When you first get your iPad, your first instinct is probably to find a way to protect it. There are a lot of cases on the market, and most of them leave the screen completely unprotected during use. Some leave the screen unprotected all the time. Several companies offer large transparent sticker-type screen protectors for iPad. I’ve tried putting those types on my iPod, and I ended up with air bubbles that never seemed to go away. Enter Moshi, who has two screen protectors for iPad that promise absolutely no air bubbles on your big, beautiful iPad screen. They offer two versions: the iVisor AG matte anti-glare and the iVisor XT crystal clear. I was happy to give them a try when Julie offered.
All of the pictures in this review can be clicked for a larger version.
Before discussing the differences, we’ll examine the similarities. Both screen protectors are made of PET and silicone, and both are 9.3” X 7.2”. The screen protectors have a black bezel area, just like the iPad screen. There’s a cutout for the home button. The iVisor AG (matte, anti-glare) protector also had a visible clear dot – not a hole – on the top that obviously was meant for the light sensor. I couldn’t see the light sensor opening with the iVisor XT. Closer examination revealed that there was no opening in the black tape (discussed in the next paragraph) to expose the light sensor in the XT cover. I assume this was a manufacturing error for that cover.
To install, you are instructed to use the microfiber cleaning cloth (supplied with each screen protector) to first clean the iPad screen. I polished away all the smudges from my screen before installing a protector. The second step is to remove the backing paper from the protector. When you do, it’s immediately apparent how Moshi can guarantee no air bubbles on the screen – there is no adhesive on the clear area. The only adhesive is under the black bezel area of the screen protector. The screen protectors are held in place by a piece of black, double-sided adhesive tape. The tape and the plastic shield combined are pretty thick – thick enough to make a discernable edge that my fingers always felt. The screen protectors are just a bit smaller than the screen itself, so they left a definite edge around the screen.
Back to the installation… Starting at the bottom, you line up the cutout with the home button, then just press it into place around the sides. Installation was very easy and took only seconds to complete. There were absolutely no bubbles, just as promised. However, the thickness of the tape means the screen protector floats just above the iPad screen.
Both screen protectors can be removed, washed, and repositioned on the iPad. Instructions do warn that the stickiness of the adhesive will diminish if you remove the cover many times. While trying out the screen protectors, I pulled back one side of the protector so I could see how it changed the appearance of the screen. After trying out each screen protector for a while, I cut each in half so I could show in one photograph how the iPad screen looked with and without the protector in place.
Now let’s look at the differences.
Moshi iVisor AG Matte Anti-Glare iPad Touch Screen Protector
I started with the iVisor AG. This matte protector is designed to minimize reflectivity. The iPad screen is very glossy and shiny, but I really don’t notice it because the backlight seems to minimize any possible reflections while I’m using the device. The AG is also designed to reduce smudging. The iPad is a fingerprint magnet, but again, I never notice them while I’m actually using the iPad.
With the AG protector in place, I noticed little difference in how responsive to touch my iPad was. I didn’t notice any difference in feel when I’d swipe my finger over the screen or when I’d touch the screen to make a selection.
I did notice a definite difference in appearance of the screen. The reflections were still there – they were just more vague. You can see in the pictures that you can still see the reflections of the halogen fixture on my kitchen ceiling. On the side without the protector (left side), you can plainly see the design of the Murano glass shades. The side with the protector (right side) still shows the reflections, but it’s a bit blurrier.
I also noticed a diffraction pattern in the iVisor AG. Think about the patterns made by a drop of oil in a puddle, and you’ll have an idea of what I saw on the screen. It wasn’t so visible that it obscured the screen, but it was definitely visible. I found it a bit distracting. I couldn’t photograph these patterns.
Finally, the protector dimmed the screen and made text a bit blurry. I want to keep my screen scratch-free, but not at the cost of clarity. I also noticed that I could still see some smudges and smears on the XT, but I do think there were fewer smudges than I’d see on the bare screen after use.
Moshi iVisor XT Crystal Clear iPad Screen Protector
The iVisor XT screen protector is designed to simply protect the iPad screen from scratches. It doesn’t have any anti-glare properties, so I didn’t notice any diffraction patterns caused by the texture of the protector. I noticed only a little visual difference in the appearance of the screen with and without the protector in place. It didn’t seem to dim and blur the screen as much as the iVisor AG.
I did notice a difference in the feel and responsiveness when using the iPad with the iVisor XT in place. The screen protector seemed to introduce a bit of drag when I’d swipe the screen. It seemed I needed to use a stronger touch to get the iPad to respond. I’m not saying I had to pound on the screen to get it to respond – it just needed a little more pressure.
The pictures show there is little difference in the reflectivity of the covered and uncovered sides of the iPad with the iVisor XT. There is a slight dimming of the screen with the protector in place, but it isn’t as noticeable while using the protector.
If you require a screen protector for your iPad, you’ll find that the Moshi iVisor protectors do go on very easily, very quickly, and with absolutely no air bubbles on the screen. Moshi says the protectors are compatible with the Moshi iGlaze, Moshi Concerti, and the Apple iPad cases. They worked well with the JAVOedge Cherry Blossom Axis case I have on my iPad. The iVisor AG dimmed and blurred the screen a bit, and the iVisor changed the feel of the screen a bit. If you’re really hard on your devices, you may find that a small compromise is necessary to protect your screen, but you won’t have to put up with air bubbles with the Moshi iVisor screen protectors.