We’re no strangers of the SGP Incredible Shield Ultra Coat. For the longest time, we’ve been using this series of wet apply backs and dry apply screen protectors to give our iDevices a coating of scratch protection. But it took us a couple of months to review the Incredible Shield for the new iPad. Having applied the same film countless times on other devices, what could have possibly happened?
- The highest Level of abrasion resistance - Extreme Scratch Proof
- State-Of-The Art UV Inhibitors
- Perfect fits for the device
- Easily Removable
- Fully Compatiable with CDMA Verizon Apple iPad 2
- Compatiable with Apple Smart Cover
The Incredible Shield Ultra Coat comes in a massive blue box, containing the soft rear film, a clear Steinheil screen protector, application spray, LCD cleaner spray, a rubber squeegee, and a cleaning cloth.
Before you buy the Incredible Shield (or any other protective film) for the iPad, you should ask yourself, “How adept am I at applying protective films?” If you’ve ever thought that applying a phone’s protective film was difficult, you’re going to scream in frustration at the iPad. The cultprit? Sheer size. First of all, alignment is much more difficult, given the fact that the physical features of the iPad are so far apart, it’s hard to tell if the film is perfectly straight and aligned properly. Secondly, it’s pretty difficult to remove all the air bubbles that develop from a 10” slab, as opposed to a phone that measures 3.5.” I consider myself to be relatively experienced at applying these films (althouigh this is the first time I’ve done an iPad) and I would say it was moderately difficult to apply the film. I would recommend aligning the film first with the camera and the volume buttons, and then with the 30 pin dock connector. Removing bubbles was the main hassle that I experienced.
Wet Apply Film
While we do prefer the aluminum feel of the bare iPad, we have to admit we feel more secure with the added grip of the Incredible Shield. The Incredible Shield adds a glossy coating that is so glossy, it’ll even stick to whatever surface you lay it on. We see this as a good thing because the less your iPad slides around, the smaller the chance of it getting scratched or dropped. However, if your hands are not clean when using your iPad, it can get pretty slimy with the Incredible Shield.
For the most part, the cutouts on the Incredible Shield are pretty good - the camera cutout is precise, the buttons and ports are all easily accessible, and corner coverage is good.
Something often unnoticed in terms of coverage is that the very side edges and the top edges are not covered. We understand that from a design standpoint it might be a good idea to make the film a little smaller than the actual body of the iPad but in actual usage of the iPad, it’s always the side edge and top edge that get banged into walls when holding the device (don’t ask, it happens!).
On the left side is an optional cutout for the microSIM slot given you own the 4G model. If not, SGP includes a small sticker.
The main issue we experienced, after going through our second set of Incredible Shield, was that the bubbles present during application would not go away. Even after waiting weeks and even months, they remained. So if your application is not perfect, you’ll have to deal with a bunch of bubbles that refuse to disappear all over the film.
As with every Incredible Shield set, the front of the iPad is protected by the Steinheil Crystal screen protectors.
These are probably our favorite plastic screen protectors due to their smooth feel and great clarity.
The cutouts are precise and we only experienced slight rainbowing when viewing the iPad under lights. It’s pretty scratch resistant, only picking up a few light surface ones after extensive usage.
Removal and Residue
We didn’t have any problems with the film yellowing or peeling. In fact, removing the Incredible Shield turned out to be a tremendous task, involving much tugging and wrestling of the film to remove it. It left no residue behind once we were done.
SGP’s Incredible Shield remains one of our favorite clear protective films for iDevices due to its hybrid front and back combination. However, on the iPad we ran into some pretty significant bubbling issues even after going through two sets of the film. If your initial application is not completely perfect, the bubbles will refuse to go away. However, if you’re confident you won’t get any bubbles on the massive rear of the iPad, the Incredible Shield is a great pick.
- great, durable protection
- front protector feels great for plastic
- bubbles don’t go away
- relatively difficult to apply
- side/top edges not covered
Where to buy
CreTouch — MSRP: $33.99