My iPad had been shamelessly ‘naked’ since I got it back on the original (April 3) launch day – with no screen protector on it. I had been looking to change that for weeks for two simple reasons: no matter what Apple says about its magical, revolutionary, oleophobic coating, the thing is a total fingerprint magnet – which is annoying and detracts from its general loveliness; and I am always worried about inadvertent scratches to it.
So I’m very pleased to report that yesterday I finally got some screen coverage on my shiny pal. I had an invisibleSHIELD for iPad (front only) installed for me at my local Best Buy outlet.
I should mention that invisibleSHIELD was not necessarily my first choice for a front screen protector. There are several others that I would’ve happily used if I would have found a local option for having the install done, but I could not find any – and invisibleSHIELD are very well thought of generally and seem to offer among the very toughest protection, so I’m content with using one of theirs.
Here are some quick notes on costs and details of the install service, at a local Best Buy here in Austin:
— The total purchase cost (install included) for the invisibleSHIELD front only was $48.69.
— The install service was $14.99 of that. I’m absolutely fine with this cost as I am a completely useless clod when it comes to trying to put screen protectors on. I even had another one delivered by mail a few weeks back, with nice,clear instructions – and managed to totally bugger up the install.
— Installation was done by a nice gent from the Mobile Phones section of the Best Buy store. He appeared to be the store’s one go-to guy for invisibleSHIELD installs – with several staff members saying things like "We’ve got one guy who’s really good at it".
— I was told it would be 45-60 minutes to install the protector once I left it with ‘the guy’. Not bad – I just walked round the corner and grabbed some lunch, and when I got back it was nearly done.
— The install did take right around one hour, with the installer chap even admitting that he’d had one aborted attempt along the way. His advice was to leave the iPad alone to let the protector fully settle / adhere to the screen for at least 3-4 hours. Friends advised longer than that and in the end I left it alone for 10 hours before picking it up again late last night.
— The shield has been applied quite well, and seems very straight and aligned nicely. There are a few fairly minor spots where the shield is not absolutely flush with the screen – mainly just in a couple small areas at the very top and very bottom of the screen. They are noticeable if you look closely, not so much if you look just casually. From what I hear (from the installer guy and friends who’ve used invisibleSHIELDs in the past) these may well work themselves out over the next day or so.
Overall, I feel satisfied with the result so far – though it has only been right around 24 hours since the install was completed, so I’ll have a better feeling in a day or two I hope.
I definitely feel relieved and happy to have some level of protection on my iPad’s screen, rather than none. It is far, far less of a fingerprint magnet now and still looks sharp and lovely. So far, I don’t notice any difference in touching, swiping, and interacting with the iPad screen. It feels just a little stickier and in fact easier to interact with in some ways – but again, it’s very early days to judge this and I haven’t been in any games since the install.
At some point I may think about getting a protector for the back as well, but I don’t feel any great urgency on that as yet.
How are you all handling your iPad and screen protection? Going naked? Got a protector? Installed yourself?