The Third Device

A blog about the iPad.

Product Review: Wrapsol for the iPad

If you’re obsessive compulsive (and most of my gadget-loving friends are) then one of the first things you will buy for your new iPad is a screen protector. There are a surprising number of choices available, and the latest solution to hit the Philippine market is Wrapsol.

Wrapsol claims to be twice as strong as competing brands. In fact they demoed this by filming a Nokia N97 Mini clad in Wrapsol Ultra being dragged behind a car at 35mph. Hmm, forget the phone, maybe I should be wrapping my car in Wrapsol Ultra?

For the iPad, Wrapsol offers a matte-finish film that protects not just the screen but the entire tablet – front, rear, and sides. The product comes boxed with comprehensive instructions, an aerosol mister, a microfiber towelette (similar to the ones made by 3M), and a rubber squeegee. My wife Cyn decided to take the plunge and do the application herself rather than have it done at the store.

Ready to Apply

The squeegee, spray bottle and cloth

The last time Cyn and I applied a protective film was when we coated my old MacBook Pro in ZAGG InvisibleShield.  The Wrapsol was a lot easier to attach, partly because the iPad itself is less complicated and has fewer fiddly little surfaces, but also because the Wrapsol seemed to “hold” its position better while being squeegeed rather than slide around like the ZAGG did. Speaking of fiddly little surfaces: attaching the film to the iPad’s sides and top/bottom is best done with two pairs of hands.

Another difference we noticed between the laptop ZAGG install and Wrapsol for iPad: with the ZAGG, the squeegee would get rid of most of the obvious bubbles and air pockets right away, while with the Wrapsol, no amount of squeegeeing seemed to work. However, we had been warned beforehand that the best way to guarantee a perfect install was just to let the iPad sit unused for a few hours – 24 hours if possible.

Still some bubbles after application but don't worry ...

To tell the truth, the main reason I took so long to write this review is neither one of us could bear to live without using our iPads for 24 hours! Cyn eventually gave in first, so we applied it on her 64GB.

And to her credit, I think she lasted 16 hours. Then she suddenly declared “Ok, I think it should be fine. I need to check my crops!” Yes, that’s what happens when you’re addicted to We Rule.

... good things come to those who wait

Lo and behold, the advice was true. All of the annoying air pockets and bubbles had disappeared, and the screen was immaculate. As for the rest of the iPad, you literally can’t tell without touching the surface that an iPad has Wrapsol on it.

Cyn also remarked on the much-improved grip with the Wrapsol; the iPad’s formerly slippery aluminum back now had a pleasing texture to it and it felt extremely secure in the hands. In fact it’s the aspect of Wrapsol that she finds most appealing.

It’s been a few days now since the install and Cyn is generally happy with the product.  The Wrapsol screen surface tends to have a little more “grab” when doing quick finger motions like page turns or swipes, versus the slickness of  unprotected glass. But other motions like pinches, spreads, and slow scrolls feel about the same.

Now, just to provide a different perspective: one of Cyn’s officemates chose another brand of screen protector, namely Momax. You can see in the photo below that his Momax screen protector (the bottom iPad) diffuses light much better,  is less reflective and has less glare. It also has less “drag” on the fingers, and feels more similar to the original glass surface. But the Momax product is made to fit just the iPad’s screen, leaving the rest of the iPad uncovered.

There’s still no telling how much protection a Momax film will offer against scratches or scrapes versus the Wrapsol film. I don’t think either Cyn or her officemate would want to wage a head-to-head comparison test.

Wrapsol (top) vs Momax (bottom). Note the reflection of the ceiling light fixture.

If you’re really picky about screen quality, the best, no-compromise solution (and the most expensive one) might be to apply the Momax film to the screen and use Wrapsol all over the rest of the iPad’s body. I know of at least one person who’s done this and he swears by the combination.

Both the Momax (P950) and Wrapsol (P1,950) films are available through Digital Hub and its sister chain of stores, Digital Walker. I’ve been informed that the Wrapsol has been surprisingly popular and is currently out of stock, but they should have a new batch coming in soon.

And if you plan to install, be sure you can live without your iPad for 24 hours.

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May 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

6 Comments »

  1. BTW, According to the instructions, you just need to have the iPad off for 1 hour after application. The 24 hour warning pertains to how long you should expect the bubbles to be there.

    But then again, we wanted to be as careful as possible… thus the 24 hour (oh, ok, 16) lay-off from iPad usage.

    OH and I scratched my Wrapsol after I stuck my iPad in my purse. The bad news is that, from some angles, you can see a small scratch. The good news is that the scratch is just 1/3 wrapsol-deep, and my screen is still pristine and perfect underneath. Yay for Wrapsol protection!!

    Comment by Cyn | May 25, 2010 | Reply

  2. Caveat on my Momax – yes there’s significantly less drag versus Cyn’s Wrapsol surface (which I found too gummy for use while fingerpainting on Adobe Ideas/Sketchbook Pro), but grease smudges are more stubborn on it. Unlike the Wrapsol, where a quick swipe with a clean cloth will do, I need to invest a little more elbow grease into taking out smudges on the Momax.

    But I plan to Wrapsol the back as soon as it’s back in stock at DW/DH!

    Comment by MDJ Superstar | May 25, 2010 | Reply

  3. I tried to use a regular screen protector and immediately disliked the iPad’s slower response to my touch, so I took it off.

    What exactly happens to the glass if it remains unprotected?

    The husbandry claims he has yet to find a scratch on his unprotected iPhone, but we women like to stuff our iPhones and iPads in totes filled with pens, makeup kits, keys and the like.

    Comment by Cynthia Dayco | May 25, 2010 | Reply

    • Wear and tear aside – the added insurance of a screen protector does come in handy if you plan to resell the gadget later on. Picky buyers will gravitate towards items that have had screen protectors since Day One. (I see it happen with lenses and UV filters too!)

      Comment by Vic | May 25, 2010 | Reply

      • I stuck my first iPod in my bag and came away with a 1.5 inch GASH on the screen that was 4 mm thick. I think it was from a key!

        It was SO sad… especially since it was 2 days old, and that was the day I was planning to go get a screen protector >.<

        So now, I have screen protectors AND bags with lots and lots of pockets 😉

        Comment by Cyn | May 25, 2010

    • Based in your feedback, I got the matte Momax for my iPad. I had to cut it to size because I had already installed a gelaskin on the surround. Of course, I ended up cutting too much, so I now have a .25cm moat of unprotected glass between the gelaskin and the protected area of the screen. Anyway, the Momax is surprisingly tactile, maybe a little too much at times.

      Comment by Cynthia Dayco | May 27, 2010 | Reply


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