ZAGG invisibleSHIELD Back Cover for iPad 2 Mini Review

When I reviewed the iPad 2, I mentioned that I had ordered an invisibleSHIELD from ZAGG to protect the metal back.  I have the Smart Cover to protect the screen, so I ordered only the skin for the back.  You’ll notice I called this a mini review.  Dave Rees did a great review of the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD for the original iPad.  You should refer to his review for a complete set of installation pictures.  I’ll just talk about the fit and performance of the invisibleSHIELD for the iPad 2.  Actually, this review will be mostly pictures to illustrate the fit.

Most of the pictures in this review can be clicked for an enlarged view.

The invisibleSHIELD for the iPad 2 came with a spray container of “application solution”, a microfiber cloth, and a black rubbery squeegee.  You are instructed to turn off your device and remove the battery, if possible.  (You can’t remove the battery from an iPad 2, but I decided to proceed anyway.)  You are also instructed to leave the device off for 12-24 hours – to prevent shorting it out if liquid gets inside, I suppose.  This instruction is because you’ll be using quite a bit of fluid while applying your skin.

As instructed, I washed my hands, and I decided to let them air dry since I didn’t have a lint-free towel.  I used some of the application solution and the microfiber cloth to clean the back of the device.  I wet my fingertips with some more of the application solution; this step prevents getting fingerprints on the adhesive backing of the skin.

After removing the skin from the backing paper, I sprayed a light coating of the solution on the front and back of the skin.  I placed the skin on the back of the iPad 2, and the moisture aided sliding it into place.  I did a pretty good – but not perfect – job of aligning all the cutouts on the screen with the camera, buttons, and ports on the iPad 2.  I used the squeegee to push all the trapped water droplets and air to the sides, and I used the microfiber cloth to absorb the water as it oozed from under the skin.  I was especially careful to keep moisture away from the Home button.  In just a couple of minutes I was able to squeegee out everything, and I had an almost perfectly clear application.  Any small bubbles that remained disappeared by the next day.  The application was easy – but scary because I was afraid I’d get moisture in the iPad 2.  However, the device is still working perfectly, so no damage was done.

I’ve had ZAGG skins for iPods I’ve owned, and the skins all seemed to fit much better than this skin fit the iPad 2.  (Actually, I applied a ZAGG skin to my husband’s iPad 2 also, with similar results.)  As I mentioned, I got the skin aligned pretty well, as you can see from the photos showing the full sides of the iPad 2.  It’s not perfect, as you’ll see, though.  I don’t have a problem with how it aligns.  All the ports and controls are open and accessible.

But that’s where the problem comes in – it seems everything is too accessible.  The corners are all left uncovered and vulnerable to scratches.  I understand that the curved edges of the iPad 2 will require some extra cuts to allow the skin to properly fit the corners, and that may have made the cost a bit higher and required a couple more minutes to smooth the skin over the corners.  However, I bought the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD because I wanted to protect the entire back of the device, so I could have excused a dollar or two more for more coverage.  I’ve included close-ups of the corners so you can see just how much was left uncovered.

Attachment point for Smart Cover is covered by the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD

Despite all the corners being left bare, ZAGG didn’t cut out the area where the Smart Cover attaches.  I suppose they covered that area because they know that not everyone is going to use the Smart Cover.  Of course I can’t quantify the change, but the Smart Cover didn’t attach quite right with the skin on.  It seemed to lessen the “grip” of the magnets holding the cover in place.

I felt I had a good application with the edges sealed well.  However, I’ve had one place peel up from the iPad 2.  I always hold my iPad in the horizontal position, with the Home button to my right.  I hold the iPad 2 in my left hand, so my right is free to navigate the screen.  My hand loosened a place about an inch in length near the headphone jack.  I’d press the edge back down every time I’d see it was loose, but eventually it wouldn’t stick anymore.  Now there’s dirt and lint under there, and that place curls up a bit.

I love the extra bit of grippiness the invisibleSHIELD gives the iPad 2.  I feel like I can carry it in one hand without worrying I’ll lose my grip and drop it.  It also makes it easier to hold for long stretches while I read or surf.  I love that it doesn’t add any bulk to the iPad 2.  The exterior of the skin itself doesn’t attract any dirt and it disguises fingerprints.  I’ve seen how protective the ZAGG skins were for my other devices, so I’m sure it will protect the iPad 2 from scratches – at least the parts it covers and stays stuck to.

I must admit that I’m disappointed in the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD for iPad 2.  I wish it covered the corners better.  And every day I use the iPad 2, that peeled up section seems to be a little bigger. I don’t know how long I’ll be able to tolerate that dirty, curled up side before I decide to peel the whole thing off and look for another solution.

 

Product Information

Price:$29.99 for back cover only
Manufacturer:ZAGG
Retailer:ZAGG
Pros:
  • Protects iPad 2 from scratches
  • Improve grip on the iPad
  • Doesn't add bulk
Cons:
  • Corners of the iPad 2 left uncovered
  • Edge is peeling up
Posted in: iPhone, iPad, iPod, Reviews

{ 9 comments… add one }

  • Bill May 25, 2011, 8:35 pm

    You know, you could take advantage of the “replace” warranty ZAGG offers. For about $5.00 you get a replacement cover!

  • Norb May 26, 2011, 5:59 am

    I have found the Bodyguardz skin for the back of the iPad 2 much superior. It covers the corners much better than the Zagg and has not peeled up yet. Also cheaper than the Zagg.

  • Gabriel August 3, 2011, 9:55 am

    Nice mini review! Quite useful. And Norb, thanks for mentioning Bodyguardz skin, i wanted to see some other options rather than just Zagg.

  • Mark October 29, 2011, 5:53 am

    i just had Zagg installed at the back of my iPad 2. I’ll let it dry for 24hrs and will observe for 2 weeks.

    I just noticed that your Zagg for iPad 2 is different. the one i got has covers reaching the corners and surrounding the volume buttons and silent switch. it also surrounds the speaker holes, not just one side. It also surrounds the headphone jack and the power button. maybe you got a different version of the back cover?

  • Janet Cloninger October 29, 2011, 7:28 am

    @Mark Or maybe ZAGG read my review and improved the skin based on my observations… ;)

  • Mark October 29, 2011, 7:45 am

    haha could be ;)
    i just found out there are two versions of the back: Full body and Maximum coverage.

    I have one question though, is there any discoloration as time pass? you’ve had it for quite sometime now and i wanted to know what to expect. thanks! :)

  • Janet Cloninger October 29, 2011, 8:10 am

    @Mark I ended up pulling the ZAGG off because of that dirty, curled up edge. Sorry I can’t answer your question.

  • Joe September 19, 2012, 3:17 pm

    Late to the party I know but was removing the shield from the back difficult? I have one on my iPad and it too is peeling at the corner and I think I’ll be removing it for that reason. Did you use any special method for removing it and did it leave sticky residue behind?

    TIA :)

  • Janet Cloninger September 19, 2012, 9:33 pm

    @Joe My only trick was to pull on one corner for a while, then move to the next. I just kept circling around the corners until I had it all pulled off. It took some effort to pull it off, but I never felt like I was going to damage anything. There was no stickiness left behind on my iPad.

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