Is a screen cover worthwhile for an iPad? Does the screen scratch easily, or is the protector just another snake oil?

I've found non-adhesive covers that can be reapplied. It took 4 applications before I had one application that I was happy with (washing it between each application to remove dust, lint, etc.) but now it is fabulous. Less glare, less fingerprints, and my screen slides on it much easier. I am pro screen protector now, at least for the re-applicable ones.

:iPad Screen Protector

Here is the screen protector I am using. I believe the key feature is that it is "Easy to apply & remove without residue or screen damage." so another screen protector might work just as well.

  • Can anyone talk to the long term viability of protectors like this?
  • Are there any problems with using ones as described?
  • This seems pretty subjective.
    – Anonymous
    Jul 14, 2010 at 20:21
  • You should post a link to the product you are using.
    – TGnat
    Sep 1, 2010 at 22:27
  • My iPad screen protector got a hole in it recently, not sure how. Don't know if that would have damaged the screen had the protector not been there. Maybe I should upgrade to a more resilient screen protector. Sep 22, 2010 at 14:19

6 Answers 6


I had a screen protector on my iPad for exactly 2 days. I bought an anti-glare one because I found that the matte finish made fingerprints much less of a problem on my iPhone. Unfortunately, I managed to get a few tiny creases when I applied it, causing annoying bubbles. I found the feel of the touch screen was not as good, and felt the film reduced the beauty and clarity of the display.

Ultimately I removed it and, so far, I have not gotten any scratches. I do keep my iPad in Belkin Grip Swell case, and put that in a Case Logic netbook sleeve when not in use. I also clean it frequently with a 3M microfiber cloth.


  1. Protects your screen (yes, really)
  2. Anti-Glare screen protectors minimize glare and.. fingerprints!


  1. Difficult to apply perfectly (and less-than-perfect is not good - buy two in case!)
  2. Expensive
  3. Makes display look and feel cheap
  4. Might not really be necessary if you are careful
  • Update: After several weeks, I did notice a couple of very minor scratches. I found a reasonably priced Vivitar iPad screen protector ($12 at my local Office Depot), and managed to apply it without any bubbles or dust. SO far, I have not taken it off. Aug 15, 2010 at 22:53

The screen is basiclly glass. Anything that scratches glass will scratch it. Look up the hardness of objects on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mohs_scale_of_mineral_hardness. If it is above a 6 or so, it will scratch the glass. If your iPad will never come into contact with anything above 7, it's snake oil. Sand is the most common thing that is that high, so if you ever come into contact with sand, then get a screen protector.


Only the first scratch hurts.

But in saying that, by the time it's scratched it will be time to turn the I pad into your new table paper weight. I had a palm IIIxe fully screen protected. 10 years later I took off the protector and viewed it's prefect screen. I had regrets from having to endure the less sensitive screen and not being able to enjoy the device as intended, without Impediments.

I am now a believer in "by the time it gets damaged, it will be well overdue for a new device" - provided you take decent care of the device.

Technology is so transient these days. No protector all the way!!


I haven't had any scratches on my unprotected iPhone or iPod Touch after two years of sliding them into and out of pockets with keys, coins, and other such things, so I'm not going to bother putting a screen protector on the iPad.

I do have a case for it, so when I'm not using it it's covered. But like JavaWocky, I am of the opinion that risking an unattractive scratch is preferable to permanently covering it with a blurry rippled film.


Ghost Armour; saved my blackberry bold screen from many-a-dropped-screwdriver

  • What was a... Never mind :p
    – JavaRocky
    Aug 7, 2010 at 5:08

I have one on mine and find it doesn't bother me a bit.

I always had one on my palm pilot, and the screen was as perfect after 5 years of constant use as it was when I bought it.

The palm uses a stylus of course, not fingers, and maybe after a couple of years if I haven't heard of many people regretting not having a protector I will think about taking it off.

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