It just looks like a naked black Zune lying there, right? But looks can be deceiving.This particular Zune has a ClearScreen Overlay in place, which means that even when it is rattling around the bottom of my Whiskey Chloe Edith, it’s screen will not get scratched by the keys or other pointy objects riding nearby.
The ClearScreen Overlay is similar to many other modern screen protectors which I have reviewed for PDAs. It has a silicone based adhesive, which means it is long-lasting, can be lifted and reapplied, and it never leaves behind any sticky residue. For those that are familiar with the different brands of screen protectors, the Belkin uses a similar installation method to the Pocket PC Tech‘s WriteSHIELD; there is an approximately 0.25″ border all around the protector which makes handling easier than those that have none. However the actual protector feels much thinner than the thicker PDA version – which makes sense since no one will be writing on this screen!
Included in the package are are a set of wet & dry screen cleaning cloths and a single screen-size protector; I think it would be helpful if Belkin included a cardboard squeegee, as BoxWave does with their kit, but that is not a deal-breaker.
After cleaning the screen, the protector can be slowly released from its paper backing, rolled onto the Zune’s screen, and squeegee’d down with a credit card or ID to ensure that there are no bubbles left behind. If a speck of dust or other funky matter should get between the protector and the the screen, the overlay can be lifted with a piece of clear tape, and a second piece of clear tape can be used to remove the offending debris.
This overlay is crystal clear, does not interfere with viewing pictures and videos shown on the Zune’s screen, and it is easy to apply. Since the Zune is not a touch-screen device, the Belkin overlay be the only protector that you will ever need to apply. Between the Belkin ClearScreen and this Vaja Balance case, my Zune is protected with a minimum of bulk and a minimum of fuss. The only downside to the protector is that it costs a bit more than similar protectors from other brands; for instance, the BoxWave version which includes a microfiber cloth and squeegee (but no two-step cleaning system) is $12.95. It is substantially less than the WriteSHIELD however, which retails for $26.99, but includes two protectors, two Klear Screen Wet Single packs, one 3.25″ horse-hair brush, three applicator/removal picks and one optical quality Microfiber cloth. It’s all relative, I suppose.
If you want to keep the screen of your Zune free from scratches and other trauma, consider giving it the proper protection – something like the long wearing, easily installed ClearScreen Overlay.
The ClearScreen Overlay is available directly from the manufacturer as well as from other retailers.
What I Like: Clear screen protection, silicone-based adhesive, reusable, easy to remove, long-wearing, very thin
What Needs Improvement: Price is middle of the road – some others are higher, some are lower