LeapFrog has added a new dimension in its efforts to make fun, educational products for kids. The LeapReader is essentially a pen that is designed to aid in the reading and writing efforts of kids. LeapReader can be used to write, but only on a special LeapFrog Writing Paper. Seeing as kids generally tend on write on just about any surface during their initial learning phase, having a special place to focus that impulse may help save some of your furniture and wallspace.
The pen can be considered an advanced development of the Tag Reading System that will cease to exist after this summer. Also, much like the Tag Reader, the LeapReader is compatible with its own set of books from the LeapReader library. LeapFrog has ensured the new pen is also compatible with books from the Tag Reader Library to create a wider application of the new pen. When passed over the text of a compatible book, the pen will read aloud the words. However, the pen can also be used for other items available at the LeapReader library, which includes maps and audiobooks.
As for the pen itself, it’s large and chunky, which might not be the best fit among its intended clientele, kids of the age group of 4-8 years. One of the sides houses the media control panel while the top of the pen hosts the headphone jack. Along the top and just above the media control center is the speaker. Also, the media control panel is illuminated, which provides a nice cool touch to the device.
The LeapReader also includes an USB port, which can be used to connect the pen with a PC for downloading games, books, and such. The pen comes with rechargeable batteries and offers 256 mb of storage, which is good enough for 175 songs or audio for 40 books.
As for its availability, LeapFrog has stated the pen will be ready for shipping in the US starting July for just $50. The price is inclusive of a sample book along with three free apps as well. The company hasn’t stated when it will launch the LeapReader in other countries worldwide. The company already has a number of kid specific tablets in the market, such as the LeapPad, which are well received in the market.