I have been using screen protectors since the days of the Palm V. Back when they were just a simple piece of plastic that slid under the edge of the casing. Over the course of the many years since, not only have our tech-toys improved by leaps and bounds but the protection for them has evolved many times over as well. Being the AR guy I am, I like to protect my gadgets in as many ways as possible. Every device I have ever owned with a display has had a screen protector to guard it from the perils of the world.
Being one of the early adopters of Apple’s iPad, there were few options available to protect its fancy, eye-popping display. Many of my usual sources had them available for pre-order but almost most of them weren’t available on iPad Launch Day. So, I was surprised that ZAGG had their Full Body invisibleSHIELD for the iPad to me by Wednesday after it’s release.
The Full Body iPad invisibleSHIELD includes films for both the front and back of the device, (approx.) 2-3 oz of installation fluid, squeegee, and installation instructions.
Over the years, I have installed countless screen protectors for myself and many others. 99% of them have been the Brando type that are a semi-rigid plastic sheet with adhesive on one side. This type of screen protector takes a little practice and patience to get it perfect but once you get the hang of it, is quick and easy to install. Overall, I have been very pleased with this type of screen protection. Once installed they typically never have to be removed.
That said, the invisibleSHIELD is a whole different animal. The invisibleSHIELD is a non-rigid, plastic that needs liquid (or a hair dryer) to be installed and took me the better part of an hour to complete the process.
The first step with installing any screen protector is to clean the device’s display. Once that is done, ZAGG suggests putting some of the application liquid on your fingers to prevent fingerprints from getting on the invisibleSHIELD during installation.
You then remove the plastic film from the sheet it comes on. Next you add several spritzes of the installation liquid. I used three pumps trying not to over apply it….we all know liquids and electronics do not mix. It would have STUNK to fry my new tech-toy while trying to protect it ;).
At this point, I let the excess liquid drip off the film before laying it on the iPad’s screen.
It took a few adjustments getting the invisibleSHIELD to sit perfectly in place.
After you get the film just where you want it, comes the long and tedious process of removing the excess liquids and trapped air bubbles. Being a film-type thinner, non-rigid screen protector, those two joys come with the territory. It took me 20 minutes to get it even tolerable looking. The instructions say that you should let the device sit 12-24 hrs so that the remaining liquid has the chance to dry and the invisibleSHIELD has the opportunity to ‘set’ in place.
The invisibleSHIELD for the back of the iPad goes on the same way as the one for the front did.
Although once it was in place, removing the excess liquid and bubbles from the back of the iPad was much easier than the front. Fortunately, it took me a fraction of the time to install.
Throughout the entire process, I was using a cloth to absorb the excess liquid I squeegeed out; to prevent any moisture from getting into the innards of the iPad.
Initially I was extremely disappointed with how the protector looked on the iPad’s screen. But I continued to follow ZAGG’s guidance and let my iPad sit overnight.
When I got up the next morning, I was pleasantly surprised the screen looked great, nearly perfect.
All of small bubbles and minor amounts of liquid were gone. My iPad once again looks great but now has an effective layer of protection against scratching. Although, obviously the invisibleSHIELD provides little to no protection from dings or falls. Another great feature of the invisibleSHIELD is the feel and added grip it gives the somewhat slick iPad. It gives the iPad a nice semi-rubbery texture.
The front or back invisibleSHIELD costs $30 each or if you buy them together (aka Full Body coverage) they are $40. It is definitely one of the pricier film/screen protectors out there. However, after using the Full Body coverage ZAGG sent me, it is well worth the money. ZAGG believes in their invisibleSHIELD technology so much, they come with a lifetime warranty for wear or scratches. On their website, ZAGG shows someone using a dremel on an iPhone protected by an invisibleSHIELD. I would never do this myself, but it is good to know that my new iPad is well protected and more secure in my hand.