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Posted on Oct 12, 2012

Leapfrog Handheld Gamers: Leapster GS vs Leapster Explorer

Leapfrog Handheld Gamers: Leapster GS vs Leapster Explorer

Having owned the Leapster 2 and the Leapster Explorer, we consider ourselves to be die-hard Leapster fans, so I was excited to see what new features the GS would bring.

Here Toy Tattle takes you through the two models to help you choose between them, or decide whether an upgrade is necessary.

The Similarities

Leapfrog Leapster Explorer, releasd 2010

  • Touch screen technology works with finger and stylus
  • eReader which automaticly adjusts to your child’s learning level
  • Broad educational curriculum going beyond math and literacy to include life skills, science, technology, geography and more
  • Stylus supports learning of number and letter formation
  • Control pad for use with games in addition to touch screen

The Differences

Leapster Explorer GS, released 2012

The GS is noticeably slimmer and lighter, making it more comfortable for little hands to hold.

Motion Sensor
The new 2012 Leapster GS has a built-in motion sensor which means you can interact with the games by tilting the console, in addition to the touch screen and control pad.

Camera and Mic
The Leapster Explorer had a detachable camera unit that you needed to buy separately, and was a little bulky when attached to the consolee. The GS has a built-in camera and mic so you can take still photos or video footage with sound.

The Leapster GS costs around $70, and you should be able to pick up the original Leapster Explorer for under $50.

A second opinion

I had a look through the Amazon customer feedback, and found this review from a parent who has owned all the previous Leapfrog gamers, so they really do have an expert opinion.


If you would consider another handheld gamer, take a look at my comparison of the Leapster GS, LeapPad2, InnoTab2 and MobiGo2.

Or for older children, who might enjoy playing famous apps like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, take a look at my guide to Wi-Fi enabled tablet computers for kids.

Handheld Gamers on Amazon

Here’s the current prices for all the current, and previous generation handheld gamers from Leapfrog and VTech. Click on the product image or name to access product details, demo videos and customer reviews on the Amazon website.

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