When LeapFrog launched in 1999 using its first LeapPad, the idea was simple – founder Mike Wood had wished to create ways to help his child figure out how to read. Now, the brand hasn’t only updated the LeapPad many times to a tablet that’s almost unrecognisable from its start, but added products like the Tag and LeapReader reading systems and cuddly learning toy MY MATE Scout.

Described as “an ideal first tablet for kids” by LeapFrog, the LeapPad 3 is in a crowded market, filled with rivals including the VTech InnoTab Max (£99.99), and InnoTab3 (£74.99), plus the more costly – but higher spec – Kindle Fire HD Kids (£109.99).

It’s a completely different experience from by using a tablet as an iPad, however the price reflects that. At £89.99, that is a tablet you don’t mind your children getting their practical.

Is it simple to create the LeapFrog LeapPad 3?
Yes, it’s simple to set up though it did require a few information regarding my child, such as for example name, date of birth, etc, which some parents may not wish to share.

The paper instructions with the LeapPad3 are very minimal you need to include one diagram of the tablet’s various buttons and slots, and some paragraphs on settings.

However, once fired up and create – which takes about 20 minutes – using the LeapPad3 is rather self-explanatory.

How does the LeapPad 3 work?
It’s very easy – after turning on using a tiny silver button privately, the LeapPad 3 involves life with a user screen.

Once you pick the user, which is often personalised, the house screen arises with a selection of software and games. Using the attached stylus your son or daughter can select what they would like to play with – and you could buy extra software or cartridges from a selection of hundreds.

It’s quite intuitive using arrows, ticks and crosses to go forwards, select or not. Gleam home button on leading of the tablet this means your child will get back to the house page anytime.

Could it be as responsive as an iPad or adult tablet?
No. Although you can utilize your finger to play games, it doesn’t have the fluidity of an iPad or adult tablet.

I even found it somewhat glitchy using the stylus as occasionally game features wouldn’t continue with out a few taps.

Reveal about the peer-to-peer feature, how does it work, what do you consider of it?
With the peer-to-peer feature your son or daughter can play games or ‘chat’ with another child who includes a wifi-supported LeapPad device nevertheless they should be in the same room.

Among the pre-loaded apps, Pet Chat allows kids to utilize the feature by by using a group of ready-to-go phrases like ‘I’m great!’ or ‘See you later, alligator’, along with emoticons.

YOUR PET Pad Party iphone app also allows children to play with each other’s pets using the function.

Other games with this feature include Arturo’s Bug Adventures, although I struggled to find other available software with the peer-to-peer option.

For all of us, it wasn’t that great an attribute as none of my son’s friends have a LeapPad3 and his cousin comes with an older version, which doesn’t have the choice.

What do you consider of the screen size?
The LeapPad3 includes a 5in screen which means 11cm width by 6.5cm height. It can seem to be quite small and I particularly noticed when my son was playing on a Jake the Pirates game how teeny the characters looked. Considering just how much I loved my Nintendo Game Boy as a kid using its 2.6in diagonal screen, I don’t think my son cared.

What‘s the resolution like?
The resolution is 480×272 pixels which is pretty low resolution plus some of the graphics can on occasion appear somewhat pixelated.

The actual size of the complete LeapPad3 is 19cm x 13cm x 2.5cm. Its curved edges and the thoughtful keeping the house button, directional movement button and the on/off switch and volume meant it had been possible for my son to take care of the tablet.

What’s the audio tracks like?
I found it simple to hear the accompanying audio tracks which is mounted on each portion of an iphone app or game and there’s a convenient volume control button on underneath right hand side of the LeapPad 3.

Could it be heavy for little hands?
No, the weight of the LeapPad3 is 385 g which is just about exactly like a Kindle HD Fire Kids tablet, which weighs 360g using its kid-proof case.

It is chunky so that it certainly doesn’t feel light – but my three-year-old was correctly comfortable holding it.

What age would you recommend it for?
Although LeapFrog recommends the LeapPad for a long time three to nine, the truth is that it’s probably better suitable for the younger end of this scale.

My son, who’s three, absolutely loves it, but his cousin – who has just turned seven and had a mature model LeapPad a couple of years ago – has all but grown out of using it.