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3M Notebook Privacy Filter

I eagerly waited for the package to arrive on a Wednesday afternoon. There it was in the mailbox, a plain brown envelope with a great product inside. The treasure was a 3M privacy filter for my notebook computer. I was even more excited when I found out that it was for a widescreen monitor.


Filter resting on keyboard.

The filter is fairly unobtrusive at first glance, a piece of translucent plastic that is similar in color to the tint film used on car windows. The product is not flimsy by any means either, being slightly thinner than a credit card and nearly as stiff. The feel of the plastic is quite smooth, not rough or grooved like other screen filters.


Filter resting half on/half off. Viewing straight on.

The filter is easily attached to the monitor with a set of included self adhesive tabs. The tabs are attached to the edge of the monitor and the privacy filter is inserted behind the tabs like a card into an envelope. The drawback to this system is if the monitor’s frame is flush with the screen there would be nothing for the filter to rest on and may not be held in place as easily. I have not run into this problem yet as all of my monitors at home and work have the screen slightly inset from the frame.


Filter resting half on/half off. Viewing to the side.

The privacy filter works perfectly in my humble opinion. If I am sitting directly in front if the monitor I can see my screen with no problem. When I get up and move off center just slightly the screen gets dark and is difficult to see the image. When I move more than a foot either direction, the screen becomes completely black and I can see absolutely nothing that is displayed. While testing the product around my office and at home, I had people ask me what I was doing staring at a blank screen. When you are not directly inline with the screen, the filter makes the monitor look as if the power is turned off.


Filter attached, viewing straight on.

I am so overwhelmingly impressed with the performance of the product that I would recommend this product to anyone who works in a crowded area and does not want to have their information shared. This product is for anyone who wants to keep their information private.


Filter attached, viewing to the side.

Prices range from $40-$150 depending on size. Available through various retail stores such as Best Buy, CompUSA, Office Depot, etc. Also online directly through 3M.

 

Product Information

Price:
Manufacturer:3M
Retailer:3M
Pros:
  • Keeps prying eyes from seeing the info on your display
  • Easy to install
Cons:
  • Can be expensive depending on screen size

{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Julie December 1, 2006, 12:09 am

    Post your comments on the 3M Notebook Privacy Filter review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/3m_notebook_privacy_filter

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • quasar December 1, 2006, 4:06 am

    Does this product do anything for sunlight? Also, is it reusable, or a one-time sticker? I notice that it looks like you have it taped on. Does it not stick on it’s own?

  • Farmer Brown December 1, 2006, 4:37 am

    Hmm… If only there was a screen protector for my PDA with this feature…

  • MitchellO December 1, 2006, 6:28 am

    It kind of looks a bit tacky I think. Seems to work very well, but it really looks out of place. But if you need that kind of privacy protection then it seems to work well.

  • markporter December 1, 2006, 3:43 pm

    Looks interesting…there are times when I would like to not worry about who’s looking at my screen! I just got a new HP widescreen and one of things that bothers me about it is the glossy screen. I wonder will this privacy filter also fulfill the function of screen protector as well to help minimize finger prints, etc.?

  • findnfish December 8, 2006, 6:54 am

    This product is not a one time sticker, it comes with several self stick tabs that you place around the edge of the monitor and they hold it in place. After taking the pictures for the story I trimmed the protector to fit better on the monitor. After I trimmed the filter down to fit better it looks much nicer. The filter does not stick on its own and yes I had it taped on for a short while.

  • sigh December 13, 2006, 8:29 am

    It comes with different sizes, 12.1″, 14.1″, 15.4″ etc so should be able to get a fit on most laptops. I have a 14.1 inch. Not too sure about those Wide screen laptops. Of course, the larger the LCD panel you have, the more expensive the filter.

    It does not stick on, but rather loosely held on by the tabs. This means that dust gets accumulated between the LCD screen and the filter. Can be irritating and need frequent cleaning. I do it once a week.

    You also suffer a poorer and darker screen, but acceptable. You can see for yourself as the filter is used in most ATMs.

    Farmer Brown: There are similar screen protector for your PDA, even handphones. I have seen it before in a retail shop. Btw, I’m in Singapore.

  • ckingtw January 9, 2007, 2:01 am

    I just got my 3m filter today. Install and fit are perfect. One issue…should my screen now have lines on it viewing it through the filter? It’s very distracting and strains my eyes to read the screen. Actual straight on view is not representative of what I saw online. Maybe I have a defective filter?:confused:

    cking

  • Thorn June 9, 2007, 3:43 am

    ckingtw wrote:

    I just got my 3m filter today. Install and fit are perfect. One issue…should my screen now have lines on it viewing it through the filter? It’s very distracting and strains my eyes to read the screen. Actual straight on view is not representative of what I saw online. Maybe I have a defective filter?:confused:

    cking

    Ckingtw,

    I have the same situation as you mentioned. Feel the lines really annoying.
    I search for any solution from 3M/my notebook….but seems nothing.

    Wish this post would note anyone who planning to buy this filter.
    My notebook is LG T1 with WXGA+ 1440×900…I think the possible problem is the phase or sort of horizontal frequency……but seems these settings cannot be adjusted in notebook.

  • maceyr June 9, 2007, 7:02 pm

    The filter can be set up to be stuck on via tabs on the frame of the laptop or computer screen. There are two different types of tabs.

    Yes, I agree that the lines can be a bit annoying and distracting. I did get used to them to a certain degree but I know that it may not work for everyone. I’ve done a review on it with video here

  • Mike Crownover January 29, 2009, 2:43 am

    I need more tabs. Where can I purchase them?

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