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Leapfrog announces the Epic, its first Android-powered tablet

Leapfrog has announced its most advanced kids tablet yet, the Leapfrog Epic

Educational technology company Leapfrog has been making tablet computers specifically for kids for four years, and for much of that time it had little competition. That’s changed with the launch of major brand tablets such as Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 3 kids tablet and – more recently – the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition.

Now Leapfrog has hit back with the Leapfrog Epic, a new tablet set to launch later in 2015. The Epic is pitched at kids aged between three and nine years old and it’s the first Leapfrog tablet to run on Google’s Android operating system.

It only has a US price at the moment – $139.99 – which suggests a UK price of around £100 is likely at launch.

Out of the box, the Epic is similar to Leapfrog’s other tablets in that it runs a limited selection of kid-friendly (and educational) apps and websites. But thanks to the basis on Android, it can be gradually unlocked to provide further functionality as your kids grow older.

That means the walled Leapfrog app store can now include apps from other publishers, such as Fruit Ninja Academy and titles from kid gaming favourites Toca Boca. Parents can gradually unlock those apps for specific profiles on the tablet – so your six-year-old can access Fruit Ninja while your four-year-old has to wait a while longer, for instance. Should you choose, you can even unlock the full Amazon App Store.

The device has a seven-inch touchscreen and connectivity is via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. You can expect to get around six hour of battery life and will find a camera on both the front and the back (each of them is two megapixels). Inside is 16GB of storage space, which can be expanded via microSD up to 32GB. Out of the box is comes with a bright green bumper, but this can be removed to make the tablet look much more grown-up if your kids don’t want a ‘kiddy’ tablet any more.

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