iPad Makeover

Stock image of iPad with Bodyguardz "carbon fiber" Armor

Stock image of iPad with Bodyguardz “carbon fiber” Armor

iPad with New Bodyguardz Armor Art

After: iPad with New Bodyguardz Armor Art

As you, Dear Reader, may have noticed in previous posts, I love machines. Yes, I have a permanent crush on any new technology, and I delight in getting new software, new hardware, new widgets. So I beg your indulgence as I write about hardware for a post — if you can’t stand it, well, I’ll be posting about writing again soon.

Even if I can’t afford major new purchases, I will spend a great deal of time, and as small an amount of money as possible to get the most from my systems. That being said, I was trained as an aerospace engineer, and as such, reliability is one of my goals. I am seldom in with the “first adopter” rush; I am usually in with the second wave, after the major kinks have been worked out. You won’t find me downloading OS X 10.9.0; I’ll wait for 10.9.1, thank you, and let someone else write the agonized emails to Apple. Also, I have an extreme prejudice for light weight; quite irrational in judging tech that’s not intended to fly, but there it is.

I use my iPad 2 a lot. She (yes, she) is my primary means of writing these novels I rant about here, and she otherwise serves as external storage for my brain. I’ve been working on a makeover for her, and the visible results to date are shown above left.

To avoid a case (weight), I’ve put a screen film and a body scratch film on her from very early in our relationship. The first were a full-body set of invisibleSHIELDs by Zagg (original style.) Disappointing; they turned yellow (very noticeable on a white iPad), and the edges continually bled adhesive, so they collected dirt. If I removed the dirt, I removed adhesive, but then more adhesive bled until eventually there was no adhesive left and the edges pulled away. The dirt then followed the retreating adhesive up under the (clearish) film. Also, it was billed as “glare reducing” — it wasn’t, not that I ever noticed. The surface was tacky, and finger swipes tended to stutter — a usage handicap. In fairness, it did give a better grip to the iPad, and did indeed prevent scratches (although not corner dents.)

Next generation: Bodyguardz “Carbon Fiber” Armor, in white. I liked the screen protector that came with it (Screenguardz HD) better; no tacky feel, excellent glare control. No yellowing. Thin and responsive. But the back cover…! It was nowhere near as flexible as the InvisibleShield. It didn’t collect dirt at the edges; that’s because the white “carbon fiber” texture collected dirt ALL OVER. Couldn’t be cleaned; I tried. The color was TOO white; it didn’t match my iPad’s creamy white border. It was brittle, as well; chips started peeling away from the edges a few weeks after I got it. I don’t have a picture of my own iPad just before I gave up on the carbon fiber — imagine the picture above, but dragged through the dirt, with the edges ragged. Yuck.

I hadn’t given up on Bodyguardz, though, because I really liked the matte screen protector. So two weeks ago (yes, in the middle of Camp Nanowrimo — I couldn’t STAND no scratch protection, nor the grubby white stuff any more) purchased and installed Bodyguardz Armor Art.

At last, iPad skin heaven! It’s gorgeous, conforms well, the corners stick like — like very sticky things. No adhesive creep (yet) which means no edge dirt problem. People actually admire my beautiful iPad. She’s pleased. And it came with another of those nice Screenguardz HD screen protectors.

I will finish up by expressing my opinion that none of these sticky things will last more than 6 months to a year. I have resigned myself to using Bodyguardz’ liberal replacement policy now that I have found a skin I like.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled introspective writing blog.