I am generally not a fan of screen protectors. I have used many different types in the past which were often hard to apply, left some air bubbles and hindered the interaction with the screen. And recently most of my gadgets featured some type of Gorilla glass which makes them almost impervious to scratches. But there are situations where a full body armour might be the best way to protect your precious link to the wonders of the World Wide Web….
Tim Overheu recently checked out what is arguably the strongest protective film technology for the iPad and here is his review.
The WrapSol screen protector comes as a unique double layer or skin of plastic shielding that covers both sides of the iPad - the vulnerable retina display side and the less vulnerable aluminium back-side. Unlike the regular light plastic screen protector shields that are applied by peeling and simply placing on the screen, (at the risk of always getting those annoying air bubbles regardless of how well one cleans the screen) the WrapSol system uses a spray-solution and rubbery squeegee that assists with bonding the shield to the surfaces. There are a number of advantages with this approach, including my favourite being great surface coverage, no peeling or lifting at the edges and a big reduction of annoying air-bubbles trapped under the screen. There are a number of other advantages and disadvantages (or concerns) that I have regarding this style of protection shield application - which I've noted below:
- The shields (screen- and case-side) are easy to apply, although takes a step of faith that it won't damage the retina-display when spraying on the liquid;
- I use my iPad for field work - so the shield appeared durable and it stood up to dirty fingers well enough (and when dry the shield surface is matte and non reflective, which works best under full sunlight);
- Negligible bubbles after application;
- Uniquely protects the reverse side of the iPad;
- More extensive surface coverage than some of the other plastic screen protectors on the market;
- Ideal for use with the Apple (magnetic) smart cover, which leaves the case-side of the iPad exposed and prone to scratches;
- Ideal for school classroom iPads
- Requires a solution to adhere the protection shield;
- Requires drying time before the protection shield is set in place, which was slightly inconvenient at the time;
- Not easily removed, but the surfaces did clean up ok, so no damage after application;
- because I've experienced the iPad 1 & 2 shutting down because of heat issues, from unventilated use in full sunlight, I do express a concern about the WrapSol on the iPad 3 and whether the shielding (or wrapping) of both sides would exacerbate the iPad 3 shutting down because of heat stress.
Overall, I would give the WrapSol protective film for the iPad tablet a 3.5 out of 5 star rating. While it is a great idea to wrap both sides with a protective shield, I'm just not sure how practical that would be for average use circumstances - definitely practical for class room iPads using just the Apple Smart cover, but not so practical when in a Folio, Defender or Other-box case.
So far Tim's findings
Protective tablet wraps are not for everyone but there are clear cases where it is an absolute necessity and WrapSol seems to be the best in the market.
There is also another product that I had a chance to test out from WrapSol: which is a nonslip grip pad. This is large enough to be put on the back of any tablet and particularly the very slippery back of an iPad. This adhesive stuff has a micro textured material that will enable you to hold the tablet in place for instance when you're sitting on the couch and you want to rest the tablet on your leg. I cut up one of these grip pads to make it fit my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone as I do quite a bit of reading on that device. I've always been known in the family and around colleagues as Mr Grip Tape for my habit of making my handheld devices less slippery. I do know that it has saved me many times from broken screens! Yet it always looked like it was an improvised job by McIver….
I've recently tested the grip pad on a 7.7 " tablet as a kneeboard in a cockpit environment for navigation and flight planning. This is ideal as the tablet doesn't slide around or fall off, can easily be taken off and doesn't require a proper kneeboard. Pilots: take notice!
This WrapSol grip pad looks good and it is not sticky or gummy and doesn't leave any textile stuff on it during extended use. Have a look at the WrapSol website: WrapSol.com.au and check out the various dimensions and prices. It's all pretty affordable.