The Good: Easy-to-use, Works!
The Bad: Expensive for what you get.
The Basics: A special cloth and a skin protect the iPad's screen, thanks to Griffin Technologies with the iPad Screen Protection Kit!
When I first got my iPod Touch, I was surprised by how quickly it got fingerprints and the like on it. My wife made our first purchase for the iPod Touch a case. But now that we have an iPad (click here to read the review of that!), I've been keen to protect its screen. Having had a pretty great experience with Griffen before, I picked up the Griffin Screen Protector Kit for the iPad.
The Screen Protector Kit consists of a cloth and plastic film. The cloth is a small chamois cloth. It was white when we started, but has since turned a creamy color. It is soft enough to not scratch the iPad's screen, so we've used it with confidence and it has worked. Unfortunately, because Griffin cannot guarantee how detergents will wash out (or not) of the cloth, it is not recommended to wash it. This makes for a fairly expensive disposable cloth and I'm not keen on the economic or environmental ramifications of that. Then again, for the last few months, we have not had to use the cloth as frequently, as the screen has not gotten terribly dirty.
The reason it has not gotten dirty after we have cleaned it is because the Screen Protector Kit comes with a screen protector. The screen protector is a thin plastic film that is 8 1/2" x 6" (the measurements of the iPad screen). The rectangle fits on the screen and it stays where it belongs by static cling. I was initially wary of that, but having taken my iPad everywhere, it truly does seem to stay on so long as one smoothes it on when they first apply it and it is centered properly. I have had no cause to remove the skin and because it is a thin membrane covering the screen, the screen cannot be scratched!
"But wait!" (I hear my readers ask) "The iPad has a touch screen! How does it work if you have a thin film over the face of it?" Good question. Because the skin is (mostly) translucent, the iPad's functioning is not at all inhibited. We're talking about a film about a millimeter thick, so this is not very much to protect the screen (though it does work). But because it is almost completely translucent, it does not change the functioning. In fact, I've found the very limited padding this skin provides to make it easier on my fingers to use the iPad's touch screen (which begs the question, "Why doesn't Apple just include these on the iPad to begin with?!"). The skin is mostly translucent; it is slightly frosted and while I was wary of that as well, my worry was unfounded. Once it was on the screen, the coloring was entirely unnoticeable (watching movies on the iPad, they look exactly the same!). The only difference is the screen does not catch glare from itself or other light sources because of the limited frosting in the skin. This is a nice benefit.
In the end, Griffin does just what it promises, though for a little plastic sheet (like contact paper without the adhesive) and a cloth, I feel it's a bit pricy. Of course, it's less expensive than replacing an iPad's screen, which makes this a strong "recommend!"
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© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.