ZAGG invisibleSHIELD HD for the New iPad Review

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My original invisibleSHIELD for the (first) iPad review has been my most grrr’d/scorned review by far. Folks disliked ZAGG‘s protective film for a multitude of reasons. But I liked the protection and additional grip the original invisibleSHIELD gave my iPad. Even though I have passed that iPad onto a friend, the film continues to protect it to this day. That said, the film did make the iPad screen appear a tiny bit foggy (and feel tacky to some), but on the first two iPads that was not such a huge deal. ZAGG obviously does not want to reduce the new iPad’s Retina display experience and has created the invisibleSHIELD HD. This new protective film is suppose to take little-to-nothing away from the iPad’s gorgeous new screen, promising that you can not even tell it’s there.

A good percentage of those original 41 comments (at last count) either had issues applying the protective film, disliked the touch/feel of it, or down right hated for all the above and more. I agree that if you have never applied a screen protector before or did not take the time and TLC to do it ‘correctly’, you easily could have trashed it.


Instead of covering every square inch of the iPad’s glass face, the invisibleSHIELD HD only covers approximately 95 percent. This change from the original is a design modification that makes applying the HD film easier (it does not need to be perfectly aligned).

The video above is of me installing the invisibleSHIELD HD (as exciting as it may be 😉 ).  ZAGG has a help center/support page on their website that provides tips, methods, and videos to help you better install your film.

In addition to its slightly smaller footprint, the invisibleSHIELD HD is a hair thicker than the original, making it easier overall to apply to my new iPad. The process took less than four minutes and looked fair enough from the moment of removing the excess liquid.  The film, like its predecessor, needs to cure to the glass screen before it looks its best. There were a few minor bubbles and a hazy appearance in a couple of places that took several days to completely disappear.

The installation process was the same as in my previous review: clean the screen completely, spray your hands with solution, remove the invisibleSHIELD from its backing, spray the film, center the film on the iPad screen, then squeegee out the excess liquid. For a more detailed account you can read my original review.

HD Clarity:

It is difficult to capture just how clear the HD film looks on the new iPad. But the above picture is the new iPad (nearly) fresh out of the box.

This picture is of my new iPad with the invisibleSHIELD HD installed. Like in the picture, in person you can hardly tell it is there. From a tactile point of view, it feels much more glass-like than the original. Bottom line is that it looks and feels great. Definitely taking little-to-nothing away from the new iPad’s Retina display while adding a good deal of scratch protection.

Like its predecessor on my original iPad, I like the look, feel, and protection the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD HD gives my new iPad. It takes nothing away from the Retina display’s vivid clarity while adding good protection against scratching the screen. ZAGG guarantees this ‘military grade’ film (along with all of their invisibleSHIELD products) with a lifetime warranty. The invisibleSHIELD HD is $34.99 and the HD Maximum Coverage is $44.99. In my opinion, well worth the cost….completely living up to its HD moniker.


Product Information

  • - Fitted for the new iPad
  • - Crystal (can't even tell it is there) clear
  • - Great scratch protection
  • - Easier to apply than the original
  • - Needs liquid for installation

About The Author

30 thoughts on “ZAGG invisibleSHIELD HD for the New iPad Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Thank you for the review. Please do a review of the Ghost Armor product and then a comparison between the two of them for us. That would be very beneficial!

  3. Why on earth would you spend $35-45 on this product when applecare is $99+$50 per incident and it covers drop and liquid damage? And to have a plastic film over a baby-soft-to-touch oleophobic glass screen? How can you scratch your ipad screen anyway? It’s not like you can put it in your pocket! And the plastic scratches easier than the glass anyway, so you end up with a scratched screen when you would otherwise not have scratches??? I don’t get screen protectors on gorilla glass at all… they only made sense when cell phones had plastic screens

  4. I put the full body kit on my MBP about three years ago, and then peeled it all off about six months ago. It looked great at first, but then started to yellow so badly I couldn’t stand to look at it any longer. The whole “removes leaving no residue” is a crock. It took me hours to get all the sticky goop off the aluminum. No more Zagg products for me…

  5. Dave…. It matters not what others say about the previous versions of invisibleSHIELD OR THE NEW ONE, if you let the professionals you buy it from, install it correctly, you’ll never know it’s there, you can use it with some Styli and never know it’s there, and if some folks bitch about the shield being ‘sticky’, PLEASE have them wash their hands before their next use….geeezzzz..

    You’ll NEVER be sorry you spent the money or took the time to have it installed right..

  6. Todd,
    I believe you just might not have run into the same situations some of us have. I’ve got an iPhone 4 that has a scratched screen after hitting the pavement and skidding a bit. You’re talking about Applecare being so cheap, but it’s $150 vs $35. That’s a bit of a difference.

