All iPads Is a screen protector needed on an iPad? How fragile is the glass?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by gdourado, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. gdourado macrumors 6502

    gdourado

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #1
    Hello, how are you?
    For some years to this day, I always used screen protectors on both my tablets and my phones.
    I used them before tempered glass became a thing even, so I have been using them since those plastic membrane days.

    But today I went to the Apple Store to try out some iPads and iPhones since I am looking to upgrade.

    And I must say the naked screens felt really good to the touch.
    And also looked great. I could really feel the laminated screen on the iPad pros without a thick tempered glass on top.

    With phones, since I use mine frequently on jeans and jacket pockets, a screen protector is pretty much obligatory to avoid those micro scratches.

    But how about iPads?
    How do you find the resilience of the screen to micro scratches?
    Do you use a screen protector?
    Do you not use one? If you don’t use one, how is your screen?

    What are your thoughts on this matter?

    Thanks.
    Cheers.
     
  2. brianone macrumors newbie

    brianone

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
  3. MacDevil7334 macrumors 65816

    MacDevil7334

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #3
    I've owned 8 iPads over the years and never put a screen protector on any of them. I ended up with a small scratches (less than half a centimeter) on 2 screens out of those 8. I don't know how either scratch got there but I'm guessing it was grit from a bag/backpack I had put the iPad into. In general, I find the screen to be pretty scratch resistant, and I'm always hesitant to add weight to an iPad unless it's absolutely necessary. One thing to consider is that, unlike an iPhone or Apple Watch, the screen of an iPad is generally covered when not in use and is also way less likely to brush up against things that might scratch it. That's just the nature of how tablets are used compared to phones. Neither scratched iPad has been bad enough to convince me to start using a screen protector.
     
  4. LibbyLA macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #4
    I don’t like glare or fingerprints so I always use a matte screen protector. I had a heavy metal camera display stand fall against the screen of my iPP Pro 11” and the corner gouged a hole in my screen protector but the screen was undamaged.
     
  5. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2016
  6. Heat_Fan89 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2016
    #6
    I used tempered glass screen protectors. You can't tell it's on the iPad. It's just as smooth as a naked iPad screen and no image distortion.
     
  7. blasto2236 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #7
    I personally think screen protectors are a racket. Unless you prefer matte like another poster above, they’re useless. You may prevent some surface level scratches, but most screen protectors are unlikely to save you from a drop. That’s all in the case.

    IMO, screen protectors drastically reduce the quality of a display for very little return in the protection department. Even tempered glass doesn’t feel or scroll as smooth as a naked display. I never have and never will bother with using them on any of my devices, Apple or otherwise.
     
  8. NT1440 macrumors G5

    NT1440

    Joined:
    May 18, 2008
    #8
    This is my experience as well. I’ve repaired a few dozen iPhone screens throughout the years for being cracked and EVERY time I get the same exasperated “but it cracked even with a screen protector!” explanation every time. I’ve stopped trying to explain that they won’t protect from drops. Instead I just follow up by politely asking them to explain HOW a protector would be expected to prevent anything other than a scratch. That usually gets the wheels turning in their head and they come to understand through their own thought process.

    As far as iPads, I’ve never put one on the three I’ve owned.
     
  9. gdourado thread starter macrumors 6502

    gdourado

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    #9
    Hello,

    I don't think I explained my concerns.
    I don't question the use of a screen protector to prevent a cracked screen.

    I have mobile devices for many years and never cracked a screen.
    My concern is to prevent those hairline superficial and light scratches that tend to appear on display with usage.

    I am wondering how resistant to those kind of scratches is an ipad screen.
    I find that those kind of scratches, while not intrusive to prevent the normal use of a device, they really hurt the resale value and potential of devices.

    Where I am from, if you try to sell a device that is not mint, you either take a huge loss or nobody will be interested.

    If I list a device for sale and say the screen is mint, no sratches or any kind of marks and has had a screen protector since new, it tends to generate interest and sell for a good amount.

    If you list an item saying it has micro scratches or hairline scratches, you either get lowballed like crazy or nobody takes it.

    That's is why I am asking.
    I sold my 4 year old air 2 for 250 euros last week and one of the selling points was that it was mint and in a cover and with screen protector since new.

    I am wondering if you use an ipad for a couple of years without screen protector, even if you are carefull and baby your devices, does it still show micro scratches from normal use?
    Or is the screen resistant enough to avoid those?

    Cheers!
     
  10. blasto2236 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2012
    #10
    I have never had scratches on my iPad screen from normal use, micro or otherwise. It doesn’t go in a pocket like the iPhone, so it’s not coming in to contact with debris that can scratch the oleophobic coating. I’ve owned 6 different iPads over the years and have always been fine with just a Smart Cover.
     
  11. MacDevil7334 macrumors 65816

    MacDevil7334

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2011
    Location:
    Austin TX
    #11
    The “micro scratches” you are describing sound like scratches that sometimes happen to the oleophobic coating Apple puts on all iPhone and iPad screens. The coating is not as strong as the glass itself, so you sometimes end up with those light scratches that can only be seen in certain light but don’t affect screen quality.

    Since all iPads have an oleophobic coating, they can get scratches in the coating, same as iPhones. Though, it’s not as likely to happen as it is on an iPhone for the reasons I outlined in my earlier post. Putting on a screen protector would prevent scratches in the coating since you would be physically covering it with more glass. However, you would then lose out on the benefits of the coating and fingerprints would be harder to wipe off. If you’re looking at an iPad Pro, those screens also have an antireflective coating to reduce glare. Putting a glass screen protector on top of that would pretty much negate the coating’s effectiveness and make the screen harder to see in bright light.

    Are either of these trade offs worth it? Only you can say. You seem to be really worried about resale value, so maybe. I’ve never had a problem with scratches bad enough to make me consider putting a screen protector on. And on iPad Pro’s, a screen protector would make day to day use actually worse by increasing glare. Only you can decide what’s best for your situation though.
     
  12. jtara macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2009
    #12
    Are you putting it in the cage with the gorillas?
     
  13. s2mikey macrumors 68020

    s2mikey

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2013
    Location:
    Upstate, NY
    #13
    Me either. Owned several and have never had an issue. I feel the screens are quite durable and pretty easy to keep clean. It’s a personal choice but I love the naked screen and the typing feel and how it just looks better than with any screen protector on it.
     
  14. millydog macrumors 6502

    millydog

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    I use tempered clear glass screen protectors on all of my iPads. I don’t do it to have them in pristine condition for reselling since I pass my devices to my husband and kids, but I do it because a don’t want micro scratches on the screen for myself. I know that it doesn’t impact the usefulness of the device, but I pay good money for my iPads (highest capacity cellular versions) and I want to keep them in a good condition. The glass screen protectors these days are usually 0.3mm thick, so very thin and barely noticeable. They don’t impact my usage at all and actually significantly reduce the fingerprint smudges on the screen. If I wasn’t doing it to prevent micro scratches, then I’d possibly do it to reduce the fingerprint visible on the screen anyway.

    One of my children did actually drop one of my iPads onto our tiled floor and only the screen protector was damaged. I don’t rely on them for drop protection, but I’m sure that it prevented damage to my iPad that time.

    So, no, they are not necessary and it’s a personal decision, but I do it because I don’t like micro scratches (and I transport my iPad everywhere and have kids) and they also reduce smudges from fingers.
     
  15. Nhwhazup macrumors 68020

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #15
    I use a tempered glass protector on my phone and Power Support crystal clear on my iPad Pro. I use the Pencil all the time and had a drag on my initial screen protector that actually ripped it. If the drag occurred directly on the screen, I would imagine it would have resulted in a scratch. I keep the screen clean and pencil tip clean as well. Must have gotten some dirt on it and was a fluke as it’s not happened again. That’s reason enough for me to put a protector on it.

    Check out some of the other threads where the new iPad Pros have problem with the protectors on. So that might be a reason not to have a protector.
     
  16. ssledoux macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Down south
    #16
    I have put glass screen protectors on every device I’ve owned (well, ever since we stopped using those humongous Otter Boxes with the built-in screen covers - quite a few iPhones ago).

    I like my gadgets to stay looking new. It would bother me to have scuffs and/or scratches on my screens. I like that with a screen protector, I can just change it if it starts looking crappy.

    As far as on my iPad, sure it’s not as likely to get scuffed or scratched since I never throw it in my purse without flipping the cover over it, and no one ever touches it other than myself, but I just do it anyway.

    Protection? For those who say it doesn’t help, I must beg to differ. My adult daughters have had plenty of drops that cracked the heck out of their screen protectors, and left the glass underneath intact - some were so shattered I was shocked the glass underneath had no damage.

    Five of my 7 grandkids have iPads (the babies aren’t old enough just yet). I have changed a LOT of glass screen protectors on their iPads over the last 5-6 years, but only one ever had cracked glass underneath (and I think my toddler grandson had stood in the middle of it - repeatedly).

    I’m a fan of the screen protector. ;-p
    --- Post Merged, Feb 20, 2019 ---
    I AM curious about the matte ones - never had one of those, but I recently read in another thread that they make it really nice for writing with the pencil. Anyone have this experience?

    How much does that change the appearance of the screen? Does someone maybe have a pic they could share?
     
  17. iapplelove macrumors 601

    iapplelove

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2011
    Location:
    East Coast USA
    #17
    I’ve never used a case nor screen protector with any of my iPads, and I’ve owned almost all of them including the new 12.9.

    Hell I even dropped this one right off the kitchen table onto the hard wood floor without a dent or scratch.

    Imo a waste of money
     
  18. Pipper99 macrumors 68020

    Pipper99

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #18
    Which protector do you use for your iPad Pro?
     
  19. ssledoux macrumors 65816

    ssledoux

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Location:
    Down south
    #19

    C5697B6B-CF89-49AA-BD6C-946FE8A30495.png
    I bought these - work fine so far.
     
  20. JagdTiger macrumors regular

    JagdTiger

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2017
    #20
    Get one anyways, just in case you drop or even a animal does something to it, use a case protected too.
     
  21. Superrenz macrumors member

    Superrenz

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2018
    Location:
    Wiesbaden, Germany
    #21
    Always use one - just for peace of mind. I have 3 kids using my devices - going naked is a no go.
     
  22. RevTEG macrumors 6502a

    RevTEG

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    #22
    I always use a glass screen protector on my iPhones and iPads. Not so much for drop protection but to keep scratches off the screen.

    However, my launch day 3rd gen 12.9 still has touch issues with my screen protector. Scrolling, touch and typing performance is a lot different than I have experienced with glass screen protectors on my other iPads.
     
  23. spacebro macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2015
    #23
    My first iPad got a little bit scratched before I learned to always keep the folio cover on when its not being used.
     
  24. Pipper99 macrumors 68020

    Pipper99

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2010
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #24
  25. RevTEG macrumors 6502a

    RevTEG

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, Ca
    #25
    I’m pretty sure I got some micro abrasions from not keeping the inside of my Smart Cover clean on my first gen pro. No perfect. I started using glass protectors when I found out that Apple doesn’t replace iPad Pro screens. $600 (without Apple Care) to replace an old first gen 12.9 because of a scratch. No thanks.
     

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