ZAGG invisibleSHIELD and LEATHERskin quick look

By on July 18, 2010
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Protect your iPad in style.

One of the best things about the iPad is its big, beautiful screen. Unfortunately this beauty can easily be tainted with some good old fashioned fingerprints or worst yet, those unseemly scratches you somehow realize are there at the worst possible times.

This is where the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD comes in to save the day, and perhaps more. The invisibleSHIELD comes in 3 SKUs: front, back and full body cover. The invisibleSHIELD is supposedly made from a “military grade patented material” with “self-healing qualities”. While I didn’t have my rocket launcher at hand to test the military grade material, nor the combat knife in my desk drawer to see these self-healing qualities, I did have a couple of keys lying around to test the anti-scratch qualities. The results lived up to my expectations. Certainly the invisibleSHIELD held its own against random key scratches, which is the general kind of trouble your iPad will usually find itself in. Unless you use it to deflect bullets.

So the invisibleSHIELD is certainly strong, but it sure isn’t pretty. The surface material used is a tad bit too reflective for my liking. At auto-brightness levels, I usually found myself staring back at my own striking visage, especially in brightly lit areas. I even ended up multitasking on the iPad under direct sunlight, watching Steve Jobs grit his teeth in the latest iPhone 4 conference while also looking at the surrounding reflections to make sure I wasn’t being followed to our secret office. All of this without the iOS4 update!

Attaining military strength is no easy job, so it’s hardly surprising that the invisibleSHIELD is bootcamp hell during the application process. The instructions are easy enough: spray the included SHIELDspray on your invisibleSHIELD and then place it on the iPad. Move it around to adjust, wipe out the air and water bubbles with the included squeegee and you’re good to go. Except you’re not. Unconfident in the virtually non-existent water-proof abilities of the iPad, I sprayed just enough on the invisibleSHIELD so that it slides into place, which would have worked nicely had it not been for the liquid drying up so fast that the invisibleSHIELD stuck to the front surface completely misaligned.  It took another 3 or 4 excruciating minutes, but I finally got the military grade protection my iPad deserves.

These few niggles aside, the invisibleSHIELD is actually a very decent screen protector for your iPad. As I said before, it held up against key scratches, fingernail scratches and even ballpoint pen strokes without a hint of any disturbance on the surface. Its glossy surface makes it undesirable in direct sunlight, but you won’t be using it much outside anyways, at least not in the sweltering heat of Dubai.

On the opposite end of the invisibleSHIELD screen protector is ZAGG’s LEATHERskin to cover your iPad’s behind. What the iPad truly ever lacked was a feminine touch to its otherwise perfect design. Now with the elegant floral pattern on supple black leather, the iPad’s unisex appeal is global, making it look right at home in any handbag or man purse.

However, the LEATHERskin’s beauty isn’t just skin deep.  Without a doubt, the leather provides better grip compared to the plain aluminum on the iPad. Likewise, the hard textured surface makes it prone to scratches you would normally get while sliding your iPad across the table. Even if you accidentally spill some water, the LEATHERskin will be A-Okay.

Unlike the invisibleSHIELD, the application for LEATHERskin is a walk in the park. The peel off covers for the adhesive side are separated into three pieces, so you can start and adjust the alignment from the center, removing the top and bottom pieces for a complete fit.

ZAGG may have a bizarre affinity with capitalization and conjoining their product names, but both the invisibleSHIELD and the LEATHERskin are great products. While the invisibleSHIELD has its drawbacks, it’s equally practical. The LEATHERskin may only be available in 2 colors (black & maroon), but the end result looks beautiful, feels nice and is just as durable, if not more, than the invisibleSHIELD. At the end of the day it’s a matter of personal preference whether you go with the floral design or standard leather finish, nobody’s judging.

The ZAGG invisibleSHIELD sells for AED 110 (USD 30) for front or back cover, and AED 150 (USD 40) for the full body cover set. The ZAGG LEATHERskin is available for AED 185 (USD 50). All ZAGG covers and skins are available at Souq.com and Nahel.com


About

From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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