Tablet Insight: Screen Protectors
It is inevitable that your tablet will come into contact with harmful enemies in its life: keys in your purse that scratch the screen, a pointy table edge that tries to crack the display, or your own plain clumsiness. Whatever the potential tablet-terrorism might be, now is the time to start considering how to keep it scratch-free.
In general, tablet screen protectors are a great step for giving any tablet display some long-lasting life and when used with a tablet case, you can be sure to have a more peaceful gadget experience. However, sometimes these plastic, self-adhesive film-like guards can be difficult to apply and cheaper models may attract more dust and dirt than you would like.
What Should I Look For?
Screen protectors are an inexpensive and fairly easy way to give any tablet screen some basic protection. Here at tablet2cases, we’ve done a lot of the homework for you: a good protector will run you about $20, keep away dirt and dust, not increase glare from light, and be fit specially to your tablet model. So keep those points in mind when choosing your protector.
If you can’t find a screen protector made perfectly for your tablet size, you can always try for a universal protector, but you’ll then need some tools to trim it to size.
Not Only for Protection Against Scratches
Some screen protectors come in a ‘matte’ finish, which helps shield sunlight glares from the tablet screen.
InvisibleSHIELD from ZAGG is a good anti-glare protector with this kind of ‘matte’ finish. The invisibleSHIELD keeps the state-of-the-art iPad sleekness with ZAGG tablet cases “Nano memory” technology. What sets it apart from other screen protectors is that is also has the option of full body coverage (which is probably why it is double the price from other screen protectors, $39.99). It works great to reduce the glare, but also reduces the glossy feel to the iPad—an important point when you are showing off your carefully worked digitally photography.
In this same line, the Glare Guard from Padacs tablet cases helps combat those sun rays as well as preventing bad indoor lighting from getting in the way of your tablet enjoyment.
Finally, among Case-Mate tablet cases you can find an Anti-Glare Anti-Fingerprint screen protector. This one helps get rid of grim and prevents those sometimes-greasy fingertip marks from appearing all over the screen. For only $20, this is a great deal.
Do All Cases Work with Screen Protectors?
The short answer is no. You would think that such a thin, non-bulky piece of tablet protection would be easily compatible with almost any case, but there are many tablet cases out there that end up peeling off the sides or corners of the screen protector. Then it is only a matter of time before bubbles begin to form under the screen protector and eventually peeling away completely. This can result in a frustrating tablet-using experience, not to mention a waste of money.
Each case is different so it is best to do your homework. Some brands will say straight up that it is compatible with screen protectors, while other brands don’t even bother to test this relationship. I have found one of the best ways to find what works and what doesn’t is by reading user reviews.
Let’s Get it On
In general, when applying screen protectors, four hands are better than two. So find a friend to help you get it on (the screen protector, that is). A few simple steps to follow:
- First, clean the screen of all dirt and fingerprints with a clean, preferably micro-fiber cloth.
- Second, peel back a part of the adhesive backing from the screen protector (not the all at once! Just a little bit so you can match it up to the bottom or top of the tablet)
- Third, slowly peel off the rest of adhesive back while applying the protector with the help of that extra set of hands.
- Fourth, while applying, rub out any bubbles with a credit card.
So, just be patient and don’t rush the application! In the end, you’ll have a nicely protected screen that is ready for fulltime, everyday tablet use.
Tablet Insight is a weekly column by Thomas Andersen that focuses on the innovative tablet uses and considers what is the most compatible and necessary tablet case.