Review: invisibleSHIELD iPad Screen Protector
Screen protectors are an essential accessory, protecting the iPad from scratches and damage without interfering with Apple's sleek industrial design. ZAGG now offers the invisibleSHIELD premium screen/full body iPad protector made out of military grade patented material.
ZAGG's invisibleSHIELD is pre-cut to fit the iPad perfectly out of the same material used to protect the leading edge of helicopter blades traveling hundreds of miles per hour. After a simple application process, the iPad is fully protected by what ZAGG claims is an invisible, invincible, self-healing urethane plastic.
The ZAGG invisibleSHIELD comes in two separate pieces cut to form-fit the front and back of the iPad. None of the material folds over any edges or covers the thin metal sides of the iPad. This makes the installation process a bit easier and ensures the protective film will not interfere with any ports or buttons.
Included with the two shield pieces is a bottle of SHIELDSpray installation solution and a rubber squeegee. Since there are no flaps or tabs on the iPad invisibleSHIELD, the installation process is relatively simple, although it requires some patience. Since this is an area of concern for many considering the invisibleSHIELD for their device, let's explore the installation process in detail.
The key to a successful installation is a clean work area and some degree of patience. Don't be afraid to use enough SHIELDspray because in the end a proper amount will help the process. A more dry invisibleSHIELD is difficult to align and won't dry properly on the device. We've never experienced damage to our devices from the spray, just make sure to follow the instructions: switch your device off for installation and keep it off overnight as the invisibleSHIELD sets.
Make sure your iPad is clean and fingerprints, dust and dirt are removed. Wash your hands and get a paper towel to help absorb the excess SHIELDSpray later in the process. ZAGG recommends to spray your fingers with solution before peeling the invisibleSHIELD off of its paper backing to prevent fingerprints.
The iPad invisibleSHIELD is much larger than the iPhone invisibleSHIELD so it took some care to hold it up and get a good coating of spray on the adhesive side. I was able to flip it over with both hands and work from the top down to apply the invisibleSHIELD to the back of the iPad.
This is much easier starting from one corner, then working across to the opposite side. As soon as one edge is aligned to your satisfaction the invisibleSHIELD can be slowly lowered down from the center out onto the rest of the iPad.
As you can see, there's a small gap between the edge of the iPad and the edge of the invisibleSHIELD all around. Keep this in mind as you set up your alignment. Bubbles are normal and will be visible under the invisibleSHIELD. If your alignment is unsatisfactory and you used enough spray, lifting the invisibleSHIELD up and starting over is not a problem. Alternatively, you may be able to slide it over for minor adjustments without pulling it up.
The squeegee will push bubbles and excess SHIELDSpray out from under your invisibleSHIELD. I found that applying the squeegee from the Apple logo out to the sides, top and bottom provided the best results. As the bubbles and solution come closer to the edge the invisibleSHIELD will flatten and due to its rubbery texture it may stretch closer to the edge. A paper towel can be held on the edge to absorb any solution the squeegee pushes out, especially close to the 30-pin dock connector and buttons.
ZAGG recommends spraying the non-adhesive side as well. Personally, I find a little spritz of SHIELDSpray directly on the squeegee is enough to help it slide easier. Most of the time it's not even necessary.
After the squeegee process, the invisibleSHIELD is incredibly transparent and gives the iPad an appealing, grippy texture while retaining the original industrial design of the device.
Now the entire back surface of the iPad is protected from scratches and abrasion. The invisibleSHIELD adheres firmly to the aluminum and plastic elements of the device and protects right up to the edge.
To install the invisibleSHIELD on the iPad's glass screen, the back installation process is repeated. The rubbery flexibility of the invisibleSHIELD material is more noticeable when installing the screen portion, since this piece is cut even more precisely to fit.
Try pulling the squeegee along different angles to help pull the invisibleSHIELD in the direction you need it to go for minor adjustments.
After using the squeegee, the invisibleSHIELD came right up to the rubber seal between the glass and aluminum. Some will find aligning the screen invisibleSHIELD to be difficult. However, the result of patience is a protector that fits extremely well and protects the entire screen.
ZAGG even provides an optional circular home button protector that can be applied. This photo shows the freshly-installed invisibleSHIELD around the home button area. After using the squeegee, the screen protector will be flat, but you may notice some tiny micro-bubbles. There are a few visible here.
ZAGG explains that as the SHIELDSpray dries overnight and over the next few days, theses imperfections will disappear. After careful inspection of the iPad throughout the week after installation, we noticed these bubbles went away. The only problem was a speck of dirt or two stuck at the bezel. This, of course, is my fault for not being more careful.
Now that the invisibleSHIELD had time to set completely, we put the iPad through its paces to see how ZAGG's product performed.
Clarity and Fingerprints
ZAGG's claims of invisibility are accurate. When watching video or browsing the web it's almost impossible to tell the invisibleSHIELD is there. The bright screen and sharp color of Apple's iPad display are not dimmed or blurred by the material.
Another impressive characteristic of the invisibleSHIELD is the material's ability to reduce fingerprints. Unlike the glass screen, we found the invisibleSHIELD took longer to accumulate oil and dirt. Cleaning was just as simple but gave us more peace of mind since there were no worries about scratching the screen.
Glare is reduced slightly as well. Although the invisibleSHIELD isn't really a matte finish, the texture of this screen protector reduces the focus of harsh reflections.
The invisibleSHIELD changes the slick feel of the iPad surfaces it covers, in our opinion for the better. With its rubbery but smooth texture, the invisibleSHIELD gives the iPad a grippy back and bezel that makes the device easier to hold and carry. Although the entire screen protector also has this texture, its flat surface doesn't cause friction that hinders gesturing and does not change the accuracy of the touch screen.
We're not sure why you'd want to take it off, but if necessary, removal of the invisibleSHIELD is simple. Starting from one corner, just peel it back. The adhesive is incredibly strong, so removal will take some pressure. The invisibleSHIELD did not leave behind any notable residue. Some adhesive around the edge stayed on the iPad, however it came off in seconds with a quick rub just like rubber cement.
ZAGG's invisibleSHIELD is a superior product. Although installation may be more difficult than similar products on the market, the looks, texture and durability of invisibleSHIELD are unparalleled. We've used the invisibleSHIELD on other devices for over a year with no visible damage, peeling or other issues.
See the iPad Accessory Guide for more information, reviews and user ratings on the invisibleSHIELD.
Over 7 million invisibleSHIELDs have been sold along with ZAGG's lifetime replacement warranty and a 45 day money back guarantee. iPad invisibleSHIELD prices are:
Full Body Coverage for $39.99
Back Coverage for $29.99
Screen Coverage for $29.99
Zagg is now offering the iPad invisibleSHIELD online. Head to their website to order directly and receive free shipping.