Posted on May 26th, 2014
The LeapPad Ultra and the Innotab 3S are quite possibly two of the best kids tablets ever made. As for as educational kids software goes, they both run the full gamut. They also include all of the essential apps that come with kids tablets, such as parental controls and web safe browsing.
They were released in the fall of 2013, so they are fairly new.
But both are different in their own way, so I will review them both. This way, you can have a better understanding of their hardware and software differences, and why you might choose one over the other.
Of the two tablets, the LeapPad Ultra has, by far, the best suite of proprietary educational apps. As it always goes, you get what you pay for…
LeapPad Ultra Educational Apps and Software
As with the Innotab 3S, the LeapPad Ultra is geared towards kids ages 3-9 years old. It comes preloaded with 11 apps and more can be downloaded from the LeapPad app store.
However, because of the high quality of the apps, they are quite pricey. Be prepared to fork over $5+ for a kids educational game. This stands in contrast with most tablets, as most only charge between $0.99-$5 for an app.
LeapPad Ultra apps feature themes from popular cartoons, and have lovable characters. Educators all over the world are quick to recommend LeapPad learning apps for kids.
Another great feature of the LeapPad is that it uses the web safe browser called Zui. Zui’s allowable websites have been handpicked by LeapPad and have been determined to be safe and kid friendly.
If you want to test the Zui browser, you can go to www.kidzui.com.
Innotab 3S Educational Apps and Software
The Innotab 3S comes preloaded with 16 games and activities. The Learning Lodge, Innotab’s app store, hosts 500+ educational games featuring popular cartoons such as Spongebob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, and Disney.
The Learning Lodge is not as extensive as the LeapPad apps store, but it still offers high quality games.
With the Kids Basic Connect app, kids can message their friends and family through their tablet. This is a great feature which tends to not be included with tablets under the $100 range.
LeapPad Ultra Hardware and Performance
The LeapPad Ultra has slightly better specs than the Innotab 3S. The processor is faster, and the screen resolution is crisper at 1024×600 dpi. It has 8GB of memory, but it is not expandable with a microSD card.
One major difference between the two is that the LeapPad Ultra has a 7 inch display. 7 inches tends to be the norm for a kids tablet.
Innotab 3S Hardware and Performance
The Innotab 3S has a 5 inch display, which is the smallest you will find in a kids tablet. It comes in pink or blue rubber bumpers and has either Mickey Mouse or Fairies drawn in the sides.
This tablet has awesome sound for such a small device. The bass is deep and there is no sound distortion at higher volumes.
Since this is a cheaper tablet, the processor is not as powerful, so you may experience some sluggishness while downloading or loading apps and games. The display is also thought to be dimmer than other kids tablets.
The LeapPad Ultra is the most expensive of the two tablets. It is more powerful, and have high quality educational games. However, the games are much more expensive. The LeapPad Ultra also does not have expandable memory, which is a downside. On the other hand, the Innotab 3S storage can be expanded to 32GB with a microSD card.
Ultimately, it is a matter of weighing the pros and cons, and deciding what is most important to you.