Thursday, May 27, 2004

Screen protectors

For most of my PDA life (and the 10th anniversary of my first Psion is approaching!), I have eschewed screen protectors. However, for my last three devices I have bought Brando screen protectors. In two cases this was because there were no FitalyStamp overlays available at the time of purchase, so I was using graffiti for a while. More recently it is because I have solved the problem: the T|E and the T|C have the same sized screen, the only difference being that the T|E has a graffiti area, so I can use FitalyStamp on the graffiti area and a T|C screen protector on the rest of the screen (the trick is to position the screen protector first, then the FitalyStamp).

For a long time Brando have been simply the best screen protectors out there. But now they have a serious rival: Proporta Deluxe Screen Protectors. These too are long-lasting, removable, washable and have 'reusable' adhesive. They come with a useful screen cloth and an applicator for removing bubbles - if they are near the edge.

Applying the Proporta protector was a doddle (two bits of advice: (i) don't pull the backing off all at once but remove it slowly as part of the application process; (ii) don't worry about the odd tiny speck of dust near the edge, because you will not notice it in daily use). Like all of the thicker reusable screen protectors, they do slightly reduce the brightness and sharpness of the screen, but not by much and I have not had to adjust my brightness level above its usual 33% for indoor use. They do provide some reduction of glare and reflections off the screen, which is welcome, and they certainly protect the screen: I am quite happy to let my daughter use my Palm when I have one of these.

One rarely mentioned benefit of this design of screen protector is that it does not show finger marks. Consequently one can use a finger instead of the stylus to tap icons and buttons without making the screen all smudgy and difficult to read. This is a real benefit for cancelling alarms and looking up things quickly while walking. Of course, no showing fingermarks does not mean that there is no finger grease accumulating, and I find I need to clean the screen protector (in situ) with an optical wet wipe about once a fortnight.