    Anyways, I strongly suggest that you don’t get this, and that others do. I personally love mine.

  7. @ Andrew, the sad thing is zagg won’t save your phone from hitting the pavement and skidding a bit, at least if i’m understanding you correctly

  8. @Scott
    No, but it will prevent the screen from being scratched. I’ve been using them since my treo, and I’ve gotten plenty of scratches on the IS, but not one has gone through to the screen.

  9. I love my Zaggs, have had one on my iPhone 4 for over a year with no problems, even reapplied it once and it saved my screen in some nasty drops. We had another one put on our iPad 2 when we got it and it’s been perfect. No sticking or cutting and I have serious fingernails. The whole family uses the iPad and it has held up to a 12 yo boy. It does have a slight graininess but the non glare more than makes up for it, plus I find the very slight tackiness helps me be a little more accurate.

  10. Hi
    I just got my invisble shield hd and I can see there logo through the film.

    The film that is attached to the protector has seemed to rummbed off its logos onto the actual protector. It’s quite hard to explain, and it is quite disconcerting…

    Any ideas? Anyone?

  11. I have now been taken in by this terrible product twice which we all know makes me a ….. well, suffice to say we all know. The installation video omits the fact that the shield has two covers – the paper backing and a plastic film marked up ‘Remove’. Check the installation videos and read the instructions that come with this horrific and over-priced product and tell me where they tell you about removing the plastic film. Needless to say, I have now wrecked the appearance of my iPhone and new iPad. Too bad for me! Trust me – buy the cheaper, easier to apply product and change it twice a year if need be. You will be happier in the long run.

  12. This is a HUGE waste of money! The iPad works MUCH better without this product. I have my iPad in a case and that protects it just fine. Do NOT buy this product, it will slow down your iPad’s efficiency.

  13. @Adam

    You can see the logo bc you’re using the film cover and the the screen protector itself. I too made the same mistake and then quickly realized that I just peeled of a protective layer for the screen protector. Look on the sheet and the zagg product will be there.

  14. With all respect to the author (who I assume must have been viewing his comparison photos through a screen protector), is there not a highly noticeable quality disparity between the “before” and “after” application photos of his iPad? The colors are markedly different, and to my eyes the text is dramatically clearer in the shot without the protector. Granted, my vision is highly trained to notice such things after 15 years of graphic design and image correction, but I can’t be the only one to notice this. Lighting and focus issues could be responsible, but since the author makes no disclaimer about them, I’m left thinking that it is the protective film causing the variance. I’m glad I saw those pictures because I was about to buy the Zagg HD protector for my iPhone. I’m going to rethink that now. I’m also glad the author is so happy with the product, and am very grateful he posted those pictures because now I know this is not the product for me. The look and feel of the bare glass are just too seductively beautiful and sensually exquisite to hide under a film, no matter how protective. I found this review very helpful.

  15. @Glen S.

    I am glad you liked the review and thought it informative/helpful. I continue to protect my iPad 3 with the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD HD and LeatherSkin. I recommend them to any and all who ask. As I stated in my review, it provides great protection and clarity (pics not withstanding)…taking nothing away from the Retina Display’s look or feel.


  16. Thanks for the article. I have a regular invisibleSHIELD on my iPad 3 and I am considering buying a invisibleSHIELD HD. My biggest complaint with the original invisibleSHIELD is the tacky feeling of the skin at times and the glare when there is any sort of bright light (sunshine/light fixtures, etc). My wife’s iPad 2 and generic screen protector have neither of these issues. It sounds like the tacky issue is fixed, but what about the glare?

  17. I completely agree with Glenn S and I’m not trained to see such things like he is. The word “Good” is clearly fuzzier in the after photo, both on the icon and underneath the icon. I just installed mine so in 24 hours I will take a look and see if there’s much difference than before. I hope not, I nearly stroked when I saw I had to pay $40.00 for a sheet of plastic!

  18. I just put my improved zagg on my iPad 3 and it’s fine EXCEPT It doesn’t click when I close the cover. Is that the same for all you iPad 2 & 3 users?

  19. For all those complaining about the $40 it costs for the IS HD, stop buying things retail. I got mine on eBay for $11 shipped brand new. I registered it online with no problems. So save your money and your iPad and go online. This goes for practically everything. And if your only into buying things in person than fatwallet and slickdeals are your friends.

  20. Hey there, from San Fran! The installation looks very easy! I’ve been considering getting a screen protector for my iPad, but i’m not sure if it will interfere with the stylus i use for graphic design work. Also, when i’m streaming video on AT&T’s 4G LTE, my iPad can become very hot. Is there any possibility of the screen protector melting/fusing onto the screen?

