LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate VS Academy

LeapFrog is making lots of interactive toys for children such as the popular LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Vs Academy children tablets. These are a hybrid of children’s toys and smart devices that can both entertain as well as teach your children various topics such as math and reading exercise. These toys are safe since parents have full control on what the kids can access and see from the device. If you are considering the two, let’s see below about what they can offer.

In this comparison, we are going to talk about:

  • How to Introduce Tablet for Children
  • What are LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy
  • How are the Design of LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy
  • How are the Apps in LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy
  • What are the Service in LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy
  • What else LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy can offer
  • LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Vs Academy

Introducing Tablet for Children

In modern days it is difficult to keep our kids away from technology itself and while we as parents are always concerned about the amount of information they can be exposed to from a young age, it is inevitable because the education system is also moving forwards along with the advances in technology. Rather than preventing them from getting familiar with the devices, it is wise to accompany them and teach them early on how to use the technology that can be helpful in the future.

Children love smart devices because they are interesting and even as adults we understand how these little devices are very time consuming and entertaining. But, as a wise parent we need to introduce and accompany the usage. It is better to wait until they are already developing the basic understanding of the environment and expression first as well as deciphering the language. The appropriate age to introduce smart devices like tablets is at least 2 years old when they can benefit from the learning features.

It is not a fixed number but a guide because children vary on the development and it is the parent’s responsibility to make the best decision. When they are already allowed to use the smart device, make sure to choose educational activities and games for them to play. Many child apps are designed to match basic materials such as math, science, geography or language like English. This way it can help them learn the subject they will be learning at school or even expanding the knowledge earlier.

The other interesting subjects like arts and music-based apps are also fun to find their interest or if they already have a specific interest as well as to develop their creativity. If you choose to give them a real tablet, there are many apps accessible from the device so parents have to curate these contents first based on their age. In most cases kids will get the most out of educational games or apps that match with their current interest and knowledge.

Parents also need to be active in the learning process and always monitor their children when using the device. It is helpful for parent-child interaction, quality time, and we can gather more information on what the kid is interested in. We can also act quickly when finding a confusing problem to help them understand it better. Additionally, while tablets are certainly fun, we need to keep them at moderate use and balance their activities; it is recommended for small kids below 5 to limit the use up to an hour per day.

 LeapFrog LeapPad UltimateLeapFrog LeapPad Academy
Product Dimensions0.98 x 9.41 x 5.96 inches
0.59 x 8.54 x 5.94 inches
Shipping Weight1 pounds
1.61 pounds
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About LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy

If parents are still concerned about the safety of the tablet when used by younger kids, it is wise to go for the children’s tablet instead. They are a hybrid solution of an interactive toy and smart device so we don’t give access to an actual tablet from a very young age. The tablets are mostly like any adult tablet but also not as powerful and there is not as much you can access from the device. They are a bit more expensive than typical children’s toys.

One of the main options for children tablets is LeapFrog with its LeapPad collection. This company is well-known for their interactive toys and the tablets are in the highest collection with an ability to open and use various apps with games provided by the company too. They are fun for longer because kids tend to get bored of the same toys when they are repetitive and since we can add more apps or games in the device, they can explore more and enjoy the toy longer.

Currently the company offers LeapPad Ultimate, Epic, and Academy which most are very similar to each other but also different. As for this comparison we are going to talk about the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy. These tablets are coming with several apps that can be played right out of the box and they are also coming with simple features that we often have in smartphones or tablets such as basic utilities. They are connected to the internet too but they don’t have full access.

The main difference between LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy tablets is the Academy service. This is a service provided by LeapFrog that can be accessed only on several devices but not limited to the LeapPad because if you have a smartphone, other iOS or Android devices this service is also accessible from the smart devices. It is however not available for the Ultimate and the other tablet from the line that can access this service is Epic or Epic Academy.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy Design

Before checking what the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy can offer, let’s take a look into the unit first. The two are pretty decent in terms of sizing because both are 7 inches in diagonal for the monitor. It is a bit larger than typical smartphones and smaller than the most popular screen size for adult tablets. The resolution or quality seems to be the same as well at 1024 x 600 pixels and they are claimed to be shatterproof.

The tablet is as expected made of plastic and there are bumpers too or rubber coating on the side of the housing to protect the device but parents can add more protective cases if needed. The two are also touch-sensitive and both come with a stylus that is attached with a string to the tablet to prevent losing it. However you can use the finger instead in case the stylus is worn over time or lost. Read also: LeapFrog LeapPad Vs LeapStart here.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy Apps

Now for the most important part, let’s see what the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy can offer starting from the basic features. Both tablets will come with some apps pre-installed in the device or you can add more by purchasing them. The apps are bought by parents through download or from cartridge if you buy the Ultimate. The store seems to be different as well because Academy Android base is using the Amazon store which is why the apps can be accessed from other devices too.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy Service

The main difference between these tablets is Academy service which is a paid subscription or with a 3 month free trial. This service is a fun way to provide the learning games and interactive stories in the device so your kids can get more to enjoy. It is claimed to contain more than 2000 games, eBooks, and activities, and more. For example there is My World app with customizable avatar so children can decide the accessories and outfits as well as pets in the game.

There is Learning Adventure which is an app where your kid is guided on a personalized learning adventure while they collect certificates for each achievement completed. For the younger kids, there are Preschool Basics that can help them to develop the early skills such as learning numbers, shapes, colors, writing, and spelling. The tablet should be ideal for longer as this service provides an almost complete curriculum for math, reading and writing, science, problem solving, creativity, etc.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy Features

Lastly for the features, there are some similar features on LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy such as the ability to add more apps by downloading them. They also have two cameras at the front and back of the device which are all the same 2MP in quality; they can both take photos and record video at 480p. They have built in memory to 8 and 16GB respectively but only the Academy has a slot to expand this up to 32GB.

The Ultimate doesn’t have a memory slot but it has a port to insert the cartridge so if you have the older cartridge from LeapFrog or prefer to add games using this method, we can just buy the cartridge. The tablets come with built-in speakers and headphone jack for quiet playtime.

LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate Vs Academy

Both LeapFrog LeapPad Ultimate and Academy are very similar to each other but are also very different. Based on the operating system Academy is an Android based tablet which makes it more powerful and also able to access the richer apps. It also runs smoother probably because it uses the higher processor as well. As for the features the two are very similar but if you want to buy the app by downloading them, Academy provides more space and better access to enrich the device.

- This ultimate kid-tough tablet features a 7" shatter-safe screen, multi-touch capacitive screen and a built-in bumper for durability
- Includes $110 worth of learning games, apps and videos that kids can play right away
- Access to a library of content including award-winning apps and cartridges featuring kids’ favorite characters
- Exclusive Just-for-Me learning technology built into many of the learning games adapts the curriculum to a more or less challenging level to keep kids engaged and motivated
- Enjoy a kid-friendly tablet with Android that’s packed with 20 educational apps and creativity tools designed by LeapFrog learning experts
- Explore LeapSearch, LeapFrog’s kid-friendly web browser and add to the learning with kid-friendly websites and videos
- Includes a free three-month trial of LeapFrog Academy, an interactive learning program that progressively guides children on learning adventures
- Parents can download popular Android apps or choose from hundreds of games, apps, videos and music (sold separately) from the LeapFrog App Center


There are no bad options here but parents can choose one that they prefer better. We recommend Academy if you want to explore more on the device and it also runs smoother than Ultimate. The current price for Academy is often lower than Ultimate with access to Amazon app store.

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