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Thinner Lighter Better

Best 6 picks on iPad screen protectors and covers

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on November 8, 2013

The problem with all these devices boosting a touchscreen these days is that their displays will eventually get scratched and damaged, unless you take good care of them. That’s the case with smaller devices like the iPhone or iPod Touch, but also with the bigger iPad. And iPad Screen protectors come to help.

Best iPad screen protectors - below

Best iPad screen protectors – below

Although the surface of the screen is advertised as scratch-proof, I guarantee it is not, and in time, it won’t be as shinny as it was when new. And it won’t offer the same touch experience once it starts getting scratches and smudges. And that will happen, no matter how much you try not to. If you’re a girl and got big fingernails, if you live in a dusty environment or just if you don’t clean the display with the proper solutions and materials (natural leather is indicated and special cleaners), you’ll see my point. And there are many other reasons why this will happen as well.

So what is actually the solution? Like I said, is a rather simple and cheap one: iPad Screen covers. These iPad accessories I consider must haves for every iPad owner. They are usually made out of a thin film ultra-durable material, attach to the screen and protect it. Then, once they get damaged in time, you can peel them off and replace them with new ones.

Now, there are many types of such iPad Screen scratch protection options, with some only going for a couple of bucks, and others up to 20 or 30. What’s the difference? Well, the cheaper ones are less tough and will get scratched easily, so you will have to change them every week or so. Also, they might not adhere properly to the device or leave marks when pealed off.

That’s why I for one recommend using proper protection, from big brands. So in the rows bellow you will see what I and iPad customers all over the world consider the best iPad screen protectors these days. This is not a top, but a list of different options, all picked because they are good and scored excellent reviews from experts and regular users like us.

However, surfing the web, I’ve seen many of you having trouble getting the screens on without air bubbles or without damaging them. That in fact is not very complicated if you follow the instruction carefully. However, it might take some practice time, so if you haven’t used one of these accessories before, better pick some of the cheaper ones first. It would be a shame to trow away 20-30 bucks for a top cover just because you could not put it on right. More details about this towards the end of the post.

And one more thing: don’t expect these protection options to be indestructible. They are useful, but have their limits. And be aware that there are always marketing gimmicks behind each picture and clip, so always base your decisions on trusted sources and review from regular users. That’s why this post should be helpful, as it is based on those two exact factors.

The Zagg InvisibleShield iPad Screen cover

I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard of Zagg. They’ve made a name with their screen covers for Apple products, and now they have one for the iPad as well. Their product is called the InvisibleShield, and quite a shield it is. I’ve used these for my iPod Touch for the last 2 years and have nothing to complain about.

As the guys at Zagg say, their Shields are made from army-grade materials (the ones used to protect helicopter blades from debriefs and shrapnel ). So they are tough. The clip below proves it. Besides protecting from scratches, these will also reduce fingerprints, smears and glare (display is glossy so using it in strong light conditions ain’t a pleasure) but without affecting the touch experience on your iPad.

Now, Zagg has so much trust in this product that they offer 1 year warranty and free replacement. So, if you will have the iPad and bought an InvisibleShield, Zagg will replace it for you if it gets damaged within a year. I can say that for my iPod Touch I only had 2 Shields in 2 years, the first of started to peel of on the sides after 1 year and a couple of months, so I had to replace it, but there were still almost no marks or scratches on its surface. And you also get 45 days return time for these products, just in case you don’t like them, and you’ll get your money back.

The Zagg InvisibleShield is the most popular and appreciated such screen cover for iPad

The Zagg InvisibleShield is the most popular and appreciated such screen cover for iPad

The Zagg InvisibleShield for the iPad comes in two versions: a screen protector, that goes for $29 , and a full Body Armor, that includes protection for display and the back, for $39. If I were you, I would go for the second, those extra 10 bucks are money worth spent. Notice that they sell different products for Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi/3G versions, but they are both completely identical.

Boxwave ClearTouch protector

Some customers feel like the InvisibleShield is not as smooth as it could be. I for one don’t share the thought, but I do consider the BoxWave Cleatouch iPad screen covers to be the smoothest you can get. And it is good too, based on customers reviews posted online in various sources.

