When getting a new device, I always like to protect it from scratches, both front and back. Screens have become a lot more durable on high-priced devices, but even so, I get nervous. Further, some of these devices have high-gloss screens that can be hard to read because they are highly reflective and show fingerprints and smudges easily.
ZAGG has been in the business of protecting mobile devices for several years now and have released a new version of their well-known InvisibleSHIELD for the iPad. The InvisibleSHIELD is available in two versions: front (screen) protection only and all-body protection. ZAGG was good enough to send us the full body protection version for evaluation. Included in the box were the InvisibleSHIELD film sheets, a rubber squeegee, and a bottle of “SHIELD spray.”
The all-body InvisibleSHIELD for iPad contains two sheets – one for the back and another for the front. I started by applying the shield to the back. I figured that would give me a chance to practice working with the InvisibleSHIELD before trying to stick the screen protector on the front.
Installing an InvisibleSHIELD sheet involves several steps. First, spray your fingers with the SHIELD spray, which will help prevent getting fingerprints on the film as you handle it. After peeling the film from its backing, hold it on your hand with the adhesive side facing up. Spray more SHIELD spray on the adhesive side of the film. Position the InvisibleSHIELD on your device. The SHIELD spray that you applied to the film will make it easier to move the film into the right position on the iPad.
The back sheet took two tries to line up well. The sheet is cut to be exactly the same size as the back of the iPad, so it was hard to position the sheet such that it didn’t stick above the top or side of the device edge.
Once I was finally satisfied with the position of the back sheet, I began using the squeegee to push the air bubbles that were trapped under the film toward the edge of the iPad. This was a fairly painstaking process, and I probably could have gotten away with spending less time on it, but I didn’t want to take any chances. After I was satisfied that I couldn’t remove any more bubbles, I let the InvisibleSHIELD set up overnight.
By the next morning, the InvisibleSHIELD looked pretty good. Nearly all of the remaining bubbles had disappeared. The few that remained disappeared within a few days.
The front sheet was much easier to place for some reason. It lined up well with the screen and the Home button. I had a little more difficulty trying to get rid of the bubbles using the squeegee. I spent a good 30 minutes trying to get the bubbles out, but quite a few more bubbles remained after 30 minutes than had been noticeable when I applied the film to the back.
I left the iPad alone for about 18 hours to allow the InvisibleSHIELD to cure and dry. Many of the bubbles disappeared, but quite a few still remained by the end of that time. After roughly a week, however, all of the bubbles had disappeared and the film was smooth and clear.
For anyone who is uncertain about the application process, ZAGG has instructional videos on their website that are quite helpful.
Now that I’ve been using the iPad InvisibleSHIELD for a couple of weeks, I’ve found that it helps make the iPad a little easier to hold. The device is a little slick, given the nature of its aluminum back, which makes me uneasy; the ZAGG InvisibleSHIELD protects from scratches and makes the iPad a little more tacky.
Although the application process takes a bit of time and one must wait a few days for all of the bubbles to disappear, it’s not really difficult to do. The only problem I’ve had so far is that the back sheet, because it is exactly the same size as the back of the iPad, did stick out just a hair beyond the edge of my iPad. After a couple of days of sticking my iPad in my sleeve case, the edge of the back film came loose pulled away from one corner of the iPad.
MSRP: The front and back sheets are available individually for $29.99. Full-body protection is $39.99.
What I Like: Good protection for both front and back of the iPad (if you choose the full body version)
What Needs Improvement: The back sheet could be just a bit smaller, so it is easier to orient it on the back of the iPad