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iPad 2 Clear Films/Protective Skins

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
This thread is about iPad screen and back clear films to protect from scratches and glare. Please share your opinions here

I personally went for the Zagg Maximum protection for iPad 2.

I installed it this evening and here's what I think so far.

First off, there's not enough fluid! I went through the whole container just putting the back on. Most people say to really use it if you want to place it properly so I did, but then I had none for the front. More on that later...

Back: I won't deny that I had a decent amount of trouble aligning it perfectly and that took quite a few extra sprays to keep my fingers moist and respraying the film to redo certain parts.
The film seems to be cut about a millimetre off. With the back camera centred in the circular hole, the mic wasn't centred with it's cut out. So either you choose one centred and one not but both not perfect. I decided to centred the camera, but this had the side effect of making the entire film just a tad short on the left side, we're talking a millimetre of difference but noticeable nonetheless. The speakers grill lined up, but again, the spacing was just bit tighter on the right. I guess I should have centred the mic and not the camera. In any case the difference is barely noticeable, even enough to be 'great' much less my OCD in these matters.

The corners scared me a lot. I really wasn't seeing how they would go down because it's flat plastic, not curved. What you do is wait till it all dries for like 2 minutes and then push and hold them down. Well this part wasn't the most obvious, but since they tend to pop back up if you don't hold them long enough, you have plenty of time to try and try again. Thing is if you push them down 'not' right, it causes air to go under the 'skin' elsewhere, so you really kinda have to look at it with all your logic and figure out where to push it down first and where to finish. This is easier in some corners then others, but after about 10 minutes of playing around doing this, it actually turned out looking pretty good.
All my efforts must have stretched the plastic in just the right places just enough for it to work. I must say the back of my iPad is very well covered by the skin, there must be a 2 square centimetres total uncovered (where the flaps for the corners don't cover). I guess there could be a tiny bit more film for those corner tabs, but I don't think I've seen other 'skins' do anymore than this one has.
There are a few tiny bubbles here and there, I'm hoping they will go away with time.
After buying a spray bottle and some baby shampoo, I made my own fluid and continued with the front.
Front: Lining this up was much easier but the film is like, not perfectly symmetrical; maybe a millimetre off but don't machines do this? It should be perfect, not damn close...
I lined it up using the camera, hoping it would go down right to the home button. Nope. It was a good thing I really drenched the film. Pressing firmly on the film and sliding it worked well, I slid it into place, checked the sides for symmetricallity and started squeegeeing. All bubbles and liquid came out nice and easy. I noticed what appears to be a... scratch, on the film. I pulled it all back up to make sure it wasn't dust. It's not. My Zagg film is scratched. I don't know if it's possible that the squeegee scratched it or if it was scratched in production. It's very small but still noticeable and I am hoping this self healing material self heals because for 40$, it shouldn't already be scratched.
Otherwise it's near invisible already and the whole thing looks pretty good. Given the slight issues I'm not sure it was worth 40$ but let's wait and see what it looks like after the recommended 24 hour healing process. Pictures will be posted then!

Anyway, I really looked high and low for good reviews of screen and back films and couldn't find many, please share your review here!
post #2 of 10
Originally Posted by alienzed View Post

Anyway, I really looked high and low for good reviews of screen and back films and couldn't find many, please share your review here!

I got the InvisibleSHIELD from Zagg also (front only) and I love it.

I already was interested in it and what sealed the deal was to see the invisibleSHIELD and the ZaggMate with Keyboard at Macworld with my own eyes and playing with them a little. At the Zagg booth they described the shield as having an "orange peel" feel to it and it is an accurate description. It kind of looks like that. It seems like this surface helps the plastic to "heal itself" from scratches.

Your fingers don't slide as easily on the plastic as they would on the bare glass. I have already experienced that at the booth, so I knew what to expect. I don't mind, and the peace of mind from knowing the screen won't get scratched is well worth it.

Installation was very difficult. Or should I say, getting the plastic to align to the edges, the home button, and the camera was. It doesn't fit perfectly. It is about one milliliter too small on the edges and the holes for the home button and the camera are a little large. Thank God. Based upon the installation videos I saw several times beforehand, I doused it on solution beforehand until it was literally dripping. I was expecting it to glide over the surface of the glass so I could position it better, and it never did. I had to lift the film and reposition several times. I eventually stopped because I thought the more times I lifted it the higher the chances of getting a dust or hair particle between the film and the glass. It ended up being a little off to the north on both the home button and the lens, but good enough. Remember they leave a little bit extra space.

