Review – NuShield Screen Protectors

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Good Protection at a Reasonable Price

After dropping anywhere from one to several hundred dollars on a new PDA, the last thing you may want to consider is to spend even more money. When it comes to screen protection, however, that is the first thing you should do. Unique to PDAs, proper use of these awesome tools requires one to strike (i.e. “tap”) and scrape (i.e. “write on”) a plastic surface. Unprotected and through normal use, this vital piece of plastic will become permanently damaged and eventually render the PDA itself near useless. A penny saved here is definitely NOT a dollar saved.

If you are an intelligent shopper with the patience to delay purchasing a new PDA until accessory makers, such as screen protector manufacturers, to catch up with the new PDA design then you should have a wide range of screen protection options to choose from.  While my intelligence has been known to be suspect, I am definitely not patient when it comes to buying new PDAs. Hence, I found myself with a Garmin iQue3600 about a month after they came out and surprise I was unable to find a screen protector for it. After waiting several months for someone to come out with a screen protector for my iQue3600, NuShield finally came out with not only a screen protector for my unit, but one whose design is supposedly head & shoulders above the rest. In this review, I discuss my findings and impressions after about a month use of the NuShield screen protector on my Garmin iQue3600.

Installation.

I found installation of the NuShield to be extremely easy especially after I got rid of the installation instructions! According to NuShield, their product is installed by inserting the edges of their product between the PDA case and screen. I was unable to do this as the screen protector I received perfectly covers the PDA Screen following NuShield’s directions would have left part of my screen uncovered.

So after tossing aside the directions, I easily installed the protector by first removing the mask film that covers the “adhesive side” of the NuShield. Next, I used masking tape and a damp cloth to try to sterilize the “adhesive side” to help ensure a nice solid installation. I then lined up the top edge of the NuShield with my PDA screen and quickly installed the NuShield. Despite the confusing directions, the NuShield was much easier to install than other screen protectors I’ve used in the past. This is partly due, IMO, to the fact that the NuShield was much stiffer than other protectors and seemed to use much less adhesive. Although I was able to successfully install the NuShield in the first attempt, I’ve since removed, cleaned, and re-installed it several times without much trouble at all.

Note that I’ve been saying “adhesive side” in quotes because NuShield claims their protectors do not use adhesives as found in other maker’s protectors. Instead, the NuShield is supposed to be oversized and cupped and held into place by inserting the overlap material as noted above. The supposed result is that the cupped NuShield flattens out and floats securely over the PDA Screen without needing adhesives. The protector I received from NuShield for this review was, neither oversized, nor cupped, and it did have what seemed to be a very light (as compared to other protectors I’ve used) adhesive. But despite the differences in their claims and what I received, installation (and subsequent installations) was done quite easily.

Performance.

The NuShield is by far the best screen protector I’ve ever used (I won’t name names, but I’ve now used four different screen protectors including the NuShield) in terms of screen clarity. There does seem to be some level of anti-glare protection offered by the NuShield as performance under glaring conditions seemed to be better than without the NuShield.

The NuShield is also extremely smooth to write on, though it may be too smooth for some users. Using my stock Garmin stylus, I’ve found the NuShield required higher-than-normal accuracy in terms of stylus tapping and graffiti writing as my stylus seemed to slide a bit too much. Sort of like I had put a perfectly clear sheet of ice over my screen I can see perfectly what’s below but there’s not enough friction to easily handle my writing and tapping styles. I see this as more of a user issue as I also notice the NuShield surface smoothness is not as much of a problem when using my much larger & heavier after-market stylus/pen.

Bottom Line: The NuShield offers decent screen protection without giving up much (if anything) on color and clarity. This alone makes the NuShield a recommended buy. NuShield does have some shortcomings, as noted above and in the Rating below, but these are far outweighed by its great performance and ease of installation & maintenance.

Recommend Buy: Yes

Rating: 3.5 (Out of 5)

Pros:
 Easy to Install
 Easy to maintain and re-install if needed
 Causes no noticeable interference to the clarity or color of an unprotected PDA screen
 Reasonably priced

Cons:
 Installation instructions did not seem to match the product (for the iQue3600)
 Writing side of NuShield may be too smooth for some users

Specifications:
 Material Characteristics: 0.005″ thick polymer film that is advertised as being resistant to alcohols, dilute acids & alkalis, esters, hydrocarbons, ketones, and household cleaning agents
 Cost: $11.99 (for package of 3 NuShields)
 Source: Made in Newtown, PA by NuShield http://www.nushield.com/

-Shaun McKee

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