The LeapPad 2 Explorer is the latest incarnation of the handy, portable, kids-friendly educational computer games console. It runs on normal AA batteries, which is a big plus, but it does seem to eat through them quite quickly. A charger is available separately, although I would have expected it to come with the unit to save having to splash out more once you get it home.
Daniel drew a paper review of the LeapPad 2 Explorer, and here it is in the video review where he talks you through it...
The LeapPad 2 does need some setting-up when you first open the box, so remember to do it before wrapping it as a present to save time on the big day itself. Setting-up is pretty easy, though, and the instructions are quite clear, but it does take some time.
The two boys (aged 8 and 6) love the LeapPad 2. It comes with a small number of free apps (in this case educational games), with others available at extra cost. It's intuitive and simple to use and customise, with both boys creating their characters and pets without any help from us. You can set the educational level of each child individually, so the challenges are tailored to the right level. Unfortunately, this was not always successful, with our eldest saying he got the same sums no matter what level he chose, although that may have been limited to the one game he was playing.
The only bug-bear, other than the battery consumption, is that it seems to take a long time to load and navigate between apps. Those 15 seconds or so seem to take an age compared to other instant-on devices. Maybe I'm just being picky, but when you remember the battery consumption, I would have preffered less LeapPad splash screen, and more playing time.
That said, this is a fun, robust and easy-to-use toy that our boys really enjoyed. A definite thumbs-up from us, just make sure you set it up before wrapping it, and buy some spare batteries!