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Old 03-06-2009, 04:07 PM   #1
sigma8
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mini-review: boxwave screen protector for sony prs-505

Hello Mobileread. Just wanted to report on an eBook accessory I just purchased: the screen protector. I bought one from Boxwave, which sells protectors for almost every device with a screen under the sun. I've bought protectors from them before for my Treo, Nintendo DS, and PSP, after reading a favorable review about the Treo version.

The tester in that review said that he couldn't scratch the protector even with a brillo pad--it was and remained crystal clear throughout his testing battery.

I've always hated applying these things in the past, it's so easy to get dust under them as you attempt application. This one was relatively easy. Maybe because of luck, but I think it helped that the protector seemed to fit [almost] EXACTLY into the screen area. There are no gaps at the edges. Consequently, I was able to push it up against the screen edges to help line it up, and didn't have to worry that it would be off-center as a result.

In record time I had it on. I used the supplied squeegee to get rid of the air bubbles, and then took a look. I'm not sure I like it.

While the protector is completely clear and doesn't ruin the contrast, it does seem to add quite a bit of glare. I don't think it amplifies glare like the 700 seems to do, but it does mean that in high glare situations, you now have a mirror...and in low glare situations where the naked screen effectively masked all glare, you can now see a faint, mostly unobtrusive reflection.

High-glare situations were already hard to read on the 505, and of course, it's no easier to read when it's a mirror. With low-glare situations, both are readable, but the faint reflections off the protector could be distracting, since you won't necessarily be able to see much in the reflection, but you'll easily see movement and large objects.

There is also a bit of a rainbow/polarized effect when light strikes the 505 at certain angles (glare-heavy angles, not reading angles). This might have something to do with it being UV-resistant or something like that (supposedly it reflects less UV rays back at you to help save your eyes).

I've attached a picture that I took, meant to illustrate just how bad it can be. The whole effect is like laminated newspaper.

Click image for larger version

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I've been mostly happy with Boxwave in the past (the only bad things was that some protectors seemed to curl up a little at the corners, and couldn't be squeegeed flat. Just a cosmetic thing. With my Canon A571 (or similar) the protector was too big for the screen, and hung off of it, and would catch on my pocket and peel off).

This time, the form, cut and fit of the screen are perfect, but it just adds too much unwanted glare. I'll leave it on a while, since I paid around $15 for it, but I may well be taking it off. [These protectors look fantastic when a device's screen is already glossy, since they do not change its qualities, but it appears they don't play well with matte screens.] I certainly feel a bit safer with it on, in terms of my device's safety. With the screen protector on, I'd feel confident putting the 505 in my jacket pocket, naked. However the cost for that might be too high. I may just have to find a better case.

Boxwave does offer an "anti-glare" protector, but I'm reluctant to try those, since anti-glare generally doesn't offer close to 100% transparency. The "crystal" protector [I bought] claims well over 99% transparency.

update: This just in! I can't stand the thing already (it's been about 10 minutes). I've taken it out, and since I forgot to take a "before" photo, instead I can provide an "after the after" photo. Without further ado: Protectorless 505 in the same position with mostly the same light. High glare.
Click image for larger version

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ouch.

edits to main review in []'s

Last edited by sigma8; 03-06-2009 at 04:36 PM.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:10 PM   #2
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Ouch! That glare is burning my eyes!

Thanks for the info.
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:14 PM   #3
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Hey sigma8, thanks for posting this!
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:26 PM   #4
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Well, it turns out "leave it on for a while" lasted one comment from DixieGal and a trip to the kitchen. I can't stand the thing. Since I now have it off and lighting outside is pretty much the same, I'm adding a photo of the 505 without the protector to the review above. Doing that right now, should be up there by the time you read this!
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Old 03-06-2009, 04:49 PM   #5
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I like the screen protectors from Boxwave. Very little light reduction. They are also very durable and can be washed unfer tap water w/o reducing the tacky part, they leave NO residue.

http://www.boxwave.com/

I use their matte finish protectors all the time.

