the town turn from day to night, and experience changes in the weather. They can revisit and find a new surprise every day.
Games sold separately include Fruit Ninja Academy: Math Master and Doodle Jump. Every app is LeapFrog certified, and there are no in-app purchases or third-party ads. The device has its own LeapFrog browser and LeapSearch — both that are safe for kids. You can unlock an unrestricted open browser when the child is ready.
The device uses the Android 4.4 operating system. There will be about 500 games, ebooks, videos, music apps, and other bits of content by the end of the year. It has Wi-Fi, a couple of 2 megapixel cameras, 16 gigabytes of memory, and more than 20 preinstalled apps. The device cannot run LeapFrog cartridges.
Earlier this summer, LeapFrog announced an educational card game. Those cards are part of the same combination of physical goods and digital games — dubbed “toys to life” — a $4 billion market that is marrying video games and toys. But in this case, LeapFrog has chosen to design a product that combines its tablet with physical cards — or Imagicards — to bring physical objects to life. The products coming this fall are part of Emeryville, Calif.-based LeapFrog’s lineup of offerings for young children ages 3 to 8. Last year, LeapFrog also launched its LeapTV video game console for children with an educational twist — games approved by those who teach kids. The LeapTV costs $150 and has a lot of content, all aimed at kids 3 to 8.
For almost 20 years, the Emeryville, Calif.-based LeapFrog has specialized in creating educational games for kids on its own platforms such as the LeapPad that combine fun and education. The tablet can save a child’s progress, and it can also adjust the difficulty of a game to suit a particular child, in a feature dubbed Just for Me.