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Summary:

I’ve used mobile devices with touchscreens for at least six years and in all that time I’ve never been a fan of screen protectors. I’m not implying that you shouldn’t use them: if you feel more comfortable protecting your mobile device screen, don’t let me stop […]

Screenprot_1_1 I’ve used mobile devices with touchscreens for at least six years and in all that time I’ve never been a fan of screen protectors. I’m not implying that you shouldn’t use them: if you feel more comfortable protecting your mobile device screen, don’t let me stop you. Having said that, I wasn’t necessarily ecstatic when Chase & Company offered me a UMPC screen protector for review purposes. You know me though; I’m always willing to "take one for the team" so I agreed. The UMPC Screen Sheet showed up right before my vacation so I had to wait until yesterday to give it a try. Did the $12.95 screen protector change my mind about the product in general? You’ll have to read on and find out!

The UMPC Screen Sheet package comes with a 151.5mm x 91.5 mm screen sheet, a nice cleaning cloth and a small applicator card. Previously, I’ve always had to use a credit card to apply screen protectors, so the applicator card was a nice touch. On the flipside, a slightly bigger card might help to properly apply the screen protector, but in this case it worked just fine.

First, I used the cleaning cloth to make sure there was no dust or any other particles on the screen of the Q1. The last thing you want is a speck of dirt trapped between the screen protector and the screen. With a clean screen, I proceeded to remove the screen protector from it’s backing. I liked how the screen protector had a piece of tape on one side and the backing had a piece on the other side; it made it much easier to separate the two.

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Next comes the tricky part as it’s oh so easy to get air bubbles trapped under the screen protector. I placed the screen sheet on the left edge of the screen and very slowly worked my way across to the right edge of the screen. If you rush, you end up with a screen that looks like this when dark (NOTE: I left the piece of tape on the screen sheet for easier removal; if this were an actual application, you would remove it first):

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After taking the above photo, I did work all of the air bubbles out using the applicator card. I did notice some very minor scratching of the screen sheet if I wasn’t careful with the card; I don’t fault the product for that, I fault the installer; still, it’s something you really want to be careful with.

Once the screen sheet was fully installed, I noticed a small gap between the right edge of the protector and the right screen bezel. If I had to guess, I’d say that the screen sheet was about 3-4 millimeters shy of reaching the bezel. Remember; I put the left side of the sheet up against the left bezel edge. Part of the reason for the size "gap" is likely to make for easier removal of the screen sheet, but every pixel counts on these seven-inch screens.

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So the big test is: how does it look once properly applied? Although this picture may appear washed out that’s due to my camera; I saw no noticeable loss of screen clarity or brightness. In fact, if I didn’t know there was a screen protector there, I never would have guessed it, so big props for the clarity.

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After applying the screen sheet, I spent some several hours inking and touching the screen. From a touch perspective, I saw no difference whatsoever. The screen sheet is thin enough that the digitizer works like it always did. Inking definitely has a different feel however. I won’t say it’s a bad thing, but I will say that my stylus doesn’t seem to flow quite as smoothly as it does over a naked screen. There’s just the hint of softness to the face of the screen protector that gives the different feel. My suggestion: you have to try one and see if you like the feel.

So did the UMPC Screen Sheet change my mind about screen protectors? No, but not because it’s a bad product. It works well and it works as advertised. If you’re the kind of person that feels the need for a screen protector, I think the UMPC Screen Sheet will be well worth your $12.99 and your peace of mind. Since all of the current UMPC / Origami devices sport a seven-inch screen, this should work for the Samsung Q1, the TabletKiosk eo v7110, and any other similar devices.

-kct

  1. John in Norway Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    I’m with you Kevin. I never use screen protectors. My Toshiba e800 looks well scratched now but is getting old and has been used everywhere. Most of the scratching shows that I’ve played a lot of Solitaire!

    As to the feel when writing on the screen. I have five different styli and it’s amazing the difference in feel on the screen. The tiny stick that Samsung provides is the worst. It feels like there’s sand on the end of it. I know you can use other styli but I’m already finding that I keep losing them because there’s no way to attach them to the device.

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  2. Kevin and John, you are missing one point

    http://ultramobilepc-tips.blogspot.com/2006/06/talking-about-screen-protectors.html

    Read what I posted there.

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  3. Frank, I hate using screen protectors too and while I see your point about getting a few more dollars at the end of the gadget’s life with me, I am willing to forego that for a more pleasant user experience while I have it.

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  4. gotta say, love the reviews and videos done by jkontherun :)

    my 2 cents here (no need to repost, p.s. i am the anonymous poster)

    http://www.blogger.com/publish-comment.do?blogID=23949348&postID=115097598490570636&r=ok

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  5. Just FYI, I got a screen protector as part of a kit for my PSP for my birthday and found it’s almost exactly the right size for my UX50. Little space around the edges but totally usable for it.

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