Home Accessories Does Your iPad Really Need a Screen Protector?

Does Your iPad Really Need a Screen Protector?

We’ve shown you how to apply a screen protector to your iPad, but perhaps a question you should ask yourself before you even buy a screen protector is whether or not you actually need one in the first place.

The iPad Air 2 already comes with Gorilla Glass, which is to say that it’s scratch-resistant and less prone to shatter if you accidentally drop your iPad.

So essentially, your iPad’s display already comes with a screen protector of sorts, but many users feel that they need that extra protection for added peace-of-mind. And while Gorilla Glass is scratch-resistant, there comes a point where it can no longer withstand certain scratches.

On the other hand, if you’re always cautious about what your iPad’s screen touches, do you really need to worry about getting a screen protector?

Here are a few reasons as to why and why not it’s a good idea to opt for a screen protector for your iPad.

iPads Are Already Scratch-Resistant

As already mentioned, newer iPads comes with Gorilla Glass, meaning that the screen is already toughened up and ready to take whatever scratches that come its way.

iPad-Air

Of course, it won’t stand up to anything, as a knife to the display would easily kill it, but most common household items like keys wouldn’t do much damage initially. However, if you constantly expose your iPad to the elements or you have kids or pets that would likely do some damage, you’ll most likely end up with a scratched display eventually.

In most cases, you’ll be just fine without a screen protector, especially if you’re always careful about how you handle your iPad in the first place. For instance, I have an Apple Smart Case for my iPad mini and the cover keeps the display protected when I’m not using it, and I never let my iPad get close to anything sharp in the first place.

However, accidentally dropping your iPad is about the worst-case scenario there is, and most likely your screen will crack if it’s dropped. This is where some screen protectors can be useful.

Some Screen Protectors Work Really Well…

All screen protectors are not created equally, and there are many different kinds. Most of them, however, are usually made out of a thin and flexible plastic sheet that sticks onto your device’s screen using some kind of adhesive or just static electricity.

More expensive screen protectors are made out of tempered glass, which are essentially just really thin sheets of glass that you stick on top of your iPad’s display. This makes it so that you’ll still get that natural glass feel to the device, but it does add a bit of thickness, since glass screen protectors are a bit thicker than regular plastic ones.

There are also more rugged screen protectors from companies like Zagg who specialize in military-grade screen protection. These screen protectors are made out of an incredible material that’s insanely scratch proof. They’re overkill most of the time and are fairly expensive, but they can be good for users who work in construction that would have an iPad exposed to extreme conditions.

However, when it comes to the best protection for accidental drops, we’ve had the best luck with glass screen protectors. As seen in the video above, our own Xavier Lanier accidentally dropped his LG G3, but the glass protector took the hit and cracked, while the phone’s actual display was left intact.

Of course, some commenters weren’t so lucky, so your mileage may vary depending on what phone you have, what type of glass protector is installed, and how it’s installed in the first place.

…But Many Screen Protectors Don’t Really Work

While we’ve found that the glass screen protectors usually do a better job at actually protecting a display, other types of screen protectors will only offer a minimal amount of protection.

ipad-screen-protector

More specifically, those cheap plastic screen protectors will do absolutely nothing when it comes to accidental drops. They’ll offer a little bit of added scratch protection, but not much else past that.

This is why you want to be careful as far as what screen protector you get for your iPad, as there are different kinds of protectors for different purposes. Cheap plastic screen protectors can give you a little bit extra peace of mind, but opting for a glass screen protector is probably the best option if you’re wanting the best coverage.

iPads Usually Don’t Get Used as Much as iPhones

You most likely take your iPhone with you everywhere, and you’re constantly fishing it out of your pocket multiple times per day, whereas your iPad might stay at home or stay in your bag until you get to the office.

iPad-mini-Retina

Long story short, your iPad probably doesn’t get used as often as your iPhone does, or at least you keep your iPad in your bag until you’re settled down at home or in the office, thus it’s exposed less to all the things that can cause a scratched or shattered display.

This is why a screen protector on an iPad may not be as important as a screen protector on an iPhone.

Screen Protectors Decrease Usability

This could be quite subjective, but I believe that a lot of screen protectors can negatively impact the clarity of the iPad display, as well as reduce touch responsiveness while using the device.

Furthermore, I’ve never liked using plastic screen protectors or even the options offered by Zagg, simply because they eliminate the natural glass feel of the iPad’s screen, and there’s nothing quite like the feeling of smooth glass on your fingertips when it comes to a high-quality touch screen.

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13 Comments

  1. toocoldinmadison

    04/02/2016 at 8:30 am

    Well, Zagg glass screen protectors feel like glass since they are glass. My bottom line is this. Sure, the iPad glass is “scratch-resistant,” but if it does get scratched, you are SOL. If the screen protector gets scratched, you just remove it and buy another for a lot less than replacing the screen would cost. Lastly, my experience is that fingerprint smudging is a lot less with the Zagg glass than with a bare screen.

    Reply

  2. Ssv

    05/19/2016 at 1:54 am

    I bought my first Apple device (iPad Pro 9.7) recently and had a tempered glass screen protector installed on it the day after, given all the excitement in wanting to ‘protect’ my new Apple device. It costed me 40$, and I was totally disappointed. It ruined the awesome display. My screen WAS super anti-reflective, and now it seems more like a mirror. I intend to buy the Apple Pencil as well, and I wonder if the tempered glass will affect the Pencil latency.

