Going paperless with iPad – Screen Protection and Covers.

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

I had been meaning to write this follow-up for awhile but as with many things “Real life” can get in the way of fun things. Many issues delayed this and I do apologize.

During my initial research about writing with an iPad; I found a constant theme about protecting the iPad. In particular, the screen and a cover or case.

With writing; a screen protector was highly advised especially if your writing tool has a metal tip. If you tend to be a “heavy handed” writer then you have to have one.

Screen protection comes in two forms; a case which has one included or a sheet that you apply to the screen. I was not interested in a heavy duty case so I looked at the sheet version.

For screen protection; I had these requirements.

Sensitivity. A screen protector should not lesson the sensitivity of the screen. If you a writing, you could end up having to press harder and end up breaking your pen.

Glare. I did not see this mentioned in my research but it’s something to consider as you don’t want to have to use the iPad at wierd angles to avoid reflection.

Clarity. You don’t want to protect the screen and end up making it harder to read.

I have to admit I did not try all screen protectors out there. I was in research mode and one day on an impulse; I picked up Invisible Shield by ZAG. The box had all the requirements. It mentioned High Definition, it was for the iPad Air, it had a lifetime guarantee and it was military grade( why does military grade sound like it’s good? ). I was also intrigued by the claim of it being self healing.

Installation was pretty simple. Clean the screen, spray it with a solution that came with the kit, apply the shield, squeegee, and wipe off the excess.

One thing that will be a problem is if you have a dusty house with animals. Particle contamination is almost a guaranteed problem and will exacerbate people who can’t live with hair or particles under the screen protector. In my case, I found a hair and three dust particles under the screen. More on this later.

My first concern was the shield felt a little thick and it might affect the responsiveness of the touch screen. I tried a series of applications to gauge the sensitivity and found no noticeable degradation.

Glare was not an issue as light didn’t reflect nor did other things which might cause distraction. It was only with direct sun light that I noticed the hair and dust under the screen. However, the contamination was not as obvious in normal light.

Clarity was good though I did think it was a little darker but adjusting the screen lighting fixed it.

Zagg claims the Invisible Shield will self heal. I tried a couple minor things like indents and bends (pulling up part of the screen and resetting. I did find the screen did adjust and “self heal.”

There are many ways to protect your iPad. Covers, cases, carrying cases, covers which set-up into a “work position.”

Covers tended to be canvas or leather (probably pho-leather). I dismissed the canvas models outright. My daughter had one for her iPad and it wore out and fell apart. I did take an interest in the leather type but I didn’t see the one I wanted (probably pulled due to issues). I ended up dismissing the leather types as I thought they would be too bulky for work.

A case seemed to be the better idea as it would be more work friendly. I did not want the heavy duty type. They tended to have their own screen covers and are a little more bulky. I decided to use the simple plastic version which you “snapped” on the back. Simple protection for the iPad and I could use the Invisible Shield.

I searched Amazon and I found one with Captain America’s shield on the back (I loved the Captain America and Avengers movies).

The case snapped on and the experiment began. I was able to use this configuration for a couple weeks before problems with the Invisible Shield started. Edges started to ride up from the case as it wasn’t a clean fit. I would shove it under but it would ride up again. Dust and finger prints started to get under the exposed parts so I decided to remove the shield and clean it.

It sounded like a simple idea at the time; but I would later regret it. Using the spray, I was able to clear the particles that bugged me and I was able to clear the dust effected areas. All looked well. However, after I applied the shield and carefully attached the case; I found even more hair and particles under the screen. I tried working with it for a period of time but again edges came loose from usage. I decided to try and clean it one more time. This time I used the shower and steam to try and get the particles from flying around. It looked like it worked but direct sun light showed many dust particles and hairs.

If you have pets, it’s best to try and apply a screen somewhere else or even pay to have it done.

At this point I was tired of the effort to clean the screen. Even though I liked the Invisible Shield and my case; I decided to look into the heavy duty cases.

After reading many reviews, I decided to go with the SUPCASE Heavy Duty Beetle Defense by BrilloTech Inc. It was reasonably priced, it has two pieces with a built-in cover. Do watch the video for how to install it as the process can frustrate people.

I ran into the same contamination issue I had with the Invisible Shield but it was easily cleaned. Probably the hardest part was taking the set-up apart which time wise was not that long.

There is a noticeable increase in weight (I would guess about 9 or so ounces) but this is not a factor for me and I kind of liked the added protection. If I had to pick a bad aspect on the case, it would be the screen. It does reflect which can be an issue with bright direct light. Smudge is also an issue but the screen is easy to clean.

General use and writing have not been an issue.

Overall, the experience has been good and writing still works. You will have to press a little more but I don’t have complaints.

Next installment will be about writing tools and software.


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