Bodyguardz UltraTough Full Body Clear Skin for the new iPad
Durable, Ultra-thin, Clear Protectors
1 Complete Set Per Box
30-day Money Back Guarantee
Price: $29.95 USD Buy it Here
The screen protector market is an extremely saturated place. It seems like every company has their version of either the traditional static cling screen protector or the nearly indestructible vinyl style films that were originally designed to protect vehicle parts. Quality of these products varies wildly, from the screen protectors that can be snagged on eBay for a few pennies to 30 dollar premium kits. Bodyguardz hails from Draper, Utah in the US, proudly owned by women. Starting from their original vinyl style wet apply films for smartphones, Bodyguardz has expanded to static cling style protectors, skins, and cases for a variety of tablets, smartphones, and electronic devices and recently acquired the company earjax to expand their product line. Today we are reviewing their UltraTough Full Body Clear Skins kit for the new iPad.
The kit comes in a small box suitable for display in a retail store. Inside the box contains the two clear skin pieces neatly rolled up, a small sheet of paper containing application instructions, and a bag containing two packets of application gel, a small microfiber cleaning cloth, a plastic squeegee, a Bodyguardz sticker, and a wet screen cleaning wipe. This wipe is similar to the wipes you get at a restaurant to clean your fingers with.
Application instructions are rather simple in theory. First turn off your iPad. With wet fingers, pull the film away from the backing paper then apply 5-7 drops of the application gel onto the sticky side and spread around the film until you fully coat it. Then lay down the film into position. Once you are happy with the positioning, wrap the squeegee card with the micro cleaning cloth and squeegee out the excess application gel and air bubbles from underneath the film. Turn over your iPad and repeat. There will be some cloudiness, haziness, and small air bubbles when initially applied. In most cases, all of it will disappear in 48-72 hours. You will be able to turn on your iPad after 30 minutes. Although two packets of application gel is included, one packet of gel should be enough to apply both films with a little bit to spare.
One of the features that differentiate Bodyguardz from their competitors is their application gel. This gel is alcohol and water based, similar to the disinfectant gel that has appeared everywhere since the SARS epidemic of 2003. According to Bodyguardz, this speeds the curing time needed for the films as alcohol evaporates faster than water. In execution, this does speed the curing time; however I found I needed more gel than the recommended 5-7 drops to keep the whole film properly lubricated. I found applying 5 to 7 drops and spreading it around a third to a half of the film then applying another 5-7 drops to finish coating the film provided better results and preventing the film from drying out prematurely, only using 5-7 drops caused the gel to dry too quickly and allowed my dry finger tips to contaminate the adhesive. Also, I found the gel made adjusting the film once it was laid down onto the device more difficult than the traditional water and baby shampoo method that most companies use. For a device as large as the iPad, I appreciated the faster curing time as the traditional water and baby shampoo method often requires three to seven days of curing time. The faster dry time is a bonus for applying films to curved devices like the new iPad as it is easier to make the curved edge pieces stick to the device. No more whipping out a hair dryer to make those curved edge pieces tacky enough to stick!
The haziness really does disappear in time. I found mines took a little over 48 hours to completely disappear. Most of the air bubbles also disappear in that time, however I have two small stubborn air bubbles that have shrunk a little but never completely faded away. There is very little orange peel effect on this skin and is optically clear. For the exception of the spots where the adhesive was contaminated, the film does not take away or distort the Retina display of the iPad. A big plus considering the new iPad’s selling point is the Retina screen!
The film is extremely smooth once properly cleaned, however there is a slight friction that can catch the fingers. It didn’t interfere with any intense games of Fruit Ninja, but it may annoy some users who are used to the icy smoothness of bare glass or a high quality static cling screen protector. On the other hand, the slight friction is great for the back portion of the screen, making it easier to get a strong grip on your iPad and preventing your expensive iPad from slipping from your grasp. In fact, resting the iPad flat on my palm, I could tilt my palm until the iPad was at least 80 degrees from the floor without any slippage.
The cut of the back piece is perfect, providing excellent coverage without too many small and complicated cuts for the curved corners of the iPad. The front however is cut slightly small. This makes it slightly easier to apply but at the cost of being half a centimeter short of covering the whole glass surface. This isn’t a huge issue as the uncovered surface area really small, but some people may disagree with Bodyguardz decision. Thanks to the pliable plastic nature of the film, the Clear Skins film is extremely resistant to scratches. Short of taking a sharp knife and slicing into the screen protector, the film will survive most scratches. It won’t protect your iPad from a fall, but it is thin enough to be compatible with the Apple Smart Cover and doesn’t hide or take away from the iPad’s aesthetics.
As a bonus, Bodyguardz customer service is top notch. Their customer service is great. I had questions about the haziness of my film and was able to get in touch with them through their live chat and get answers quickly. In addition to great customer service, buying a protector from their site or an authorized dealer gives you access to their lifetime replacement guarantee and the Bodyguardz Advantage program. The lifetime replacement guarantee allows owners to purchase replacements at a heavily discounted price as long as you are willing to send back the original film to Bodyguardz after receiving your replacement. For the new iPad films, replacements can be ordered for $9.95. Of course warranty replacements are free. In addition to the lifetime replacement guarantee, the Bodyguardz Advantage program provides a 20% off discount to all future purchases from Bodyguardz from their site.
Bodyguardz packs in a high quality product and a great customer service experience behind their product. The film is easy to apply, although I believe their instructions could be tweaked slightly for better application. The Clear Skins is optically clear and extremely scratch resistant; however it comes at the cost of a bit of friction when swiping your finger across your iPad. Of course, since both pieces are made from the same material, this improves the grip on the back of the iPad. Even without the Bodyguardz Advantage program and the lifetime replacement guarantee, I would strongly recommend the Bodyguardz UltraTough Clear Skins. The lifetime replacement guarantee and the Bodyguardz Advantage program just makes the UltraTough Clear Skins a killer deal.