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Best screen protectors for iPad 3 (photos)

Looking for a screen protector for your third-generation iPad? With only a handful worth considering, here are CNET's top choices. All of these screen protectors also work with the iPad 2.

David Carnoy
Executive Editor David Carnoy has been a leading member of CNET's Reviews team since 2000. He covers the gamut of gadgets and is a notable reviewer of mobile accessories and portable audio products, including headphones and speakers. He's also an e-reader and e-publishing expert as well as the author of the novels Knife Music, The Big Exit and Lucidity. All the titles are available as Kindle, iBooks, Kobo e-books and audiobooks.
David Carnoy
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1 of 7 Amazon

GreatShield EZseal Plus

The GreatShield EZseal Plus is one of four "bubble-free" screen protectors we have on the list. They're all very similar and share one common trait: only the outer frame adheres to your iPad and the middle of the protector doesn't actually stick to the screen (which is why you don't get any bubbles). You just clean your screen carefully, align the protector on top of your iPad, lay it down, and you're done. If you don't get it right, you can always pull off the protector and start over.

However, there's one big caveat. This screen protector -- and others like it -- will slightly reduce the clarity of the iPad 3's display.

Available in black or white.

Price: $19.95

See pricing for GreatShield EZseal Plus from Amazon.com.
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2 of 7 Amazon

MediaDevil Easyscreen

MediaDevil makes a couple of screen protectors for the iPad 2 and the third-generation iPad. The Magicscreen is a standard "film" screen protector and is harder to install without trapping some bubbles. Easyscreen, on the other hand, is a truly bubble-free screen protector. The only problem is that it will slightly reduce the clarity of the iPad 3's Retina display.

The Easyscreen is very similar to the GreatShield EZ Seal Plus and Moshi's iVisor (see next slide) in that only the outer frame adheres to your iPad and the middle of the protector doesn't actually stick to the screen, which is why you don't get any bubbles. You just have to align the protector on the top of your iPad and lay it down, and that's it.

One thing the MediaDevil Easyscreen has going for it over the Moshi iVisor is that it comes in a multitude of colors so you can essentially change the color of your iPad (or at least the front border) to just about any color you want.

Note: This screen protector will slightly reduce the clarity of the iPad 3's display.

Price: $19.85

See pricing for MediaDevil Easyscreen from Amazon.com.
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3 of 7 NuShield

NuShield DayVue Antireflective Screen Protector

NuShield touts the fact that it supplies the military with its DayVue anti-reflective screen films. This is a thin film that was designed for the original iPad but works with the iPad 2 and third-generation iPad. I was impressed by how easily it installed without any bubbles. As advertised, it also helps with outdoor viewing, though you will get some glare when you tilt your iPad at certain angles.
This is a "dry" installation and what's nice about the NuShield DayVue is that once installed, you really can't tell you have a screen protector on your screen.
Note: The film covers the iPad 2 and iPad 3's front camera. However, it doesn't seem to impact image quality (the iPad 3's front camera is not nearly as good as the back camera). The film does impact the clarity of the new iPad's Retina display.

Price: $22

Click here for more details.
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4 of 7 Spigen

Spigen SGP Steinheil Series (Ultra Crystal)

Spigen SGP makes a few different film screen protectors for the new iPad. They're quite nice if you get them installed correctly, but not everybody seems capable of that. You have to make sure not to touch the adhesive with your finger tips (you're supposed to wet them with the spray provided).
In the near future (late April or May), Spigen will begin shipping its Glast screen protector, its premium tempered glass screen protector for the iPad (this screen protector is currently available for the iPhone 4/4S). I've been using an early sample of the Glast for iPad and it's promising (easy to install, no bubbles, very protective, and clear). Look for a full writeup on that one when it ships.

Price: $21.99

See pricing for Spigen SGP Steinheil Series (Ultra Crystal) from Amazon.com.
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5 of 7 Amazon

Splash Masque

Made out of three-layer PET film from Japan, the Splash Masque is a lot like other thin, antiglare screen protectors with an application process that's a challenge for many people to pull off without leaving some bubbles between the protector and the iPad's screen.

We've put the Masque on the list for a couple of reasons. First, it's inexpensive ($9.85 at Amazon and you get three protectors in the package). Second, it's received generally very positive reviews and most folks seem to be able to get it on without leaving a bunch of bubbles trapped underneath it.

Price: $9.85

See pricing for Spash Masque from Amazon.com.
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6 of 7 Amazon

Splash Masque HD

This is the last of the "bubble-free" screen protectors we have on the list and like the others, only its outer frame adheres to your iPad and the middle of the protector doesn't actually stick to the screen. The Splash Masque HD also costs around $20. It comes in black or white.

Available in black or white.

Note: This screen protector will slightly reduce the clarity of the iPad 3's display.

Price: $18.65

See pricing for Splash Masque HD from Amazon.com.
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7 of 7 David Carnoy/CNET

Wrapsol Ultra

Wrapsol says its Ultra screen protector film is made from advanced high-strength polyurethane and it is thicker than some screen films and more protective. It has a dry application process and if you follow the instructions properly (read them carefully and watch the company's YouTube installation video.), it's easy enough to install.
That said, be sure not to touch the adhesive (you'll leave fingerprints) and be patient with any tiny bubbles you end up with between the film and the screen; they'll go away after a couple of days (Wrapsol says the film is designed to actively release any bubbles, though you don't want to get any largely dust particles trapped under the film).

The clarity of the iPad 3's display was not affected by this screen protector and I liked it a lot once all the bubbles disappeared. However, it is slightly overpriced at around $25 ($29.99 list).

Price: $29.99

Click here for more details.

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