Tuesday, March 15, 2005

My First LeapPad vs Power Touch


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Our son just got a My First LeapPad as a gift. He also has a Power Touch reading system. Each of these are meant to teach kids while they play. For what they are meant to do, they have the same functionality, but each implementation has its own pros and cons.




My First LeapPad

This is a small pad that uses books and a stylus for user input. The books snap into place, and you flip the pages up to go to the next page.


Pros:


  • Small form factor

  • Easy to use on a lap since it doesn't fold in the middle

  • Pages of the books use a heavy stock, so they will not be easy to rip


Cons:


  • Required to use stylus for input

  • After every page turn, the "Go" button on the page has to be touched

  • There are no "hard" volume buttons. The volume control are on the pages of the books themselves.

  • Turning on the LeapPad does not give instant indication that the power has been turned on, so kids end up pushing the power button twice, which turns it back off.

  • Book has to be flipped over to access other half of book.


Power Touch

The Power Touch is a book like pad that uses a similar book, but it is a touch sensitive interface, that doesn't need a stylus


Pros:





  • The books are touch sensitive, so no stylus is needed

  • Hard buttons for volume

  • When the pages are turned, to pages are usable.

  • The Power Touch automatically recognizes the pages that are visible.


Cons:


  • Pages are relatively thin, and are easy to rip

  • Since the Power Touch folds, it is hard to use on a lap


Another downside to both of these systems is that you need to use an cartridge when using a book that doesn't come with the system. It is really hard to keep the book and the cartridge together when storing or toting the systems around. It would be great if someone would integrate the books and cartridges together.


I would love to see one of these systems that includes the best parts of each of these.