Screen protector for new ipad?
August 20, 2012 6:11 PM   Subscribe

I heard the glass on the new ipad is Gorilla Glass and does not need a screen protector. Is that true? I will be using a stylus, so I want to get a screen protector if I need one right away. If you are using a screen protector, which one are you using? Thanks!
posted by mikedelic to Computers & Internet (23 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
In general, yes, you don't need a screen protector. Any impact hard enough to scratch it will break the glass first. Out of curiosity, which stylus were you looking at?
posted by Oktober at 6:21 PM on August 20, 2012

No iOS device needs a screen protector. Using one actually increases the chance that you'll do damage to the device because a) it prompts many people to be substantially more rough with their device and b) it often comes unstuck and traps sand and dirt under itself and scratches screens that way.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:49 PM on August 20, 2012

I use mine in the kitchen. The worst that happens is smudges, which wipe off clean with a dishtowel. I have one of these guys and it has a rubber tip — I think most of them do. I think you'll be okay.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:55 PM on August 20, 2012

If you haven't used a stylus on a capacitative screen, you may be surprised to learn that they're very different than styluses used to be on old PDAs and tablets. I would be nervous about using the old sort of hard stylus repeatedly on a glass screen. However, the styluses that work on capacitative screens are pretty much all soft and squishy. It would be basically impossible to scratch the glass with the rubbery tip of one.

Basically, if you're only worried about scratching it because of the stylus, skip the screen protector. If you're generally rough on devices, you may want some soft of protection for the screen, but personally, I don't use a screen protector and I don't think I know anybody who does.

It can get scratched, but as long as it's in a case when you're not using it, you're pretty safe.
posted by duien at 7:00 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've had one of the new iPads for several months now. It was purchased for me by my company. I am extremely rough on it. When it's not being used, I usually keep it covered with a smart cover (the magnetic covers apple sells), but a lot of times it just sits open on my desk/couch/whatever. I take it everywhere and I use it all the time. It gets papers stacked on to of it. It comes into the bathroom with me. My dog walks on it. All coverless. I'm not completely reckless with it, but it gets used, and much less carefully than my iPhone.

It has no scratches at all on the screen. The back looks like hell, but the screen is pristine.

I would say you can safely go without a screen protector.
posted by phunniemee at 7:26 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

When I bought my iPad2, I asked at the apple store if I needed a temporary case to protect it until my nice case arrived, and they told me the glass is hella strong, they test it by bending it.
I've been using my iPad2 for hours every day for two years, with fingers and stylus (rubber or foam-tipped which is all you get for ipads) and I have zero scratches.

Tip for cleaning the screen: get a package of microfiber clothes from a hardware or general store, in the cleaning supplies section. They're massively cheaper than "iPad cleaning clothes" and work very very well.
Also, never clean it with any kind of cleaning agent, just the cloth or water if you need; keeps the initial anti-grease coating on longer. If you're finding it's still greasy after you wipe it, the cloth is dirty.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:29 PM on August 20, 2012

*Cloths durrr.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:30 PM on August 20, 2012

i've broken the screens on four iOS devices so far. I always use screen protectors because I hate the gloss finish and because I started with a used iPhone that had considerable scratches on the touch surface. In one near-broken screen instance, the screen protector clearly succeeded in protecting the screen from scratches or worse due to a skittering faceplant across a gritty urban sidewalk. I would never, ever use an iOS device without a screen protector.
posted by mwhybark at 7:44 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

My keys (in my pocket) have scratched m iPhone screen. I wouldn't use my phone without a screen protector.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:19 PM on August 20, 2012

Unknown to me, my iPhone slipped out of my pocket and got crunched in a recliner chair. My hard case protected the body, but the screen with protector met the springs directly. The protector got shredded but the screen was fine. I got another screen protector that week.
posted by nicebookrack at 8:48 PM on August 20, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've had iPhones both with screen protectors and without. I'm really hard on my phone. Once, the screen protector may have protected my screen from a giant key-scratch (the protector sure got scratched) but I don't actually know if the glass would've help up or not. But the edges of the protectors peel away, and the phone just generally starts to look like ass. Hence for the last year my phone has been protector free, and yes, now has a couple itty bitty tiny scratches, but thats because i keep it in my purse. With my keys and other small implements of destruction, all banging around in there together. For all intents and purposes, my screen should be destroyed. It's not.

My ipad is also screen-protecter free. I have a tiny-ish scratch on it, but thats because sand got stuck to the inside of the smart cover and scratched it. Other than that, the glass is perfect. Even with my silly cats and their perpetually-in-need-of-a-trimming claws walking all over it. (My ipad back is also scratched to hell though!) A protecter may have saved me from the tiny scratch, maybe not. But it would have annoyed me in other ways, so i'm pretty sure I'm not going to bother with a protecter for any subsequent iPads I own either.

Now a case for the iphone, thats a different story. For me, those are a must. I've dropped my phone so many time without any damage thanks to my case. If you drop your unprotected phone and it lands on the corner the glass will break in all directions.
posted by cgg at 9:41 PM on August 20, 2012

I don't know if the new iPod screen is made of the same stuff, but I put a screen cover on it after I scratched the front glass by putting it in the same pocket a my keychain. I also put a case on it after the metal back got all scratched up in my pocket.

All this after deciding that my previous iPod touch did not benefit from its screen cover or case.

