After spending your hard-earned cash on a new iPad, you want to protect your investment. What better way than to cover it with a durable screen protector and a case that shields both the front and back of the iPad. Seido makes two products that satisfy both these requirements. Read on for more about them.
First, let's take a look at Seido's Vitreo. Vitreo is not your typical screen protector. It's a full sheet of tempered glass. As such, it is far more scratch resistant and offers superior protection compared to the cheaper flexible clear plastic adhesive sheets that are typically used. Seido claims the Vitreo is shatterproof as a result of its 9H hardness rating and while I wasn't about to verify their claim by taking a hammer to it, the Vitreo certainly felt strong and sturdy while I was applying it to the screen.
Speaking of application, as is the case with any adhesive screen protector, you want to take extra precautions to thoroughly clean your iPad screen before applying it. Seido includes in the package an alcohol wipe and microfiber cloth to ensure that your iPad screen is as clean as the day you unboxed it. Once the screen is pristine, carefully align and lay down the Vitreo, being careful to avoid air bubbles. Seido also offers a installation video
for the product. If you're planning on spending the money for this premium screen protector, you really should watch this video to successfully apply the protector without any irritating particles trapped between it and your iPad's display surface.
Once applied, the Vitreo adds a slight amount of additional thickness to the display, but not obnoxiously so. And because it features a oleophobic coating, it helps to further resist fingerprint smudges that are so obvious on the iPad's standard glass display. Vitreo also covers the entire display, not just the visible area, giving a further level of security. Even with the added thickness and protection, the Vitreo has very little impact brightness or clarity of the iPad's display. As such, you get all the benefits of screen protection without sacrificing the beautiful high resolution quality and responsive touch interface that the iPad's Retina display has to offer. The only concern about the product is due to the added thickness, iPad's that have the Vitreo affixed to them are "not guaranteed to be compatible" with cases from other manufacturers. If you're thinking of protecting your screen with the Vitreo and also want to further protect the front and back of your iPad with a case, Seido advises to use their Expert case for full compatibility.
Seido Expert Case
Seido offers a case that compliments their Vitreo cover nicely, though it has two flaws that ding its otherwise 'expert' design.
The case is available in four colors - black (ebony), brown (expresso), regal purple and white (ivory). Think of its design as a combination of Apple's own iPad Smart Cover with a back cover. However, unlike other cases that wrap around all sides of the iPad, the Expert works more like a book cover with a magnetic front and an adhesive back. Unfortunately, this is unnerving for two reasons. First, it leaves the top, bottom and right sides and corners of the iPad exposed to dings and the elements. Secondly, I'm not entirely sold on the adhesive backing to keep the Expert firmly affixed to the rear of the iPad.
When I showed the case to my wife, she said under no circumstances would she allow me to affix the case to her iPad for testing. Even though she was looking for a case that was lightweight, the adhesive approach was a real turn off. What's odd about this psychology is even though there are almost no reservations on placing an adhesive screen protector on the front of the iPad, placing an adhesive backing is sacrilegious. Perhaps its the fear of the adhesive leaving some amount of tacky residue behind (even though Seido says this won't happen) or perhaps its the concern that the adhesive simply won't hold up with the rigors of friction over time. Using my iPad as the sacrificial lamb, I found it to do its job well surprisingly without any of the concerns showing up, but I also didn't put it through any extreme environmental tests either. But I eventually removed it after a couple of days, replacing it with the cover I used before the Expert was tested. It simply wasn't a compelling enough case design to entice me to use.
Overall, the Vitreo combined with the Expert case offer an enticing way to shield your iPad from the dings and dents of everyday travel. While the Vitreo delivers on its screen protecting promise, I would have preferred the Expert case protect all corners of the iPad. Its current design is certainly lightweight, but the adhesive backing keeping it in place from slippage is just too unnerving for me to fully trust. Plus, I really don't like the idea of placing adhesive on the back of my iPad even if it isn't supposed to leave any residue behind. I'm not about to find out if it does or not, especially if I happen to accidentally leave my iPad in a car on a hot summer day only to discover that the adhesive used may or may not hold up with that kind of baking temperature punishment.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars