iPod vs LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer – Which One for Norton?

Decisions, decisions.  I know that I’m a geek mom who is destined to raise a brilliant geek child.  This is the first pressing decision that I’ve had to make on the geek front.  Do I want to get Norton a LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer, or should I start him on the pathway to Apple with his very own iPod?

Ever since the LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer came out, I really wanted to buy it for Norton.  I love Leap Frog products for Norton.  For his first Christmas, he got the LeapFrog My Pal Scout and the LeapFrog Musical Activity Table.  At two and a half, he still has them both and still loves them.

Norton getting to “pway gay” (play game) on my iPhone

As a rule, one can’t go wrong with LeapFrog.  He’s got Baby Tad and an alphabet teaching bus over at his Grandma and Grumpy’s house, too.   LeapFrog products are generally pretty darned durable.  LeapPad Explorer is a tablet meant for the grubby, destructive little hands of a toddler.  Even a toddler who is the reason we can’t have nice things.

An iPod, on the other hand, is not exactly durable.  Norton already killed one iPod touch.  When he was smaller, he ate my iPod.  He drooled up in the port and shorted the thing out.  (It was a very sad situation.  I ended up having to use the husband’s retired first gen iPod Nano for my cleaning music up until I got my phone.)

When it comes to price, you’d think that the LeapPad Explorer would be the obvious choice, particularly since a second gen LeapPad Explorer is available for pre-order right now.  It’s around $110 for me to go ahead and order one.  (I live in Canada, so prices are different in the States.  It’s probably around $100 USD to order one in the U.S.)  Compare that to going to my local shop and paying roughly $330 for a 32 gig iPod touch.  (It’s only $100 less for an 8 gig iPod.  For four times the storage space, I might as well bite the bullet and spend the extra $100.)

There’s one other factor to take into account: the price of apps and games.  Looking at the Canadian Toys R Us site, I see that most games for the LeapPad Explorer are around $25 CDN.  I understand that apps are up to $10 for the LeapPad Explorer and there are no freebies.  However, I can get some amazing free apps for my iPhone, the husband’s iPad, or his iPad touch.  There’s no need for me to spend more than $5 on a toddler app for an Apple product.

Screen size?  Yes, the LeapPad Explorer has a slightly larger screen at 5” versus 4” and change.  The resolution isn’t as good, though.

Then, of course, there’s the added bonus that an iPod isn’t just an iPod.  As Norton gets older, it’s something that can be used for more mature apps, taking notes for class, and a whole host of other things.  I’ve already figured out that if my current set up on my phone for Norton was a LeapPad Explorer, I’d have spent roughly $150 on apps, as opposed to the $8 I’ve actually spent.  And I’d be ticked, because some of the things that I’ve downloaded to try for Norton really sucked.  I’d already be up to roughly $260 for the LeapPad Explorer and entertainment.

So, yeah, we’re going for an iPod for Norton.  When the husband decides that it’s time to upgrade his iPad 2 tablet up to the latest and greatest version of the iPad, Norton will most likely end up with that (under extreme supervision), too.

Have you considered getting a tablet type device for your child’s entertainment?  What did you ultimately choose?

About Suzi

Suzi is an American ex-pat living in British Columbia. She's a cloth diaper addict, wife, mom of three, and President of the Prince George chapter of Cloth for a Cause.

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