Thursday, April 28, 2011

Fingers-On with iVisor iPad Screen Protector

The matte iVisor cuts down on reflections, but also lowers contrast. Photo Charlie Sorrel
I keep going back to the iPad 2 page at the Apple Store and hovering my mouse pointer over the “buy” button. I have even ordered one, waited a couple weeks and then canceled it. Why? Because it’s hard to justify spending €800 ($1,100) on a 64GB 3G iPad 2 when I already have a 64GB 3G iPad 1 right here.
Sure I want the camera, and the slimmer body plus faster processor are certainly nice, but what I really like is that you can use iPad case-free, with the Smart Cover to protect the screen. So I was very happy to try out the iVisor from Moshi, a screen-protector for the iPad which lets me toss my fat, ugly, slow iPad into a bag, naked as the day it was born.
Unlike other covers, the iVisor doesn’t trap bubbles. This is because it doesn’t actually stick to the screen. Instead, it comes with a sticky black bezel. This secures the protector in place, and also means that the cover is removable, cleanable and reusable.
For the test, I used the matte version, which should cut out reflections on the screen. In practice, it just diffuses these reflections while at the same time diffusing any ambient light, which decreases contrast. And when you have the iPad in front of you, fine detail at the edges of the screen blurs slightly. Unless you really hate glossy screens, I’d advise using the clear version.
Application was very easy. Use the included microfiber cloth to polish away dust and smears, remove the protector from its cardboard sleeve and peel off the backing. Line the hole up over the home button and then just kind of let go. It almost places itself. The iPad 1 version has another cut out for the useless ambient light sensor, and the iPad 2 version has another for the camera.
In use, the protector disappears. It feels a little softer than the glass screen of course, but you get used to it. Despite not being sticky, the panel sits flat on the screen at all times. The cover is also much more slippery than the glass, making finger gestures easier but also — oddly — making the iPad easier to grip when carrying it around.
I have liberated my iPad from its rubbery Apple case. Using this always felt like the equivalent of putting a supermodel in a wetsuit. I am now (mostly) happy to put the iPad alone into a bag with other gadgets, but I’m keeping it away from keys until I’m really, really sure I won’t sell it to buy an iPad 2.
If you’re in the market for a screen protector, this one is definitely worth a look. The only downside is that it costs $30. Then again, you’d probably have to go through at least $30 of regular sticky screen protectors before you got one on without the bubbles.


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