As soon as I heard about this new laptop for toddlers I really wanted to get one for Jacob, and lucky me (or should I say lucky Jacob) I was sent one by Leapfrog for review.
Now Jacob and Thomas have both had their fair share of kiddie laptops throughout the years, including two different Thomas the Tank ones, a Spider man one and a Hot Wheels one as well I think (wow not even I thought it was that many!) but the Leaptop is not just another one of these – it’s entirely different.
The thing that makes it so different is that before you give it to little ‘un you customise it so its just for them. When I gave it to Jacob his face literally lit up when he turned it on and Scout said “Hello Jacob!”.
Customising the Leaptop is easy as you get a USB cable included, you just need to download the Leapfrog Connect program and then select the options you want.
My sons favourite activity on the Leaptop is pressing the email button. The customised emails are so much fun, you get to add 3 emails to the Leaptop. You provide the names of the senders (either by clicking on one of the pre-loaded ones like Mummy, Daddy, Granny or by typing in the name) and then choose from a range of pre written messages. Jacob just presses this button all the time as he loves listening to the emails from Mummy and Daddy, and as it’s so simple to connect up and customise you can change it round every so often and give your toddler some new emails.
My Own Leaptop has 3 different function buttons (Email, Music Playlist, and Scout or Violet’s Blog), and three different modes of play (Alphabet, Music Maker and Animal)
With the Music Playlist you choose from a wide range of songs and tunes on the Leapfrog Connect program and decide which ones to add to your leaptop. You can have one song with singing and 5 other different tunes, which Scout or Violet dance along to (depending whether you have the green or Purple version of the Leaptop). I put “If you’re happy and you know it” on for Jacob as he loves that song.
Apart from the receiving and replying to Emails, Jacob loves using his Leaptop to read his friend Scouts blog! Yes you can read the daily goings on of Leapfrogs doggy Mascot and his best friend Violet. It’s mostly things like “Me and Violet went to the park” but Jacob really loves this, and I find it amusing every time he presses the “read my Blog” button.
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As with all of these baby laptops you get an Alphabet game where an animation pops up relating to the letter you press. Jacob loves that when you press the J Scout says “Jacob This is the first letter of your name” and then dances to a little celebratory song. I appreciate that as well as the voice repeating what letter you pressed, it also says it phonetically the way that the children learn letters in school.
The Animal guessing game is a fun and clever , your toddler presses a letter and then Scout will give you a clue to an animal starting with that letter. Pressing the Paw button makes Scout reveal the answer, and you get another jolly little animation too.
The musical game is something a little different from the norm, instead of the letters being used as the usual basic piano keyboard each row of letter makes a different set of noises. The bottom row is the regular piano keyboard noise, the next row is percussion instruments, and the top row is a range of funky sound effects. The sound effects also give you an awesome animation of an oscilloscope, Jacob is mesmerised by this and will watch the line cross the screen in all the different ways for ages.
The ability to customise the Leaptop is obviously it’s biggest selling point and it works so well it’s unbelievable, It’s exactly the kind of thing that little ones want so they can pretend to be just like Mummy and Daddy on their laptop. It’s very easy to do and works with both Windows and Macs. I also think that it’s great value for money, as I was expecting the price to be around £30 instead of £20. All in all a great toy and the Leapfrog My Own Leaptop is a definite Toybuzz best buy for toddlers this Christmas.