The Leapster2, released in July 2008, is a web-connected hand-held video game and learning system made by LeapFrog Enterprises for children between 4 and 8 years old. It operates on battery power or with an AC plug-in adapter. If using batteries, the system requires four AA-sized cells. An optional rechargeable battery pack, sold separately, attaches to the device for easy charging.
LeapFrog Enterprises recommends using alkaline batteries in the Leapster2, but rechargeable AA batteries, such as nickel metal hydride (NiMH) cells, will also operate the device. Which is better depends on user preference. Alkaline batteries cost less upfront and come ready to use. With a rechargeable battery, the user pays more initially to buy the batteries and charger, and must wait several hours for a NiMH cell to recharge.
LeapFrog Enterprises recommends that users replace old batteries or load a newly purchased Leapster2 only with fresh batteries that all came from the same pack. Attempting to recharge alkaline batteries could cause a dangerous leak or even a fire, and battery manufacturers suggest finding out local rules and requirements before disposing of used batteries.
LeapFrog Enterprises claims that its attachable recharging system reaches a full charge in about four hours. Once charged, it should provide between six and 11 hours of play on the Leapster2 before requiring another charge. Even rechargeable batteries eventually wear out, but the Leapster2 battery pack will take approximately 300 charges before it needs replacement. At a suggested retail price of $34.99 in 2011, the recharging system costs about 12 cents per charge.
The Leapster2 was introduced simultaneously with the Internet-ready Didj Custom Gaming System, which the company recommends for children ages 5 to 10. According to LeapFrog Enterprises, the Didj offers graphics with more resolution and games that complement a child's schoolwork. The games for both systems focus on such skills as language, literacy, science, math and what LeapFrog refers to as "learning for life."
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