    That’s it. I’m going to take the ‘screen protector’ off. Throw it. In the bin.

    There’s no point in buying a device as awesome as the iPad Pro if you are not going to exploit its awesomeness. If I wanted to protect the iPad, I might as well have stored it in a damn locker instead of using it :-/

    Reply

  3. Samason

    05/25/2016 at 5:45 am

    Ipads NEED protection. My new iPad Air felt from my knees while sitting on the wooden floor and got broken. One month after buying it. Now I have to spend €300+ in order to have it repaired. This is bad design. Bad glass because it gets broken so easily (lots of people complaining around the web). It’s a portable device, it should have stronger/better designed glass. Bad design also because lcd and motherboard is attached to it so you have to replace everything. And only Apple is good in doing it, so they get my fully functional new iPad with broken glass and 300$. And I get another iPad with limited guarantee and probability that it will happen again.

    Apple, this is called BAD DESIGN and to answer the article question, yes you NEED extra protection, because this portable device is not protected by it’s designers. the only thing they seem to be interested to protect is their cashflow.

    Reply

  4. Samer Talaat

    07/18/2016 at 5:08 pm

    Yes SAMASON you are right Apple all they care about is there Cashflow . Apple is not the company that Steve Jobs created it is a company that i see that one day it is going to be out or sold to another big company as this Tim Cooks is a real looser .Look how long that i have been waiting for a new MacBook Pro to come out and now i gave up and will buy Windows the hell with Apple so do the iPhone why so expensive , Apple is loosing there share in this Market with the Watch,iPhone and there laptops as they already did with there Extreme very expensive Mac starting at 3K .
    Soon i will give up on Apple as there product is getting to be trash and why do i have to wait over a year for Mr Crooks to announce even when his Macbook Pro will be out . I will not be surprised one day if Apple will go out . As they are facing so many problems in India and China . I loved Apple but now hate it they only care about there Cashflow as everyone is saying and watch the iPhone 7 will be there biggest failure hope so.
    Not you can get a new Samsung for $99.00 second free !!!!! What Apple can offer ..DRECK nothing .Sad that Steve Jobe passed away to turn ver to a loser like Tim Crooks .. Yes Crooks and not Cook

    Reply

  5. Danny

    08/02/2016 at 4:57 pm

    You guys are insane…. Still the best and most secure products on the market…..

    Reply

  6. Ik

    09/13/2016 at 3:20 am

    Save? Not the exterieur.. And if you need the security that Apple iOS brings, you’re Just not smart enough to work with Android 😜

    Reply

  7. Sharonne Vinokurov

    09/13/2016 at 7:21 pm

    My question is if I buy a case for my ipad 2, do I need to buy a separate glass protector.

    Reply

  8. Edward

    12/29/2016 at 9:28 am

    NO, they don’t need a screen protector for most people. If you are clumsy or work construction, then yes. If you usually use at home and are not clumsy, then don’t get one. The feel of the Gorilla Glass is great and responsive, and does not glare. Plastic protectors are useless, since Gorilla Glass (that is used on all the new iPads) is scratch resistant. Personally I have never broken a phone screen, or one of my iPad screens. Nearly ALL reviews support this, NO! you don’t need one.

    Reply

  9. Shirley Markham

    01/30/2017 at 7:28 am

    I have i-pad Pro, 9.7 screen. Unfortunate accident shot i-pad out of my bag onto road and screen is badly damaged though intact. Replacement screen is £350! Wound a screen protctor help preserve my shattered screen until the Pro prices come down to a reasonable cost? The pad itself works perfectly but parts of the screen are rough and crazed .

    Reply

  10. Barbara EO

    02/06/2017 at 6:39 am

    I recently bought an IPad 2 Air. The case that I bought from Amazon is great and it came complete with a screen protector. I used it although I didn’t have one on my old IPad which I had for years and had no problems. I have decided to remove the protector as, no matter how careful I am,when scrolling down the screen I find it too sensitive. e.g. going down a list of videos on Youtube it keeps opening some of them up. Never ever had this happen before. Got so frustrated last night I felt like throwing the IPad across the room😄

    Reply

  11. Virginia Fry

    04/07/2017 at 7:47 am

    What about smudges from fingers on the screen?
    I have an iPad4 at present and have a plastic screen protector on it.
    I’ve just bought an iPad Pro but the actual installing of a tempered glass screen saver seems somewhat fiddly!

    Reply

  12. dehlilah

    04/10/2017 at 9:49 am

    i dropped my i phone and small crack on screen, it gradually got worse and spread but still working, then i trod on the soft bag it was in and the screen looks like a gardn of ferns in a quarter of the area and it keeps jumping from one thing to another, i also bent the back the off switch on the top rt wouldnt turn on or off, so permanently on, and the corners bashed out of shape — i ordered a new onee more torage ive ordered a lifepro nuud case but how to protect the scren? screen protectors seem a nono is there even a had rd case will fir over the nuud, maybe a liferaft case or something, i am death to technology also droppd my kindle in a buckt of dirty water and have drowned 2 android phones and an i phone..

    Reply

  13. dehlilah

    04/10/2017 at 9:50 am

    ii oops i meant i drop my i pad air 2 the previous post that was damaged and trofd on, as well as all the smartphones i have trashed..

    Reply

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