Although Leapfrog had recently shown off their two new handheld gaming systems, the Leapster 2 and Didj, one new product they haven't yet announced—until now—is the "Crammer," a 1GB portable media player with the ability to integrate pre-programmed flashcards and machine-pronounced vocabulary words. While it's far from the most advanced music player out there—it's got a low-rez monochrome screen, for one—it's not meant to kill the iPod, but to instead give middle schoolers and teens a way to listen to music while they cram for tests. The Crammer's interface is navigated using a rocking screen (like the iRiver Clix) as well as two buttons on the top—pressing on the corners of the screen itself like a giant D-pad moves the cursor. Vocabulary and flashcard questions are programmed in using a Windows- or Mac-based software interface.
There is only 1GB of storage on the Crammer, which isn't a ton, but it's plenty for a few albums. (Leapster's booth rep said they may consider a future version that can accept expanded flash memory chips.) But the MSRP is only $60—an easily sell by kids who want to give their parents an excuse to purchase their first MP3 player.
The Crammer will be available in the Fall. Curiously it appears to transcode all music into Ogg Vorbis for native playback on the device. (At least I presume they transcode; surely they don't expect 3rd to 8th graders to be sitting on a big collection of Ogg files.)
Full press release and another picture of the interface after the jump.
Crammer™ Study and Sound System
Available Fall 2008 | Ages 3rd to 8th grade | MSRP: $59.99
The Crammer study tool packs test prep and digital music into a pocket-sized
device for grade-schoolers on-the-go. More than 31,000 mathematics, social
studies and science questions, based on leading textbooks, are only a touch
away using Crammer’s sleek click-screen. And the included PC- and Mac-
compatible LeapFrog® Connect Application allows kids to upload content to the
USB-enabled Crammer handheld, then create and store millions of customized digital
flashcards for any subject area. A Spanish translator comes on board, along with two games
and space for up to 10 hours of music. As part of the LeapFrog Learning Path, parents can
connect the Crammer system to the computer to see how engaged their kids are in studying,
and kids can choose to share their by-quiz performance.
ARM7 @ 81 MHz
Jack for earbuds or external speaker
Music Playback codec is Ogg-Vorbis, 44.1 kHz, 64 kbps
Other audio is encoded in ADPCM
1 GB NAND Flash
8 MB SDRAM