The Screen Protector Shootout ended but it had a glaring omission of one of the key competitors. Steve Seto graciously sent me a sample and I was able to give it a good go-round. It’s been a while coming, but it’s finally here. Enjoy the video followed by the written write-up after the jump.
3M Vikuiti Screen Protector
Very thick screen protector. Only screen protector with an anti-reflective layer in an anti-glare screen protector. Good craftsmanship.
At $80 for a 5-pack it works out to $16 each. This price is actually relatively cheap when considering the cost:performance ratio.
Excellent writing feel. Speckling is noticeable but not invasive. Scratch resistance was phenomenal. Not one scratch was seen even after the stress test.
The same difficulties hold true for installing the full adhesive protector in a dust-free environment.
It’s a fingerprint and palm smudge magnet. It’s almost as bad as Photodon’s matte. Be sure to carry a screen cleaning cloth with you.
Outdoor visibility suffered due to the diffusion of light, which is on par with other AG screen protectors.
I originally planned on testing the 3M Vikuiti with the rest of the candidates in the Screen Protector Shootout, but I couldn’t quite coordinate with 3M in sending me a properly sized 12Ã¢â‚¬Â widescreen. I knew Fujitsu sold the Vikuiti in the proper size, but I wasn’t ready to throw down $80 for a 5-pack on a screen protector I wasn’t sure I was going to like. Steve Seto, GBM forum member and regular contributor, contacted me and offered to send me an oversized 3M Vikuiti that I trimmed to size using one of the used full-coverage screen protectors I had laying around. Thank you, Steve!
Wow, this thing is thick! I was pleasantly surprised by how sturdy the screen protector felt in my hands. The anti-glare properties softly diffused the light. The AG isn’t as aggressively implemented as some of the other AG protectors, but you won’t be confusing this for a crystal clear type. There is a tint that is visible under certain lighting conditions from the 3M Vikuiti. Further digging on 3M’s site revealed that the Vikuiti line also contains an anti-reflective layer.
Installation was no problem here. With this much practice putting on and taking off screen protectors, I’ve gotten quite accustomed to installing them with little to no problem. I think the key is to install at a decently fast pace. If you go too slow it will increase the chances of introducing statically charged dust and hair particulates. If you go too fast you risk misalignment. The one good thing about these new silicone adhesive resin backing screen protectors is that if they do get riddled with debris, a simple lint remover rolled over the resin will clean the screen protector right up.
Preservation of Luminosity:
Speckling from the Vikuiti was minimal. It was noticeable, but it wasn’t distracting. Did it diminish the crispness and clarity I am used to? Of course; all AG screens do. If I had a matte screen, I doubt the 3M Vikuiti would have introduced any new artifacts to detract from the viewing experience.
The Vikuiti offers one of the best inking experiences out there. There is just enough resistance to remind me of how things felt when I used pen on paper. I switched over to the standard tip from my normal felt tip for this test and it was very pleasant. I’ve grown accustomed to the felt tips on crystal clear protectors, but I think the Vikuiti replicates a pen-on-paper feel very accurately.
Screen visibility under shady conditions was great. At 100% brightness, there was no difficulties in reading text on screen. In the sun, however, the AG characteristics rears its head and diffuses the light quite a bit. It’s not as easy to read outdoors in direct sunlight as a crystal clear protector since the speckling diffuses the light and washes out the screen a bit too much.
Screen Protector Removal:
I’ve done this so many times now that removing the screen protector was very simple to me. I actually just peeled off a corner and removed the screen protector. The Vikuiti is thick enough that no special tools are needed to pry a corner up.
I think the 3M Vikuiti screen protector sits right up there with the best of them. Writing feel was excellent, speckling was minimal, and outdoor visibility was decent. It’s a great all-around performer for those who don’t like reflective glossy screens. Although there aren’t any options to buying single sheets of the Vikuiti, having 5 of them on hand for $80 isn’t a bad investment. If I were in the market, I’d get the 5-pack, keep 2, and sell the other 3 at $15 each to recoup some of the costs. I have no doubts the 3M Vikuiti will hold up to months of moderate use as my stress test revealed no damage whatsoever to the screen protector.
If I had to rank the Vikuiti compared to the rest, I’d say it was the best AG screen protector available.