However, although BoxWave says this is an anti-glare shield, it’s actually not, at least not when compared with Zagg’s product. So if you want a protector that will reduce glare and reflections, this might not be the one. Otherwise, it is a good pick and it’s a tad cheaper than the Zagg.

Belkin Screen Overlay for the iPad

This is another very good option for an iPad screen scratch protector. Like the products above, this is a durable thin film with dust repelling coating and anti-glare. Will perfectly fit the iPad and will not be that hard to install if you follow carefully the indications.

It is backed up by a big name and good reviews and it is slightly cheaper than the InvisibleShield. Can’t say if it is a better pick, I haven’t used it myself, but I tend to believe it isn’t.

Still, if you care to save some extra bucks, you can try this one too. Comes with 30 day Money-Back guarantee so you can always return it in case it ain’t right.

BodyGuardz iPad protector

BodyGuardz full-body shield

BodyGuardz full-body shield

Another tough one is this display protector for BodyGuardz. Producers say the material used for these accessories is the same used to shield front of automobiles from stones and other abrasive elements. So it is durable, as the clip below proves it also.

However, I’ve read many reviews claiming that, because of this screen is so tough, it is also more rigid than others, thus getting it on without bubbles will be a job for the most skilled of you. So be aware.

In terms of prices, display protection goes for $18.99, while the Full Body armor is $29.99. So cheaper than the others above.

All in all the BoDyGuardz iPad screen cover should be a top performer, just as long as you can get it on properly.

6 pack screen protectors – cheap

Now, like I’ve said in the beginning of the post, it takes time to master getting a screen protector on without bubbles, that’s why some people hate it. It is very frustrating when you mess up an expensive accessory, like one of the ones above. That’s why I would recommend first buying some cheaper ones to practice your skills.

They won’t be as strong as the other options above or as reliable. Plus, they might not fit just perfectly. But for 1 buck a piece, they are surely worth trying, at least till you get your skills up to mount a ZaggShield 😛

How to get them on and some tips

Basically, these screen protectors are here to protect the display on your device. However, they actually provide bonus advantages as well: increase grip for your iPad, keep it dust-free, reduce smudges and glares (some come with anti-reflective coating) when used in strong light conditions. So as you can see, reasons for buying such devices do stock up.

Clean the surface

Clean the surface

However, I’ve noticed many of you guys have problems getting these screen protectors on the device. Now, it actually ain’t that complicated once you get some practice and if you carefully follow the instructions. So I’m sure all you guys can do it and here are a few tips that will help:

  • if possible, do not remove display’s cover that comes with the iPad from factory until you’re ready to get on one of these on
  • prepare a clean and dust-free environment when you’re ready to put the protectors on
  • carefully wash your hands with soap
  • carefully clean the surface of the iPad and make sure no dust gets on the screen during the operation. Usually, best screen protectors do come with anti-static cleaning wrap and some special wet napkins that remove every bit of fingerprints and grease from the display
  • try to see if the screen will fit perfectly on the display (cheaper options might require some trimming)
  • try to locate the peeling tabs and alignment elements so you’ll know how to get the screen on exactly from the first try. Putting it wrong and trying to peel and put it on again will most of the time compromise the product
  • Try to get no air bubbles in

    Try to get no air bubbles in

    follow the instructions thoroughly and do not hurry. Try to advance slowly while making sure no air bubbles get trapped in the process. Just in case some do slip on, you will be able to easily push them off with the rubbing card usually included in the pack (or s standard Credit card)

Last but not least, the greatest peril for these accessories is that margins will start peeling off in time. The best way to prevent that is to use a case that covers these margins and keeps them safe inside. Most options in this post of about iPad cases to that, including the leather iPad covers.

Clip below will help as well (example comes with only one peeling tab, but top screen protectors come with several, so getting them one is even easier).

Now that’s about it, hopefully I was able to help you find a suitable screen protector for your Apple iPad and also you were able to understand how you can get these one the device properly. The examples included above are for sure right now the best iPad screen protectors and covers available, based on reviews from experts and regular customers, like I’ve already said.

However, if you happen to use something else and are completely satisfied with it, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. As always, questions or feedback will be appreciated.

Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", Editor-in-Chief at TLBHD.com. I absolutely hate carrying around heavy stuff, that's why I'm fond of mini-laptops and portable computers. I'm primarily using such devices and have been testing them for many years now. Get in touch in the comments section below.

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