ClearGuard PDA Screen Protectors Review

Product Requirements:
Device:
Dell Axim, Compaq/HP iPAQ 3700/3800/3900/5400/1900
series, Toshiba e310/e330/e335 & e740, Sony CLIÉ NX/NR series, Handspring Treo &
Visor, Palm V/m500 series, Palm III/VII series, Palm m100 series PDAs

By now you all know what a fanatic I am about screen protection. Sometimes,
it can seem like I am always getting a new brand of PDA screen protector to try,
then writing about it. Do I ever get tired of it? Not really. Because I like to
try the new ones – and I also wonder if one day the one I am trying might be
better than the ones I swear by. I mean, we all have to be willing to try new
things, right?

The latest I have been trying are the
ClearGuard
PDA Screen Protectors
. These are actually a bit different than all the
others I have reviewed in the past because they do not use any kind of adhesive,
yet they still stick to your PDAs screen. Imagine an electrostatic window
sticker, and you will have the general idea of the principle behind these.

These protectors are thin, quite inexpensive, and they do manage to cut down
on glare as their "Key Benefits" blurb proclaims. However, I can tell right now
that they are not going to become my favorites.

Why?

There are a couple of reasons, but let’s start with the biggie: I was
not able to install them on my PDA without getting a hideous number of bubbles
between the screen and protector. While this may not sound like that big of a
deal to some of you, try to put yourself in my shoes. I have been using,
installing, and promoting screen protection since 1998 or thereabouts. I have
been doing this so long that I have just about perfected the art of installing a
bubble free protector – even when using one of those troublesome old-style thin
sticky ones. Bubbles are generally a non-issue for me.

Well, let’s just say that I wasted three protectors before I got one
to go on my CLIÉ in a relatively bubble free manner. That’s not to say that it
was bubble free, mind you…I said relatively. Before you ask, yes
– I applied the protector slowly, using a credit card to squeegee the bubbles
out as I smoothed the protector on. The problem was that they would not
squeegee out. :0/
Just to be sure that the squeegee method wasn’t a mistake, I tried laying a
fresh protector on the CLIÉ’s screen as smoothly as I could without doing
anything further…to horrible results.


The  white spots you can see on the screen are not
lint – they are the tips of the many bubbles that I could not remove.

Wondering if perhaps my CLIÉ installation experience was the exception to the
rule,  I installed a m500 version on my Tungsten | T. Now granted, the T
may be an m550, but the m500 series protectors are geared towards the other
m500 series Palms – the ones with the traditional curve at the bottom. Since I
pretty-much never open the bottom of the Tungsten’s slider anyway, I wasn’t
worried about the exposed bottom corners. Once again, the protector fit
perfectly…except for the bubbles.

Looking past this almost unforgivable flaw (in my opinion, anyway), I wanted
to see what the experience of writing on this type protector would be. Well,
it’s a little bit like the old style WriteRights. Remember them? They were a
thin, nearly clear, filmy protector that stuck to the screen of  PDA with a
very sticky (residue leaving) adhesive. When you would write for any amount of
time you would eventually see divots, or furrows appearing in the protector.
Like the WriteRights, the ClearGuards will do the same – but without the
adhesive. They have a slightly "grabby" surface texture, which prevents the
stylus from gliding like it will on a
G2
, or even enjoying a slightly textured feel like the
WriteSHIELD protectors I have previously
reviewed.

In their defense, these protectors are precisely cut, they are relatively
clear (looking past the bubbles – natch!), you get a bunch of them for a
low price that includes shipping, and you can pull them up and reapply them
several times if you don’t like your initial application.

Unfortunately, they are just about impossible to apply without bubbles and I
don’t care for the writing surface. In my opinion, your money would be better
spent elsewhere.

Price: $11.99 for a retail pack of 16. Includes S&H

Pros:
You get a bunch in the pack
There is no sticky adhesive touching your screen
If you mess up you can clean the protector and reapply
Precision cut for a variety of PDAs
Relatively clear while decreasing glare

Cons:
Bubbles, bubbles, everywhere – even for me, and experienced protection
applicator :0/
Surface feels slightly "grabby", graffiti users may dig divots or furrows in
protector

4 thoughts on “ClearGuard PDA Screen Protectors Review”

  1. Did you tried to use a few liquid soap between the screen and the screen protector to prevent bubbles to appear ?

    (I know it sounds weird.)

  2. I honestly thought about using some sort of liquid under the protector to smooth it out – but since this is an electronic device, I didn’t want to take the chance of a liquid going under hte edges of my PDA’s screen and frying the interior. Know what I mean?

    Judie :0)

  3. I understand what you mean.
    I did it on my iPAQ 3630 to put a protection from something like http://www.freescreenprotector.com (it is still in place but i don’t like it and always says I will change it).
    I did it without any problem. I may had the perfect liquid soap for this (not a too liquid one. I used one for handwashing I think. I don’t remember exactly).
    I just put a little on the screen protector (or on the screen ?) and spread it with my finger.
    And no bubble, and it was done really quickly without any effort.

    Thank you the tv show I seen on housework for this tip !

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