One of the first things new Tablet PC users ask about are screen protectors – which protect the screen the best, which ones are good for handwriting, which ones help with glare, etc. GBM forum member Tonkabui was asking the same things, and took it upon himself to contact a slew of screen protector manufacturers in order to present a complete review of available screen protectors for the GBM community.
His first review is on ProtecT, published here as a GBM User InkReview. Watch the video part of the review below, and read the textual review below.
– Truc Bui
Screen Protector Shootout
I have always used screen protectors on my touch-screen devices. It all started in 2001 when I bought my first PDA. The Handspring changed how I stayed organized, especially for college work. After 4 months of use, however, the Handspring was pretty scratched up and I had to buy another one. Since then, I have been a faithful user of screen protectors on all of my devices. I have screen protectors on my current PPC phone, my camera’s LCD, and of course, my Fujitsu T2010, which will serve as my test mule for this shootout. I think I might have an unnatural disdain for scratched viewing screens.
The first thing I did when I bought my computer in March was apply the screen protector. Immediately, I noticed the heavy sparkling introduced coupled with a decrease in screen clarity and the raspiness of the inking experience. It felt almost like writing on really really really fine sandpaper. Over the last two months, the Fujitsu protector has served its purpose, especially that time a colleague accidentally dropped his keys onto my computer in tablet mode. But in the end, I still am not happy with the writing feel of the stock protector, it was getting scratched up, and most importantly, the screen quality drastically diminished. I started researching which screen protector would work the best and preserve the amazing screen that Fujitsu is known for. The most I can come up were single reviews of a few brands. There are at least 8 brands of screen protectors out there, so I figured I’d ask the folks at GBM if they’d do an inkshow. I received word from Rob Bushway that if I was interested, I could do the reviews myself. So here I am, writing my first review EVER. I apologize in advance if this review is lackluster in any way, both in written form and video form. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated.
The contestants for this shootout are (in the order they were received):
1) ProtecT Computer Products http://www.protectcovers.com
2) PocketPCTechs Writeshield http://www.pocketpctechs.com
3) NuShield http://www.nushield.com
4) Strong Engineering Inc. http://www.strongengineering.com
5) 3M Vikuiti http://www.3M.com
As of this writing, I am still awaiting product from:
6) Clarivue http://www.clarivue.com
7) InvisibleShield http://www.invisibleshield.com
8) Boxwave http://www.boxwave.com
First up in the roundup is a solution from ProtecT screen protectors. ProtecT’s product line is quite impressive including keyboard covers, laptop covers, laptop lid protectors, screen protectors, and even rugged laptop cases. After contacting their online live technical support, I was connected directly with Gil Workman, the GM at ProtecT. He was very informative, very accommodating, and was more than happy to participate in my first comprehensive product review.
I had high hopes for the ProtecT covers since Gil told me their biggest clients are in the health care industry and the military. Upon initial impressions, the ProtecT was well made. I was told the ProtecT was applied to field computers in Iraq and Afghanistan and had been field tested in Fort Hood to test durability and resiliency against scratches and pitting from being sandblasted in those harsh environments. From the looks of it, this screen protector will uphold those claims.
There are four thin adhesive strips on the backside of the protector which made installation a breeze. There were no issues with bubbling and the protector sat nice and flush against the screen. Everything so far has been as described. The only thing that bothered me up to this point is the adhesive strips that invaded about 1/16 or 1/8 of the viewable area’s edge. This means that everything at the very edge of the screen is distorted due to the adhesive.
Preservation of Luminosity:
The screen protector was almost completely clear. The speckling that I was used to from the Fujitsu-provided screen protectors was non-existent. The ProtecT did a fine job of preserving the clarity and crispness of Fujitsu’s awesome screen right after installing. It did cut down glare quite a bit while preserving most of the clarity of the screen but was not intrusive like the stock screen protector. Unfortunately, the screen emitted a rainbow effect from some angles. Unlike Newton rings that are circular, these rainbows are vertical. It was quite odd and I’ve never experienced anything like it before. Even the stock screen protectors didn’t give me any Newton rings, contrary to other people’s experience.
It all fell apart for the ProtecT when I performed an inking test. Inking feel was great, initially. As I continued to write, I noticed an impression of what I was writing on the protector. Sure enough, the pen was leaving scratches on the protector. I hoped it was just residue either from my hand or from the peel-off from the protector. Unfortunately, the screen protector was indeed scratched. As I continued to use the tablet, the scratches got worse and writing feel deteriorated. After a full day’s use, I had to take off the screen protector because the scratches became such an eyesore and the inking experience diminished greatly due to the scratches. Writing over a scratched area of the screen resulted in awful noises and inconsistent inking since the pen would track the scratches.
Outdoor use was a nightmare with all those scratches, so I skipped it in the video review for the ProtecT. Trust me when I say taking the computer outdoors after the inking test did the screen protector no favors.
Screen Protector Removal:
Taking off the screen protector was a snap. Since ProtecT leaves a gap in the adhesive between adjacent sides, I was able to easily pry the screen protector off.
Cheap at $15 before shipping.
Very good screen clarity (so long as you don’t ink)
Easy to install and remove
Inking led to heavy scratching.
Adhesive strips were within the viewing area.
Rainbow effect similar to Newton rings except vertical rather than circular.
Stay tuned for Round 2!