  21. Zagg does not mention on their website that you need to keep your phone off for 24 hours after installing the Invisibleshield. That is, installing the Invisibleshield renders your phone useless for 24 hours! I tried to use my phone 10 minutes after installing and the touchscreen didn’t work. I called Zagg for technical support and they told me to not use my phone for 24 hours, as if that was a simple and convenient solution. They brushed off my concern about needing to use my phone 20 hours per day and acted as if it were my problem, not theirs. Obviously, I’m taking advantge of their return policy.

    My phone is a Motorola Droid 4.

  22. I’m glad Glen S posted his comment. I agree the second picture looks blurrier.

    Granted, my vision is highly trained to notice such things after 15 years of looking at photos and seeing computer monitors. I also know that the difference can be down to the slight difference of reflectivity of the camera that took the pictures due to different surface materials that may not be visible in real life.

    I hope I don’t come across as a smug know it all jerk, because that would be really bad – you know having all that experience and all.

  23. I used to think Zagg products were great. I covered my iphones, Sony PSPs, Nintendo DS Lites and Dell Laptop. I have since become REALLY annoyed. The ‘uploaded photo’ designs for the iphones came away from the skin and looked terrible. Worse still, when I removed a skin from a PSP it pulled the top layer off the casing, and I have just removed a screen protector from a DS and the touch screen has stopped working as it was a huge effort to remove (I even started to gently use a hair dryer to heat it as it was so tough to pull off). My advice, avoid using Zagg products.

  24. My Zagg experiance to date…..

    I have had two other phones that I have placed a Zagg Screen protector on. Results after using them on both phones for Two years were great. They did have some peeling around the corners from two years of use. However no issues other then that. About a month ago I purchased a new phone. I am lucky enough to have a Zagg Company store(A real store not a kiosk). I went in to have a screen protector placed on the phone and they did it for me. I was told not to use my phone for 24 hours(I did not) Within two days the protector right on one of the middle edges starting coming up. I took it back and they replaced it free of charge. I waited the entire weekend to use the phone. Guess what? Within Two days the same issue with the peeling. Returned and they replaced free of charge again. Think it’s over it’s not. Within a week I could see the edges coming off again in two places. Brought it back yet again. Fixed for free again. Now I am two weeks into that one and no surprise it’s coming up yet again on the middle edge. Seriously, I am done with them. I know they will replace it for free or $5 but its getting annoying. I bought a Case for it yesterday so maybe it will mask and help the issue.

    But from now on I will not go back to Zagg for any new product.

  25. I have a Zagg invisible shield installed on my new ipad in a mall kiosk. Everything worked well. About 3 to 4 months later, I noticed two or 3 brown streaks across the screen. I thought it was an ipad screen problem. I brought it to the apple store, they saw it and knew it was not from the surface of the screen and decided to give me a new ipad. Just as I was removing the shield, I noticed the streaks were gone and upon a close examination of the invisible shield, we found out the brown streaks were actually on the underside of the shield. I don’t think I’ll use this product again on the ipad.

  26. I applied the invisible shield to my new iPhone 5 with relative ease. I highly suggest leaving your phone off for 24 hrs. I did have some micro bubbles that Zagg warns about YES they DO disappear. Overall a great product for added protection of your Apple devices. I just ordered one for my iPad Mini without any hesitation.

  27. Please show the Ipad after the screen was apply
    I did the same thing and i have a lots of bubbles
    I will make a note of the company name i will not buy anything
    Zagg Makes like the shield it may be a waste of Money.

  28. @David

    ….Seems you havent read up on the instructions… Use the squeegy to get rid of most of the bubbles, and the rest will disapear. The bigger they are, the longer it will take though. But applying the shield and then going “Huh, looks bad, OFF” isnt gonna work…

  29. I bought the invisibleSHIELD back in January 2012.
    At first it was great and then it began to get scatches on it.
    Approximately 3-4 months after I purchased it. I took it back to the store that a bought it from. They told me that I needed to contact Zagg.I was going to do that and I thought why?
    Then my health declined to the point that could not do so. My primary concern was dealing with my Muscular Dystrophy. I want to return it but time has run out for that.
    Just wanted you to know that I am not happy with this product.
    And I will think twice before I purchase anything from Zagg.again.

  30. My wife and I have used these for our past phones and have had no issues. We both ended up digging something sharp into the screens in our pockets and destroyed the protector. But that’s the point, it took years of beatings with no scratches and then when a worse event occurred it was sacrificed to protect the phone screen. I expect without them the screen would have cracked or been gouged.

    The biggest issue for people is the application. It is a pain to do, but if you do it when you get the phone you can let them sit for the 24 hours or so to get a quality application while using your old phone. This is a great protector, but only if you have the coordination to apply it correctly or the money to have installed correct and the patience to let it set. This product is not designed for the impatient, clumsy, and/or frugal.

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