$18.00 + $3.00 shipping to U.S from Brando's online store
I knew it wouldn't last. The iPad's gorgeous screen was absolutely delectable to use naked – so crisp and clear, so smooth to the finger. But then after just a few swipes, fingerprints would amass on the screen, driving me crazy faster than Flash crashes Safari. I knew I had to get an anti-glare screen protector, just as I had for my iPhone 3GS and nearly every glossy-screened gadget I've owned in the past few years. Initially, I had thought about getting the one from Power Support USA, the same company who made the screen protector I use on my iPhone. Then I saw its price: $24.95 for one screen protector plus $5.55 for the cheapest shipping option. Also, their site warned that they were in such high demand that it was taking more time to fulfill orders than usual. So, I went to see what Brando had to offer instead.
Brando Workshop is a gadget accessories shop in China. They sell a *ton* of items for everything from game consoles to cars. I first heard about them through The Gadgeteer years ago and my first purchase from them was a screen protector for a Sony Clie PDA (an NX-70V in the limited edition gunmetal gray, if you must know) and I was very pleased with it. Brando's site showed they offered both clear and anti-glare screen protectors for the iPad. The anti-glare version costs $18.00 while the ultra-clear version costs $25.00. I'm not quite sure why the ultra-clear version costs so much more (if I had to hazard a guess, it's hard to make a larger crystal clear film without flaws and the production costs are higher) but that didn't matter to me since I wanted the anti-glare version.
I received the screen protector in the
mail about 10 days or so after ordering it. I promptly put it on my
iPad as soon as I had a moment to spare since the fingerprints were
making me insane enough to consider doing violent things to
inanimate objects just to cope. And let me tell you, installation
was a bastard of the first order. This is not Brando's fault,
though – they did not decide that the iPad's screen needed to be
that size and they're not responsible for the dust-free environment
and patience needed to install such a large screen protector.
Aligning a film of that size without getting lint or fingerprints
on it at the same time is not easy.
For those of you who like to see video overviews of products instead of or in addition to reading about them, here's my video overview of Brando's anti-glare screen protector for the iPad:
I've never received a screen protector from Brando that was cut crookedly or simply didn't fit, and I was expecting the same with the one for the iPad. Brando didn't let me down – their screen protector fits the iPad's screen perfectly.
The protector goes right to the edges
of the screen without spilling over to cover the aluminum
The cut-out for the home button is perfectly centered. Of course, you won't see this unless you install the screen protector perfectly to begin with (which took me at least 15 minutes filled with patience, an exceptional amount of cursing as well as some tape, iKlear cleaning spray, a microfiber cloth, and a can of compressed air). All I can say is, don't rush the installation and get everything you need set out before you start. Once you start peeling the protector from its backing, it's hard to leave it without increasing the chances you'll get some lint or a fingerprint on it.
Using the screen
I'll be honest here – I was expecting the screen protector to drastically reduce the clarity of the iPad's screen. It's just so crisp when naked that I reasoned that any anti-glare protector would make a major difference. I was wrong. Now, it's absolutely clear (ha ha) that the anti-glare screen protector is on but it doesn't impact the clarity of the screen nearly as much as I was expecting. Here are before and after pictures (taken with my iPhone 3GS - I didn't feel like hunting down my DSLR for these as I was installing the screen protector).
You see that? Not too much of a
I rarely rave over products unless they work perfectly, don't cost too much, and look good to boot. While a screen protector isn't meant to be stylish, Brando's works perfectly and it cost me less than the Power Support USA one I had almost purchased instead. If you need an anti-glare protector for your iPad, point your browser RIGHT NOW to Brando's site and order one from them. It's definitely worth it.
(If you're considering one of their crystal clear screen protector's instead, you may want to check out my review of Brando's offering for the iPhone that I reviewed here to get an idea of what they're like. I'd expect the quality and cut of this version to be stellar as well.)
DISCLOSURE: I purchased this screen protector with my own money – it was not provided to me as a review unit.
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