Review: ScreenGuardz HD Anti-Glare for Apple iPad

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Ah… my beloved Apple iPad. I love my iPad. I really do. I enjoy reading eBooks on it, I enjoy keeping up with Twitter, news and all my RSS feeds. Much as many people foresaw/proclaimed in pre and post release articles the iPad is quickly becoming my ultimate content consumption device. Music, movies, TV Shows, books, magazines, games… it does it all and more times than not I find myself moving away from the desk and onto the easy chair for my morning reading rituals on my days off. But, despite my love for the iPad, there’s a deep, dark hatred of the device as well. So much of one, that my email signature on the iPad doesn’t read “from my magical, revolutionary, OMFG I love it iPad”. No. It reads “from my fingerprint magnet”. I’ve recently contemplated changing that to read “from my blinding glare, be glad I could see the keyboard to type this fingerprint magnet”.

Apple nailed a lot of things on the iPad. They missed the mark on the screen usability in anything but dungeons.

Hit the jump… there’s a lot we have to look at.

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Fingerprints galore? Check. Glare so bad you can’t see anything? Check.

For anyone who says its not that bad, here’s another one:

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Now, tell me again, how the heck is anyone supposed to consume content, when they can’t see the screen except for on special occasions like when the sun isn’t shining? For some of you that may not be a special occasion, but in Colorado we get about 300 days of sunshine per year. So, unless it’s nighttime, as you can see my ability to get any reading done in the front room of my house is just about impossible. So, something had be done to fix the situation. And since I was already ordering a BodyGuardz for the iPad (see the scratches) it made sense to see what kind of anti-glare was available. I did a lot of looking around, and there’s quite a few options out there, but I’ve had my fair share of luck ordering from BodyGuardz in the past, so they ended up being my first choice. Was it the best one? I don’t know since I haven’t tried offerings from their competitors, but I can say this: I’m happy with the results so far. Take a look:

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Big difference right?

Here’s a couple with the ScreenGuardz HD in place and the screen on:

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Now, I could spend a whole ton of time yabbering on, but I think the pictures will do it a lot more justice. So, here’s a bunch more:

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Wrap Up:

I can’t so far (since I just got the ScreenGuardz HD onto my iPad today) make a final judgement call, but I can tell you this – The iPad changed the way I consume content. The ScreenGuardz HD is going to change the way I view and use the iPad. Does it get rid of the nightmare of fingerprints? No it doesn’t. They’re still visible and annoying, but the ScreenGuardz doesn’t seem to attract them as much. Does the ScreenGuardz HD make using the iPad in variable light conditions easier? Absolutely. Seriously – just look at that picture from my back yard. Grab your iPad, go outside and do the same thing. I’d be willing to bet you’re not able to see nearly the same level of content that I can.

My only gripe – I’ve got some lifting around the edges. It’s not like I missed the mark and don’t have it on right. The protector has screen underneath it, it just doesn’t want to hang on for some reason. Its not bad mind you, but a little annoying.

Honestly – best money I’ve spent on the iPad yet – and that includes all the apps I’ve bought so far. Hands down, this is the one purchase I’m glad I made.

Where to buy: ScreenGuardz Website

Cost: $19.95 for the front / $34.95 for both the front and a BodyGuardz for the back

Check out the full image gallery for a few more pictures.


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8 thoughts on “Review: ScreenGuardz HD Anti-Glare for Apple iPad”

  1. Thank you for your review of our ScreenGuardz HD product. We appreciate your taking the time and your insight.

    Kirk Feller
    President
    NLU Products

  2. Cheers for the review I just ordered the total body pack.. Getting it delivered to London in time for my new iPad arrival on May 28th !!

    Packetboy.

    1. I think you'll be pretty happy with it. The anti-glare takes a bit of getting used if you've never used one before, but the benefits greatly outweigh the costs.

  3. Yes Thanks for the review and true it keeps the prints off (well alittle) but.. Why would you buy a GREAT iPAD that has AWESOME color and just blows you away to look at and watch and touch and put a blinder on it. I use my iPAD every day and when you watch a movie or anything with it (clear) and then put that on it make it fee you are in a car trying to look out windows of someone that smoke all day in it. you are looking at a TV with a Screen of smoke.. Grant it I will be the first to say I wish there was something out there but for now there isnt. I would rather carry a microfiber around and just wipe it clear rather than look through a smoking glass.

    1. I agree. My wife and I both got iPads and I ordered two of the Steinheil AF screen protectors. I put mine on right away and my wife did not. Her screen looks way better, and really the fingerprints are only noticeable when the screen is off. I'm going to remove mine as soon as my case arrives, and we will be returning the unused screen protector.

    2. So, my big issue isn't with the fingerprints. I can live with those and I have been carrying a microfiber cloth with me in my bag. My big issue was really when it came down to reading on the iPad. The room I spend the most time in (has my desk, a comfy chair and a couch) has 3 windows. One of those windows is almost the full size of the wall. So no matter how hard I tried, I always had a glare coming from one place or another, and with big windows, many times I was left with no option but to find another place in the house to use the iPad.

      I completely understand the desire to not put something over what is arguably the most beautiful display on a mobile device I've owned, and I definitely agree that it changes (slightly) the clarity of the screen, but for me, no matter how gorgeous the screen is, if I can't use it – it's worthless.

      For the first time I've been able to comfortably sit in my favorite room in the house and not have to fight against the sun. I even used the iPad outside (in full sun) and wasn't blinded.

      Slight loss of screen clarity is massively outweighed by my ability to really enjoy the device when/where I want.

  4. I also installed an antiglare screen protector on my iPad. (I can’t recall now what brand it is, but I’m guessing they are all made in the same factory/from the same materials and just rebranded).

    It’s definitely a tradeoff of sorts:

    [+]

    Greatly reduces glare and increases readability under a wider range of environments.

    Greatly reduces the fingerprints (both in terms of attracting them and making those that do appear much less of an interference).

    Offers protection from scratches.

    [-]

    Reduces printing clarity and sharpness of the screen (especially when viewing pictures).

    Creates a slight graininess or prismatic quality to the screen.

    Very difficult to apply 100% dust-free (I was pretty successful – only about 3 dust “bubbles” which are rurally only noticeable with the screen off).

    All in all, I think it’s a worthy investment. I plan to keep my antiglare protector on. Would br curious to know if there is a difference between the various brands – how they differ in terms of ease of application and reduction in screen clarity.

    1. Aside from the difficult to apply – I agree with all of this. I wish there was something as clear as the typical BodyGuardz but with anti-glare … unfortunately I haven't found it yet.

      Application tip:
      I actually used an air compressor (you could use commpressed air from a can too) in order to get all the dust off after using a microfiber cloth to remove the fingerprints. I've got no dust or bubbles.

      As for testing other types – I sent emails to a couple different vendors and did not get any response prior to buying the ScreenGuardz. I did not send them an email requesting a review unit prior to purchase, but support has never been an issue in the past. I didn't buy the other ones because I figure a request (even if you don't want to supply review units) isn't that hard to shoot back a yes or a no. If you ignore the request completely – obviously support in the future is not going to be any better.

      I'll see what we can do about contacting some other vendors we have worked with in the past…

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