My 4 year old son received a Leapster L-Max for Christmas this year, and so far we have really loved this product. He had actually been asking for a Gameboy after seeing one of the kids at preschool with one, but I really prefer the Leapster, because it is much easier to use for little hands.
The Leapster L-Max can be used as a portable unit, or it can be connected to the tv so the child can play a game on a bigger screen. This is a feature only offered with the L-Max, not with the regular Leapster. While we have used this feature a few times, I don't know that it was worth the extra money to get the L-Max. The picture quality is definitely reduced in putting in on the tv, and my son just seems to prefer the portability aspect of the Leapster instead of sitting in front of the tv.
The buttons are all located where I would expect them to be for kids- they are very easy to push, and located so that they don't have to reach very far with their little fingers- I really feel this is a great design.
The unit can be recharged, which is very nice. Batteries have not been an issue for us just yet though; we have found they last quite long, which is appreciated. There are a fairly large selection of games for the Leapster, and I love the fact that the Leapster L-Max is compatible with both L-Max games, and with the regular Leapster games.
Lastly, (and possibly the most important) feature that we have found is its durability- my son has already dropped his Leapster down a flight of hardwood stairs, and it still works perfectly! I would definitely recommend trying a Leapster- the games are very educational and entertaining. They are a perfect size to take along with you in a car if you are going on a trip, or to anywhere with a waiting room. The volume can be adjusted, and you can even use earphones so the unit doesn't disturb others around you. Another quality product from the Leapfrog company!