Using the squeegee to remove the air and water bubbles was actually easy and fun. And surprisingly, very little if any liquid came off the edges. It seems like the skin absorbed it or it evaporated. There were lots of very small bubbles left over, though. I stopped running the squeegee after it was not getting any better for fear of scratching it. I then set the iPad aside for 12 hours without turning it on until I got back from work. When I got back it looked noticeably better. As a matter of fact, every time I came back to my iPad after work or sleeping, the shield looked a little more "cured". I heard testimonies that it takes a week for all the bubbles to disappear, so I knew what to expect. It is now 8 days since I installed it and there are still a few bubbles left. I trust they will go away soon.

There was one "bubble" right at the upper edge of the skin that never cured. Today I figured out it was caused by a very small string that got caught between the skin and the glass. After thinking about it for a while, I said "what the hell", lifted the top of the skin, removed the string, and placed it back. The solution I sprayed on my fingers beforehand got on the underside of the skin, so when I placed it back and used the squeegee, it reacted the same way as when I fist placed it a week ago. It seemed like it didn't stretch, which was my fear. It appears it will "cure" just fine. I will see how it goes tonight.

There is a very small hair stuck under the skin on the right, right next to the black "frame". I don't know if I will lift the skin again for that, since you cannot really see it unless the iPad is turned off.

My conclusion is that even though it is rather difficult to install, the invisibleSHIELD is well worth it if you like its "orange peel" look and feel, are careful enough during installation, and are patient while waiting for it to "cure".
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
View from above, not bad right? You can see the 'orange peel' texture well in this shot. When the screen is on, the film is completely invisible. My screen film was actually scratched before I installed it (top-ish left-ish white mark on photo), Zagg has already sent a replacement free. For 40$ you'd expect perfection, but at least they are correcting the mistake with zero fuss. Fact is it's just kind of like a piece of dust that won't go away, so annoying but hardly important for use.

Corner shot. The invisible shield doesn't repel dust, in fact the sides almost seem to attract it a tiny bit, easily wipeable though.

The cut out for the home button is quite noticeable, I'm not sure why it's like that. I'll see if the replacement is the same. This specific film seems to be sort of a lemon. (again, it's replacement is already in the mail).

Same thing for the camera, looks like the cutting process wasn't super refined when this one was made...

Back Corner: My beef here is that you need to leave these up while they dry so that they stick when you push them down. Aside from that process being really unintuitive, it seems to allow for lots of dust to accumulate while you wait for it to dry. Then there's those centimetre long strips right off the corners that are left totally bare; for argument's sake, I don't see how anything would come in direct contact with that area, and obviously they need to leave a little room for manoeuvring, but I would have expected slightly more coverage, again, it's 40$. I should mention that this isn't a Zagg specific fault though, all the other brands I've seen leave a little space there and the dust issue would be identical no matter what the skin brand is.

The iPod port, almost perfect.

And finally two shots of the back. The films really are invisible from more than a foot away from the device. The screen looks perfect while in use (if your film isn't already scratched).

All in all, these things take a very long time to install (in reality, put an hour aside), and there's always going to be some dust that gets stuck somewhere. I really don't think it's possible for the installation to be 100% perfect; and that goes for any brand or method. Once it cured, I have to admit I really like the looks and the feel doesn't bother me at all. No film is going to feel exactly like glass and if you really want to protect your iPad, I would have no problem recommending the iPad 2 Zagg maximum coverage package. I do wish it were a tad less expensive, but with how easy it is to get a replacement and the little extras that come with it, it's worth it in the end.

Final tally...
-Invisible once installed.
-Comes with everything you need to get it done.
-Good coverage and great protection.
-Great customer service and lifetime replacements will almost assuredly come in handy

-Could be more fluid included, it can't cost them anything to produce that stuff and the amount is quite low unless you get it right the first time and quickly.
-Expensive for what it is (after all, shipping isn't free)
-Difficult to install (not specific to Zagg but I just can't see the average Joe getting this right in 80% of cases)
-Both my films were cut like a millimetre off, for 40$ i'd expect my expensive piece of stretchy tape to be flawlessly cut. Again though, if you're really not satisfied with it, you just ask for a new one and voila!

