Both products are a hassle to apply. One of them is worth it.
Today I had a chance to test out two new products for the iPad 2. The Carbon Fiber Armor and Anti-Glare screen protector from BodyGuardz promised to give my tablet some much needed protection. I've been fairly cavalier about my naked iPad so far, but safe is always better than sorry. As soon as the box arrived on my door step, I jumped straight to testing.
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The Carbon Fiber Armor isn't a case as much as it is a stick-on form-fitting protector for your iPad 2. It comes rolled up in a little plastic tube that is surprisingly frustrating to open. Eventually, I figured out that pushing in towards the middle around the base of either cap does an acceptable job of popping the seal.
The ScreenGuardz Anti-Glare screen protector is packaged pretty conventionally, in what looks like an envelope. The screen protector sits alone inside. Both faces, sticky and matte, are covered with a thin plastic sheet that peels off via an applicator tag.
On its own, the Carbon Fiber Armor looks like a thin sheet of plastic with one side covered in adhesive. It tends to hang as shown in the picture. Laying it out straight on the iPad 2 gave me a good idea of how to apply the cover most evenly. I didn't think the application would be much of a hassle at all.
I was wrong. Getting the Armor on the body, even and straight, was a chore. After about five minutes of struggling, I managed to get everything lined up nice and proper. But there was still a problem. Either I'd rubbed off some of the adhesive during application, or the outer pieces just don't adhere well to the iPad's frame. No amount of patting would get the edges to stick.
The ScreenGuardz Anti-Glare screen protector was a more straight forward process. In fact, I found it to be less of a pain to put on than any smartphone screen protector I've ever used. I'm not sure if that was due its construction, or the simple fact that working with a larger display makes it easier to align things properly.
Once the protector was on, I had to spend about fifteen minutes slowly pushing air bubbles out from underneath it.
I can't possibly see how the Carbon Fiber Armor would do anything to actually protect your iPad 2 from shock or impact damage. The material is extremely durable, and I've no doubt it will protect from scratches, dents and bumps like a champ. But don't buy this product if you're looking for something to make your new tablet drop-safe.
The ScreenGuardz Anti-Glare protector does exactly what it promises: cut down on glare. Some users may find the matte feel of the protector to be more comfortable for long-term use as well. A smooth screen can be an annoyance to the fingertips after prolonged activity. This protector doesn't remove the glare entirely, but I was able to successfully read my webpages in direct sunlight while holding the iPad 2 at about hip level.
If you're really bothered by glare and don't mind spending some time to apply it the right way, the ScreenGuardz Anti-Glare protector does its job admirably. For $19.95, it is a solid buy.
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I can't say the same for the Carbon Fiber Armor. While it felt nice on the iPad's body, it seems to add negligible meaningful protection and is a horrendous pain to apply. I couldn't get mine to stick all the way, but your experience may vary. It's a $29.95 gamble though, so buyer beware.