What we like -
As per most LeapFrog products the console is available in both green and lilac colourways and the new styling is certainly an improvement. The handheld console looks much more grown-up and modern now but it is still nice and sturdy. The sylus is attached and stored easily. A great addition is the camera and video camera, this was Miss E's favourite feature, she just loved manipulating the photos that she took and drawing all over them - oh how attractive I look in some of them!
Other enhancements on the Leapster GS are the larger and higher quality screen, the new faster LF 2000 processor and 4x the internal memory (2 GB). Children can enjoy taking charge of the action with the built-in motion sensor by tilting, turning and shaking their way through the game. They can also bring the real world into their play, putting themselves right into the game with the built-in camera, video recorder and microphone.
Then the great thing for me is that LeapFrog have a real passion for educational fun, it can be hard for parents to know which apps or games are the best for their children in terms of age appropriate fun and development and I find it reassuring to know I can just turn to anything that is using the LeapFrog name and know I can trust it. I also love the fact that the product learns your child's skill level and starts to increase the level of difficulty as they get more answers correct.
Then as for variety when it comes to cartridges and apps there are so many to choose from and the price range is very wide, apps start from about £3.50 whereas games tend to be £19.99. You can get games, videos, ebooks, flash cards and music. Your kids need never be bored again!
Miss M already has her favourite game in the form of the Tangled cartridge and this came straight out of her old Leapster and into this new module which suits me fine as it has a great emphasis on letters and spelling. You have to love a manufacturer that allows you to transfer games from one device to another.
As with all LeapFrog products I have linked up the consoles to the Learning Path and I am able to track the girls progress and explore ways that I can increase their learning and set new targets. There are also suggestions for new games for me to purchase that would be developmentally appropriate. You can set up to 3 profiles on the Leapster GS and each of these can be tracked individually.
What we don't like -
The only grumble I have is the same as I have with all these kind of products - that they take 4 AA batteries and that even the best batteries only tend to last a matter of hours before they expire. I will either need to buy some rechargable batteries or an ac adapter for each as I just cannot afford to keep buying more batteries
What it comes with -
The Leapster GS comes with with 3 apps (Pet Pad, Escape of the Sillies--an exclusive LeapsterGS game and one app of your choice which you can easily download). Every Leapster GS also comes with the USB cable to connect it to your computer, a parent guide, stylus and headphone connection.
There are loads of extras you can buy for the Leapster if you so wish, such as rechargable battery pack, over 200 downloadable games, branded cartridges and my girls are now nagging me for cute little handag carriers, like these ones below. At about £11 on Amazon they might be in luck at Christmas!
Why don't you take a look at the Leapster GS in action -