Does an iPad Need Scratch Protection?
I recently gave my iPad a pretty serious scratch doing something that I’ve done hundreds of times – sliding the device across a wooden coffee table. I’m not sure exactly what caused it, but the surface of the table probably had a tiny flick of sand or dirt on it, and the sliding motion allowed it to gouge a 3″ mar into the otherwise pristine iPad 3 rear shell. This got me thinking about scratch protection for iOS devices in general, and who needs protectors and who doesn’t.
Who Needs Scratch Protection:
- You want to keep Apple hardware in pristine condition
- You intend to sell the iPad, iPhone, MacBook, within a year or two to stay on the latest and greatest upgrade cycle and want maximum resale value
- You want protection from wear and tear without a bulky case
Who Doesn’t Need Scratch Protection:
- Scratches, scuffs, and wear & tear don’t bother you
- You have no interest in maintaining hardware in pristine condition
- You won’t sell the product and if you do you don’t care about maximum resale value
- You already have a good protective case for the device
Which camp do you belong in? Only you will know, but in hindsight I wish I had put a rear protector on the iPad because I’m one of those people that is obsessive about keeping their hardware in pristine shape. Too late now, but maybe I’ll pick one up for the screen just to be safe.
For some general recommendations, I used to have a ZAGG shield on an iPhone 3GS and it was extremely effective so they generally get my nod of approval (on a sidenote, the old plastic iPhone 3G/3GS cases were actually easier to maintain because you could buff out the scratches with toothpaste), though I don’t have any direct experience with their products for iPad and other aluminum Apple hardware.
If you’re in the camp that does want to use a scratch protective film, the ZAGG invisibleSHIELD and Bodyguardz line are popular and well-rated products, both of which can be bought at a nice discount from Amazon.