A very personal blog

[DIY + Review] How to install paper-like matte screen protector on an iPad and is it worth it?

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I made a video on Youtube on how to install a matte screen protector on my iPad Mini. Here it is:

In this blog post however I’m gonna review how it’s been like using a matte screen protector, especially its pros and cons with regards to using the Apple Pencil. 
Let’s start with WHY?

Why did I get a matte screen protector?

I like the texture and how it diffuses light for people with sensitive eyes like me. Also, the main reason I got a mini is for reading and drawing purposes and what better way to equip my screen than to get a matte protector? I think it’s also a matter of preference, even for my phones I always choose to get matte over clear or tempered.

Pros of using a matte screen protector

It’s great for artists. The glide of the Apple Pencil on a matte surface really gives it a familiar paper-like feel. Attaching tempered glass creates a gap between the screen and that pencil that I don’t like, and drawing on a glass screen feels weird too hehe.
It’s great for reading, I almost wanted to say it’s kindle-like now but it’s still a far cry from Kindle’s e-paper display.

Cons of using a matte screen protector

Before and after applying matte screen protector
It reduces sharpness and clarity. So much for retina display right? But it doesn’t ruin the experience entirely. In fact, I enjoy reading more on my iPad because of the screen.
Before and After 1 month of daily use
It wears down the Apple Pencil faster. True enough. The paper-like texture kinda sands the tip, making it pointier but it’s expected. Although not at this rate! 
The tip of the Apple Pencil is replaceable by design anyway so sooner or later it will really wear down, no matter what your screen protector is. If you look at the photo above you’ll notice how the tip used to be rounder originally. In the After photo the tip looks a bit pointier. And it’s only been a month.
Does it affect drawing experience? Not at all, at least not yet. I don’t know how blunt it has to be to affect note-taking ability but pressure sensitivity is still there.
Note that the level of wear depends on how often you use it. In this case, that kind of pointiness was achieved after 1 month of DAILY usage. It’s really case to case. That’s my husband’s pencil actually and he’s uses the pencil to create dark art pieces using Procreate app. Just for context, here’s his portfolio and the type of work he does: https://www.instagram.com/jecdaveart, He does lots of manual strokes and shading I can see why the pencil would give up easily. hehe
UPDATE: After a month and a half of daily use, we had to replace the nib already because the tip has been sanded to the point that the metal thingy inside is getting exposed. Look,
Look there’s like a ball point poking out of it hehe. It’s kinda disappointing how fast it deteriorates the nib like that. The exposed metal, or whatever that is, scratches the screen protector so it’s no use keeping it. Luckily the Apple Pencil comes with 1 extra nib so we don’t have to worry for now.
Apple sells replacement nibs too for ₱1,090.00/pack of 4 tips. So that sets the nib at around ₱250/pc. Alright. But if we had to replace it every two months or so, that’s gonna be very costly!
So we thought we’d look for cheaper alternatives. Like this nib protector from Shopee

It’s just a silicon sleeve that you attach at the tip. It’s supposed to project your tip from wearing down faster BUT I find that it’s not so good for drawing! It totally killed the paper-like feel of our matte screen protector. Though some of the feedback mentioned it’s okay for drawing, I guess it’s just a matter of getting used to it. hehe


My husband’s iPad
If you only do regular note-taking you probably don’t need a matte screen protector unless it’s your preference. 
BUT for artists using the Apple Pencil? You might want to consider getting a paper-like screen protector like this one! If you hate it you can just peel it off and get a clear one, right?