First Look: Capdase Privacy Guard Roamer for iPad
Model: Privacy Guard Roamer
Compatible: iPad (2010)
Capdase's entry into the iPad protective screen film category is Privacy Guard Roamer ($52), a single sheet of "360-degree" privacy film that boasts a 35-degree viewing angle, a "reversible" matte or glossy finish, and an included screen cleaning cloth. It's supposed to work regardless of the orientation your iPad is in, unlike some protectors that work only in horizontal or vertical use.
On May 13, 2010, iLounge published The Complete Guide to iPad Cases and Protection, a multi-page comparison of over 70 different iPad cases and film protectors, sorted by genre. The following details were added to this piece by that comparison article; please click on the link above for additional comparative discussion of similar protective options.
In the middle of the group price-wise, Capdase’s privacy film offers the most aggressive dimming capabilities for those who are really concerned about having their screens viewed from off-axis. Unlike the other two films discussed here, it’s a true four-way film, which means that its dimming effects work for viewers to your left and right regardless of whether the iPad is being held vertically or horizontally. Viewed directly on center, the screen looks just about the same as with Incipio’s film—a little hazy, ever so slightly dimmed relative to an uncovered iPad screen—but off angle, it rapidly darkens in each direction.
There are a couple of catches, however. The first is that the four-way film introduces a light X-shaped pattern on top of the screen, despite the fact that the finish of the film is as matte-like as Incipio’s. This pattern is moire-like and noticeable during normal use, adding just one more layer of less than ideal distortion to the screen, but it—or something like it—is likely to be the consequence of most four-way protection. While the iPad remains usable with the film installed, the look of the screen is compromised enough that we’d only recommend this film for people who are willing to accept a noticeable full-time visual compromise for the occasional benefits of greater privacy.
The other issue is the installation challenge. Capdase’s film is cut so precisely for iPad’s Home button and screen size that you’ll need master-level installation skills to get it right—even being off by a little creates air bubble issues at edges. This is compounded by poor tabs for removing both sides of the film’s own pre-installation protection, the first one labelled a little unusually, and the others all small and too hard to use.