Palm III series, All Handspring Visors,
Hewlett-Packard Jornada 520 & 540 series, iPAQ 3100 & 3600 series, Casio
E-100 series, Casio E-500
Minor updates added 05/23/01, in RED
Even more updates added 06/28/0, in GREEN
In that never ending quest for screen protection, I have found a product that
is a bit different than what I am used to. Instead of being a precut, stick-on
screen cover, PDA Screen Protectors
are a thin piece of film that slides under the edges of plastic or metal
that surround the
screen of your PDA. These screen protectors are 2.76" (70.16mm) wide x 3.27" (83.03mm)
(Be aware that this unflattering picture was taken after I
removed the screen protector from one of my test PDAs. When you first get them –
they are completely unblemished.)
I am a firm believer in "protection", and I have the old
carcasses of past PDAs to prove that scratches can happen to even the most
careful of people.
In recent years, I have even gone without using my PDA until I could get a
screen cover on it. That is how phobic I am of scratches. You can laugh all you
want, I realize that I am being a bit neurotic. :0)
I was interested when I first heard about this product – especially the fact that
PDA Screen Protectors claim that they can work on all of the PDA’s pictured on
their web page. I have listed those units at the top of my review. The
price also sounded pretty good to me, too.
For someone like me, the idea of being able to buy just one screen protector
that will work on just about all of my PDAs holds quite a bit of appeal, as I
currently have in my possession a Palm IIIc, a Palm m100, a Hewlett Packard
Jornada 548, a Handspring Visor Deluxe, a Cassiopeia EM-500, a Palm m500, and a
Considering how varied the screen areas of the PDAs they claim they’ll fit
are, I thought it would be interesting to give the protectors a try on all of
the PDAs I currently have.
The directions that come with the PDA Screen Protectors appear rather simple.
Since you are inserting an object that is larger than the screen area of your
PDA, there is a bit of sliding and slipping required to position them correctly.
Needless to say: Fingerprints and dust are the enemy here, and you will want to
start with a properly cleaned screen.
They recommend washing your hands before beginning, and then using the
included cloth to wipe the screen down – using your "huffed" breath as
a cleaner. I said breath guys, not spit….don’t get excited! ;0)
You are supposed to buff your screen till all fingerprints and smudges
are gone. Then you will blow on the screen to make sure that all the linty
"floaters" are gone.
You are now ready to apply protection…
Following the directions in the enclosed how-to diagrams, you will slide and
squeeze the PDA Screen Protector until it is installed properly over your
screen, and under the plastic or metal sides of your PDA as the case may be.
Since my iPAQ is my everyday PDA, that is the one I started experimenting
with. I will tell you right now that there was much cussing going on from desk
today. I wasted no less than 4 of the dozen protectors I was sent, either by
bending corners, or by smudging the protectors beyond belief. I was getting very
frustrated to say the least. You need to realize that I am neither a
contortionist, nor am I someone that thinks it is worth killing yourself to save
a buck or two. I decided to try installing on the iPAQ again a bit later, after
I had had some time to cool down.
Determined not to give up, as I know there are other PDAs with larger screen
surfaces, I decided to give the protector a try on the Cassiopeia EM-500 that
Julie is loaning me. In a couple of seconds, I had the protector installed, and
it was beautiful! Although I managed to get some smudges on the surface of the
protector, when the EM-500 was turned on, I really couldn’t see them anymore. I
tried writing on the screen cover, and was pleased at the smooth glassy feel of
the writing surface. My stylus was writing on it beautifully. After this review
is completed, I will be leaving this screen protector installed. I like it that
Next, I tried the Handspring Visor. I could not get the edge of the Screen
Protector to go under the plastic sides next to the screen at first (as the
sides fit so tightly), but I was eventually able to weasel the protector under
every edge. It took a little work, but it was do-able. When I turned on the
Handspring, I noticed that on the monochrome screen there seemed to be some
glare due to the glossy screen cover, but certainly not an ungodly amount.
That’s when I ran into trouble… All of a sudden, I realized that none of my
hot-buttons were working anymore, nor was the screen responding to any of my
taps! I reset the Visor, and the same problem persisted. The minute I pulled the
PDA Screen Protector off my PDA, the Visor quickly ran through the sequence of
the buttons I had just tried pushing. Needless to say, that freaked me out!
After a bit of playing around with the protector, the buttons began to work
properly, and the screen also began to respond. Why this happened, I don’t
know…your guess is as good as mine.
Next up was the Palm IIIc. I was easily able to install the Screen Protector
on this PDA, and all buttons and screen taps worked properly after installation.
I think I may just leave the protector on the IIIc, as it looks nice when the
unit is turned on.
I already knew not to bother with the Palm m500 or the M100, as neither is a
supported PDA. That brought me back to the iPAQ. Since I don’t like being unable
to do anything when it is supposed to be possible, I knew that one way or
another, I was going to get that protector on the screen of my 3670!
Well, you would think that since I had been able to install the protectors on
all those other PDAs, that I would be able to get it right with the iPAQ.
Unfortunately, I was right back at square one. My husband was kind enough to
give it a try – and he was successful! Only problem was, that like the
Handspring Visor, the screen and hot buttons would no longer respond for me at
all – even after a soft reset! I played with the protector some – sliding it
upwards a bit, and all of a sudden – like the Visor – it began to work! I have
no idea what the problem was, but it is now working. I was unable to install it
by myself, though – so that is still quite frustrating!
05/23/01 – John Salazar, with PDA Screen Protectors,
has informed me that due to overwhelming demand they will be making an iPAQ
specific screen protector. I think that’s a great idea, as the glossy feel of
the protector is very similar to the feel of writing on the naked iPAQ screen.
You shouldn’t have any trouble applying these to your iPAQ, once they are sized
for easy install.
Last, I tried the Hewlett Packard Jornada 548. Now, as most of you probably
know, the Jornada has a slightly smaller screen than the other Pocket PCs. I
knew going in that it would be tough to install this huge piece of plastic – but
I figured I would give it a try. Well, I was unsuccessful, to say the least. My
husband saved the day again, and with much crackling and creaking was able to
manipulate the Screen Protector under the sides. I guess that on this particular
screen, you must be somewhat of a persistent contortionist to have
05/23/01 – I have received screen protectors cut
specifically for the HP 54x. These are easy to apply, and need no cutting down
nor contortions to apply. :0) Simply make sure you mention the PDA you are
purchasing for when you order.
06/28/01 – A specially cut screen protector size has
been added for the Kyocera smartphone! This is an excellent item to use, as the
flip-lid on the phone does not protect the entire screen when closed.
I had cut one of the HP 548 protectors to fit my phone,
and when I mentioned it to John he told me he was going to make that size
available! As you can see here, I have the Fitaly
Stamp on my Kyocera, with the screen protector laying over it. This
combination works perfectly.
Once PDA Screen Protectors are actually on the screen of your PDA, they do
provide a glossy, glass-like surface that is a pleasure to write on. I am not
going to make any claims about improved handwriting recognition, but I did like
the feel of using the protectors.
One thing that I did not like, was that fingerprints and smudges seem to look
10x worse on these than on other screen protection that I have tried. Of course,
that is when the PDA is turned off. Once the PDA is on, the screen protectors
really don’t do anything that would detract from the screen, and I think that
they are a good product.
My one concern might be that if in the installation process you managed to
get a bit of dust or other "funk" under the plastic film, it could
definitely rattle around all over your screen, causing scratches. You will just
have to be very conscientious and careful when installing.
So what’s my verdict?
As far as the iPAQ, Handspring Visor and the HP 548…if you don’t have a
nervous breakdown installing them and if they don’t somehow negate
your screen or hot-buttons, then you should like them just fine.
In the case of the Palm IIIc, and definitely the Cassiopeia EM-500, I think that
they are a great screen protector, and a good value for the money.
Price: $9.95 for 12, $14.95 for 24, $19.95 for 36,
$24.95 for 48, and $34.95 for 72
Glossy, glass-like feel – easy to write on
Fits a wide variety of PDAs
Do not detract from vision of screen
At this price, you can replace often and as needed
05/23/01 Special sizes are now available for the HP 548
and Compaq IPAQ – be sure to specify when ordering
06/28/01 Special size also added to fit the Kyocera
For those interested: These are my favorite screen protection :0)
Smudges and fingerprints are very visible when PDA is off