Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Viewsonic G Tablet DIY Screen Protector

I recently purchased the Viewsonic G Tablet. Once you dump the factory ROM, it's great, but unfortunately its glossy surface is a fingerprint magnet and the glare can be pretty bad in bright light.

There are some commercially available, custom fit, and relatively expensive screen protectors out there, but paying upwards of $20 for a transparent piece of floppy plastic is a bit overkill in my mind. Another quite effective and relatively inexpensive solution to protect the screen involves using frisket film, a clear, nearly transparent adhesive film used for tracing, stencils, and related tasks.

I opted for the cheaper route. Care to try it? 

Here's how.

First get some matte frisket film. The "low tack" variety works just fine; it adheres snugly, yet can be easily peeled away without leaving residue. You can print out this template as a guide. Use some paper clips to secure the roughly 9 x 12" frisket film to the template. Then, using a sharp razor or knife, carefully cut along the whitespace between the inner and outer black borders. After cutting, you can trim the corners of the film to accommodate the curves of the tablet, and also cut out a notch for its built-in camera.

Thoroughly clean the surface of the tablet with a damp, lint-free cloth to remove dust and hair. Then, put on a pair of powder-free surgical gloves (latex or non depending on whether you're allergic or not), remove the backing from the frisket film.

Carefully apply the film onto the tablet surface. It helps to have a straightedge handy for this process. Begin with one edge and even up the border of the film with that of the tablet, then carefully smooth the film onto the surface of the tablet, and with a very careful scraping action use the straightedge to apply the film.

Bubbles may form, but some of these you'll be able to work out by carefully "massaging" the film's surface. Over time, any remaining bubbles that are tiny (roughly the size of pinholes) should gradually fade away.

I did notice that the translucence of the film did detract, but only slightly, from the sharpness of the text, but the photo below doesn't do the film justice. The touch sensitivity is just as good as it was prior to applying the film, and over time I'm guessing the minute bubbles will fade away.

Given that each sheet of frisket film in a 12 pack ends up costing around $1.25 apiece, the future prospect of replacing a worn film is far better than the initial cost of an expensive precut film. In this case, a little work means a lot of savings, as well as reducing glare without compromising the sensitivity of the Viewsonic G Tablet touch screen.

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