So, contrary to what These Birds of a Feather suggested, I treated my iPod more roughly once I figured it was pretty hard to damage, and ended up regretting it.
posted by circular at 11:32 PM on August 20, 2012

I have iPads 1, 2 & 3, all bought new on the week they were released. None of them have cases or screen protectors. The heaviest users are my young children (my youngest was about 18 months when I got the first one and she was an early adopter to the technology). They are in constant use both at home and out, have been dropped on both concrete and bed; generally banged about. My dog, with long nails, frequently sleeps on them. There are a few minor scratches you can see if you look close, a chip I caused on the iPad 2, and the shell is marked up. But the glass is remarkably undamaged considering the abuse. I do not use a stylus.
posted by saucysault at 12:02 AM on August 21, 2012

I bought a screen protector after my iPad2 developed a small crack, because the protector may help keep the crack from spreading. FWIW, I bought the Power Support USA anti-glare protector, which I also have on my phone, and which makes it possible to use the iPad just fine in bright natural light.
posted by willbaude at 12:16 AM on August 21, 2012

In contrast to what a lot of other people are saying, I managed to gouge two very deep, very noticeable scratches right across the middle of my iPad, with no problem at all. The trick is to let it slip out of your hand and skid, face-down onto a wooden floor that just happens to have a couple of specks of gravel on it. Result: scratches deep enough to easily feel with a finger-nail, and deep enough to produce a slight rainbow effect in the groove of the scratch when the screen is on.

The damage was bad enough that I eventually replaced the screen, and now cover it with a protector. The protector feels slightly less glossy than the screen, so fingers don't glide in quite the same way, but you get used to it quite quickly.

I've also dropped the iPad corner-first onto concrete, and done nothing more than slightly denting the metal - no chips to the glass or other functional impairment.
posted by pipeski at 1:40 AM on August 21, 2012

It's important to remember that glass is a bit shit for durability in general, Gorilla Glass is no real solution. How many smartphones with broken glass have you seen? Heaps and heaps.

How many crappy feature phones with plastic that can take a major beatdown with minor scratches? Pretty much all of them.
posted by Yowser at 1:49 AM on August 21, 2012

I use the Power Support anti-glare protector mentioned earlier, mostly because I hated the glossy screen and its fingerprint love. Bear in mind though, you might notice things look a little pixelated through it, but still better than an iPad 2 display, IME.
posted by undue influence at 1:56 AM on August 21, 2012

they test it by bending it

The sales person got you there, then, since all glass can bend, even cheap soda glass. Glass is brittle, but it still has a stress-strain curve like any other material - push on it and it will deflect. The difference between glass and, say, steel, is that once you reach steel's plastic limit (that is, the point where it won't spring back after you apply more force) then the steel will deform. Glass just shatters once you pass its plastic limit.

I agree, though, that modern touch screen devices like the iPad and smartphones generally don't need a protective cover on the glass. You're far more likely to damage it by dropping.
posted by backseatpilot at 4:54 AM on August 21, 2012 [1 favorite]

I've had a Cowon S9 pmp with a Gorilla Glass screen for several years, and have often carried it in my pocket with my car keys. It does not have any scratches on the screen. You will not be able to put scratches in Gorilla Glass with a stylus.
posted by Quonab at 6:50 AM on August 21, 2012

I have had every generation of iPhone and iPad. I have never used a screen protector and I have never had an issue. I realize that is only one data point but there you go. On the other hand, I could make a case for a case. (see what I did there?)
posted by Silvertree at 7:18 AM on August 21, 2012

I have an iPad 2 and use it regularly. At home I use the magnetic cover from Apple; outside I use a Dodocase which is great. Mine has a big crack running from one side to the other that it acquired within the first month (no witnesses to the incident stepped forward but it must have fallen to the floor). Even so the crack is only visible really when the screen is off, and as far as I can tell it doesn't affect usage at all. I've kind of gotten used to it. And the iPad has fallen to the floor many other times since then with little more than corner denting. I rarely use a stylus and no screen protector; had a protector for an iPhone but felt much better after peeling it off.
posted by chavenet at 7:36 AM on August 21, 2012

I think a screen cover is a good idea. I question the need for a screen protector. I have a first gen iPad that i got soon after it was released. I had a cover, but no screen protector. I think there is a small pit and some fine gouges in the screen, but i dont notice them.

I also have the current iPad with the Apple smart cover. After a couple of months i noticed a few fine scratches, and it bothered me that my beautiful iPad was marred. Even so, in regular use, i dont notice them. If i had a screen protector, maybe i wouldnt have those fine scratches, but every time i used the thing, I would notice the screen had some crap plastic film on it.

As for iPhones i started with the original, upgraded to a 3gs and then a 4s. I have never used a screen protector or cover. I make a point of putting it in a pocket by itself, no change or keys, but i sometimes slip up. My phones have also taken many falls and skids across the ground. Each phone screen has accumulated minor scratches, and even a gouge. I have never wished i had a screen protector.

Part of what im paying for when i buy these things is a thin device with a nice screen, and i expect to upgrade them in a few years. Given that, im reluctant to add protection that takes too much away from their best features to avoid wear and tear that i find acceptable, or to avoid a relatively unlikely major accident. You may feel differently, use your devices in different environments than i do, and/or treat your equipment more roughly.
posted by Good Brain at 5:56 PM on August 21, 2012

I have the new iPad and I've managed to get a few deep scratches on it, even though I've always had a case on it. The case might have actually caused the scratches because I'm in the desert and sand gets everywhere.
After noticing the scratches, I ordered the iVisor specifically because I'm terrible at applying screen protectors, and this one is super easy to apply since it's only sticky around the edges, not on the actual screen itself.
posted by zap at 12:54 AM on August 24, 2012

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