For the 505:
http://www.boxwave.com/products/easy...ories_3414.htm

Last edited by snipenekkid; 03-06-2009 at 05:06 PM.
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Old 03-06-2009, 06:49 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snipenekkid View Post
I like the screen protectors from Boxwave. Very little light reduction. They are also very durable and can be washed unfer tap water w/o reducing the tacky part, they leave NO residue.

I use their matte finish protectors all the time.
Snipenekidd, good points. And yeah, I generally love their products. In addition to what I wrote above, that I used it on my treos, nintendos, etc.. I just remembered I've also bought them for iPods. They've been my go-to place for protectors. I convinced a coworker to get one for his work treo. He took the protector off before returning the phone after a couple years, and the only thing pristine about the phone was its screen. Everything else was severely scuffed.

I would love to see how their anti-glare protector looks on the 505, but after spending $20 (protector + shipping) for the crystal one, I'm a bit hesitant.
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Old 03-07-2009, 04:10 AM   #7
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I'm not sure I see why one would want a screen protector on a 505. It doesn't have an easily-scratched touch-sensitive screen like a PDA does; the screen surface is hard plastic and not at all easily scratched.
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Old 03-07-2009, 06:29 AM   #8
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screen protectors are a waste of time and money for the 505. there's no reason to touch
the screen. a simple wipe with a micrfibre cloth (available at any auto supply store) is all
that's needed.

a'
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Old 03-07-2009, 11:04 AM   #9
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I'm not sure what is so difficult to see about this concept. If your screen is at risk of being scratched, you take steps to prevent it.

I bring my gadgets a lot of places. I can scratch stuff. Ergo, for a trivial investment, I prefer to risk scratching a replaceable layer rather than the device itself.

I wasn't really recommending screen protectors to others, I was just saying how this one fared.

Last edited by sigma8; 03-07-2009 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:14 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sigma8 View Post
I'm not sure what is so difficult to see about this concept. If your screen is at risk of being scratched, you take steps to prevent it.

I bring my gadgets a lot of places. I can scratch stuff. Ergo, for a trivial investment, I prefer to risk scratching a replaceable layer rather than the device itself.
But if you keep it in the closed case, the screen isn't "exposed", so it won't get scratched. You're not likely to scratch it while you're reading, are you?
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Old 03-08-2009, 05:30 AM   #11
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I agree with HarryT. What is the point using a screen protector for a screen you don't touch. My screen only needs a quick wipe every now and again to keep it clean.
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Old 03-09-2009, 11:36 AM   #12
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Thanks for the review, I appreciate it. The reason I was interested in getting one because I enjoy using the reader without the cover and I admit, I'm to lazy to slip it back on after a nights reading. So having something to protect the screen just makes me feel more comfortable.
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Old 03-10-2009, 03:51 PM   #13
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Thanks for the review, I appreciate it. The reason I was interested in getting one because I enjoy using the reader without the cover and I admit, I'm to lazy to slip it back on after a nights reading. So having something to protect the screen just makes me feel more comfortable.
You should put this topic in the PRS-700 forum too. Since the 700 have a touchscreen screen, putting a screen protector make more sense.

Personally I only use screen protector with touch screen. I have one of my P3300. The 99% transparency one from Brando are good, you don't notice them but they do add some glare when there is a direct source of light.
As the LCD anyway is even more prone to glare, this don't change anything.

But if you use your e-ink reader outdoor it would be very annoying and uncomfortable, as without the protector the screen is perfect.

And the Anti-glare is worse, it reduces glare a little but makes the screen more blurry.
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Old 03-11-2009, 11:35 AM   #14
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The screen protector might be a wise choice for people that have the Cover With Light. My screen was scratched by the Light portion and I had to return the cover but my screen is still damaged. I R Sad.
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