Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Clear Coat for iPad mini

Hello guys, up for review today is a Clear Coat wrap for the iPad mini.  Clear Coat has hit the market with urethane films for a wide variety of devices.  These films are marketed as crystal clear and scratch proof for those users who prefer to use their device "naked" or case-less.  Who would want to strap a bulky case on the already slim iPad mini? 

I've been using the full wrap on my iPad mini for a few weeks now and I can vouch for the scratch proof claim of the Clear Coat.  My major gripe comes down to the screen shield.  The smooth silky touch of the bare glass screen is totally lost with the Clear Coat installed.  It feels tacky (not sticky like zagg) yet hard to explain; it's sort of like dragging your finger on dry skin.  This screen shield is not something I would buy again.  In contrast to this, the film that covers the back feels surprisingly smoother and I didn't seem to experience the same issue. 

Moving on to the accuracy of the film cuts, I found that the back film is cut perfectly around
the cutouts and buttons around the perimeter of the iPad mini.  The screen shield is a bit odd as they've chosen to cut it pretty "short" of the perimeter of the screen perhaps to keep the edges from peeling and to provide room for cases that wrap around the screen.  Another thing that i'm not a fan of is the way that the screen has a pocket cut out from the home button that extends to the bottom of the device rather than using a circular cutout. 

Installation was tricky but not difficult if you take your time and have patience.  Installing the screen shield was not bad using the provided installation liquid and squeegee.  Installing the back film was pretty challenging.  Locating the film was a breeze as long as you use enough installation liquid.  Getting the edges to stick was a daunting task which involved a lot of hair dryer and elbow grease (i.e. holding each flap down for a long time).  I would say it took me over 30 minutes to install the back film alone.  Installing the front film took ~10 minutes. 

Lastly, I'd like to speak about the clarity of the Clear Coat.  The screen shield is not optically crystal clear like they are claiming.  It has a grainy look when the screen is on and has an orange peel look to it when the screen is off.  The same orange peel look applies to the back film but isn't as noticeable when installed. 

You can pick up a full body Clear Coat for $34.99 and a screen only option for $24.99.  Overall, I would rate this product as "It's Ok".

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