We've been pretty smitten with our new laptop, but one thing we're always worried about is adding that first major scratch or ding on the casing. So we spent $55 and order the Zagg Invisible Shield to give us a bit of insurance against any minor blemishes after watching a few convincing videos about the protective nature of their electronics device skins...
The Zagg Invisible Shield kit comes with pre-cut pieces for the top, inside and bottom sections of the laptop, offering a wide selection of many models from various manufacturers. We laid the sheets ontop before removing the film to see how well cut they were and found an impressive quality in lining up with our MacBook Pro's form. A spray bottle, sparse instructions and a tiny rubber squeegee complete the installation kit.
The first section we attempted was the hardest: the inside near the trackpad. We made it a point to follow directions to a "T", as we've installed protective film on iPods, iPhones and smaller devices before and remember going slow and carefully is a necessity for a good finish. We had never attempted a larger surface, and this is where we ran into some serious trouble.
To be frank, the Zagg Invisible Shield is an extremely difficult application because of two reasons: 1) the larger surface area of these sheets make handling much more difficult than working with an iPhone sized skin, and 2) because of some aggressive adhesive, removing the larger sheets from their back causes slight and unavoidable stretching. This stretching basically ruined the fit for this inside sheet and after numerous attempts to try to make it fit, we realized we had one expensive piece of film that didn't fit the laptop correctly. So we removed it and moved on to the top panel.
The top panel sheet was easier to work with because it was one continuous rectangular sheet. Once again, the sizing prior to removal was perfect. And once again, removing the film from it's backing caused stretching because of the strong adhesive; whether we removed the sheet slowly or quickly, portions of the Zagg Invisible Shield wouldn't let go. We think this could be avoided if Zagg would pre-score sections of the sheeting for easier release. Carefully gently spraying the sheet on the front and back before application, we laid this top panel film onto our MacBook Pro with careful patience. But because of the slight stretching and perhaps also because of the MacBook Pro's curved corners, the film would not sit flush as hoped. The center and sides look beautiful, and the film is of high quality protection and feel. Sadly, those corner sections will undoubtedly mean the film will pick up dirt and eventually peel back over time.
Here you can see in the upper right hand corner a slight amount of the film lifting due to it's barely stretched state.
A close up of the other corner. We heeded the manufacturers recommendation to use a hair dryer on these corners, and although they would stay down initially, they'd lift up after a few minutes because of the slight stretch. We might try to carefully remove the excess later with an X-acto.
So for now, we've left just the top panel application, with plans to install the bottom later tonight when we don't have looming deadlines. We've already given the Zagg Invisible Shield a gentle scratch test, and as advertised, it does a great job of protecting the section it is covering. But we're hesitant to endorse a product whose installation process is inherently flawed, especially considering the price. The Zagg line of films might very well be an excellent investment for smaller devices, but we're hoping Zagg refines their laptop kits for easier handling and installation. In the meantime, we'll just stick to careful babying of our laptop, use our favourite sleeve, and just pray we don't scratch it any time soon.