I wish there was a way we could get this professionally done. Like you send it in and they install it in a dust-free clean room for an absolute perfect result without a single flaw. Then they could offer 99.99% coverage, the holes around the cameras, speaker grills, etc.. could be more precise. Heck they could even charge 20$ more, but then it'd be worth it because it would take all the hassle and stress away.
I also wish there was a little square of 'extra' tape, something I could exacto out to cover the corner gaps.

-Make more fluid and use the f#*$ out of it. (spray bottle + warm water +2 drops of baby shampoo) Really drench your film, your fingers, the squeegee, etc... This allows you to slide the film around just enough to get that perfect fit. Keep your finger tips very moist, you can even manually remove dust you can see while installing if your fingers are wet enough. Obviously your device better be off, and if you think you got any liquid inside it, wait the 20 hours before turning it on.
-Don't be afraid to re-align a few times, but after 3-4 removals you'll start getting dust. Don't be in a rush, take your time, maybe have your most diligent friend do it.
-Don't be afraid to get it replaced by Zagg. Truth is they should send two of each film and I understand why they don't, if they did, people would use it for two devices. They will send you a replacement though so if you've really messed up, don't give up, get even.
post #4 of 10
i rarely bring any of my tech devices to 3rd parties for service. when i bought my ipad 2 i walked straight out of the apple store to the nearest kiosk and paid $65 for the ishieldz for my ipad and iphone. those guys sprayed the screen down, cleaned it twice, sprayed something on the shield and smoothed out all the bubbles. then they wrapped it up and told me i'd get a lifetime guarantee with a free replacement if they had any problems. found 3 bubble on the ipads screen a week later so i took it back and they put a new one on for free.

i know it's tempting to order these protective covers online off amazon for half the prices, but honestly i'd save the headache and let some guy who has all the tools on hand and dose it 30 times a day.

now that its all dry it feels great. only issue is that the stylus pens are much less responsive.
post #5 of 10
I had Best Buy install the invisible screen on my IPAD2 front. I waited the 24 hours and most of the bubbles disappeared except for a large bubble when the on button is. I called Best Buy and the guy that installed said that it is a cut out and you can lift it off with a knife which I really don't want to do because I could cut the screen.

Has anyone else had this problem and is there a way that I can get rid of the large bubble without lifting off the entire film since everything else is fine. Should the tech at Best Buy have taken the holes for the camera and the button out.

Thanks for any assistance.
post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by tangerine dream View Post

Has anyone else had this problem and is there a way that I can get rid of the large bubble without lifting off the entire film since everything else is fine. Should the tech at Best Buy have taken the holes for the camera and the button out.

Thanks for any assistance.

My Zagg took almost a week for all the bubbles to disappear. I pressed down on them to make them stick to the surface quite often and the air slowly seeps out. Two horrible flaws on the back lasted for days but are completely gone now.

Originally Posted by justinnorth View Post

Anyone used one from colcasac? Reusable, washable and protects from UV light. you can check more at http://www.colcasac.com/ipad-sleeve/...reen-protector

the price is right!
I bought a Colcasac sleeve and I wasn't super pleased... still waiting on the refund after two weeks.
It was very nice but it had two rough seams that prevented the iPad from sitting in straight... seemed like an obvious oversight to me...
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by justinnorth View Post

I was asking about iPad Screen Protector from Colcasac. Regarding Colcasac ipad sleeves, i found those nice, I got Zagora ipad sleeves and it fits nicely.

The screen protector definitely looks nice... and as I said, finally a price that makes sense...
post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by soynjuice View Post

Is Zagg film the best choice of brand out there? I would like a screen shield for my ipad2 as well.

In all my research, Zagg gives the best protection but PowerSupport looks the best.
People have suggested using a PS for the front and a Zagg for the back.

I bought a BestSkinsEver front and back and will be reviewing those here soon.
post #9 of 10
I got Power Support for the screen and Zagg for backside. People cant tell or believe there's a screen cover on mine which is really cool.
post #10 of 10
Screen and back covers are really elegant to look at, but it is very hard to find a cover that would exactly fit your gadget and in most cases you will notice some flaws in it. I would suggest that you buy a sleeve or bag for it. It offers more protection plus it offers a variety of fashion that suits your personality.
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