The new iPad comes with a shiny Retina screen, the signature Apple polish, and Pencil support, all for the bargain price of $330. But with Apple taking aim at classrooms in particular, it’s easy to see that 9.7-inch screen getting smashed, scratched, or otherwise damaged over time. A sturdy screen protector is a good way to enhance the odds of your new iPad‘s display lasting. But which screen protectors are worth your time and money?
We’ve done the research and dug through piles of products to find the screen protector that’s right for you, whether that’s a scratch-resistant and thin film screen protector, or a shatterproof tempered glass beast. As a brief note before we begin, since the new iPad is very similar to last year’s iPad and the iPad Pro 9.7, lots of the screen protectors designed for those tablets will fit the new iPad, too.
Moshi iVisor AG ($30)
If you’ve shopped for any iOS accessories at all in the last few years, then Moshi‘s name is probably familiar. The iVisor AG is one of Moshi’s most popular screen protectors, and it’s fairly easy to see why. The surface coating reduces glare on the screen, resists smudges and scratches, and has the toughness you should expect from a tempered glass screen protector. The application process is simple and straightforward — but what really sets Moshi’s screen protector apart from the rest is that it’s washable and reusable. That’s right — you can take it off your iPad, wash it under the tap, and reapply it once the adhesive has dried.
UAG Glass Screen Shield ($45)
A big name in protective cases, you shouldn’t pass up UAG‘s screen protection options, either. UAG’s Glass Screen has a 9H hardness rating. It’s highly resistant to scratches and helps absorb the blow should the worst happen. It’s easy to apply and comes with an oleophobic screen coating that resists fingerprints and oils, and stops them from smudging the view. It’s also exceptionally thin at only 0.2mm thick. It’s certainly on the expensive side, but if you want great protection that’s so thin as to almost not be there, then UAG is your bag.
InvisibleShield Glass ($50)
Made with four layers of protection, the InvisibleShield Glass is industry veteran InvisibleShield’s premiere offering for the new iPad. A special oleophobic coating makes sure that skin oils are kept away from the screen and are easy to clean off, while also providing a super-smooth surface that mimics the feel of your iPad’s own Retina screen. Application is easy too — just line it up, press it down, and let it go. It’s rated up to a hardness of 9H, and should protect against most knocks and bumps. However, it’s the most expensive option on this list.
Targus Screen Protector ($20)
If you’re not a fan of the feel or thickness of tempered glass, but still want some protection on your iPad, then film screen protectors might be for you. This PET film screen protector from Targus hits all the right notes, offering protection against scratches, smudges, and fingerprints, while also maintaining screen clarity. It’s easy to install and doesn’t rely on any weird installation methods. It also helps to remove glare when out in direct sunlight. Unlike a glass screen protector, it won’t protect as well against heavier knocks or drops, but it should hold up admirably against a variety of smudges and minor scratches.
Anker GlassGuard ($9)
You might know Anker for its range of top-quality mobile accessories, but you might not know that it has since expanded into cases and screen protectors for mobile devices. The GlassGuard is smudge-, scratch-, and fingerprint-resistant, and it also uses a unique system to reduce breakage during moments of stress. Instead of using a single layer of reinforced glass at the top of the protector, Anker employs four separate pieces to help spread some of the energy of impact away from your iPad, and lessen the chances of the protector breaking. It does all this while still being as clear as any other protector.
Laut Prime Glass ($35)
Calling itself the “Rolls-Royce of screen protection” is a big claim to make, and we can’t verify Laut‘s boasts. However, this is a finely polished glass screen protector that comes with all the usual accompaniments you’d expect, including hardened glass, an oleophobic coating that resists fingerprints and grease, and resistance to shattering. Slightly rounded edges prevent that hard edge feeling when you reach the sides of the protector, making this feel slightly more luxurious. All in all, it’s a great screen protector — but we won’t blame anyone who finds it hard to justify the high cost.
Something of an up-and-comer in the accessories biz, Olixar has quietly been making a name for itself with its range of mobile accessories. This tempered glass screen protector is again on the slightly expensive side, but it comes with an anti-shatter film, 9H hardness, and a thickness of just 0.33mm. It’s ultra-clear, letting through 95 percent of light (compared to the usual 80-percent), and it’s really easy to apply. Not a bad choice for the money.
Unsurprisingly for a product named after a rhino, RhinoShield‘s tempered glass screen protector specializes in taking the brunt of impacts, with RhinoShield claiming that each protector can absorb up to five times more impact energy than Gorilla Glass 3. We can’t verify that, but we can say the six-layer construction (including two dedicated layers for impact dispersion and protection) does help to give the RhinoShield a bit more oomph than a standard tempered-glass screen protector.
There’s a lot to be said for quality, but sometimes quantity suits you just as well. Thankfully, Supershieldz is able to supply a bit of both, with screen protectors made from Japanese film. They’ll protect well against scratches from keys, coins, and most objects left on top of an iPad. This screen protector will also remove some of the glare from direct sunlight, making it easier to use your iPad outside. But the real selling point here is the fact that you’ll get four of these bad boys for just $8. That’s just $2 each, making these a great value for money.