Making A Cheapskate Screen Protector For A Tablet, No Liquid Involved
This Method Of Screen Saver Creation Should Work On Any Brand Of Tablet
I am the kind of guy that worries about things when it comes to computers and such. I worry that I didn't put enough memory into the new computer I built, or that the processor is not the latest and nonsense like that. When it comes to other computer type devices like Ipods, PDAs, and Cell Phones, I worry about things like getting the screen scratched. I have to ask you, why would someone like me, who carries a cheap cell phone even worry about something like that? I figured it out the other day, when I was reading a scientific article. I am predisposed to this type of worrying because my genes programed me to do this.
What would a person like me consider the first thing that he should get after ordering a tablet? Why it would be a screen saver of course. Last week I received my spanking new Acer Iconia Tab A500 tablet. I was lucky to get it. I had ordered one from Amazon, but before it was charged to me, my credit card number was stolen and I had to cancel my card, my ONLY credit card. This is not a good thing to happen, especially after ordering a large ticket item that hasn't been charged yet. I had to call Amazon and for some reason unknown to me, I felt guilty, like someone making up a story just to get out of getting the item because I had found it cheaper somewhere else. This wasn't the case, but I couldn't help but feel that the agent I was talking to felt that way. I had called Vonage also and when I told them what happened, to my surprise they took pity on me and gave me the next month's telephone service for free, but back to the tablet.
I knew I needed a screen saver because my genes told me so, and had ordered one of them with a gift certificate I had. Hey these things cost a lot of money for a lousy piece of plastic. The supposed good ones can cost from $25 to $50. When my came I installed it and it looked terrible. I couldn't get all the bubbles out of it and it wasn't 100% clear. I got so frustrated I took the damn thing, rolled it into a ball and threw it away. I should have returned it. Anyway after seeing what I had purchased for $30, I said to myself, I will never do that again, but I still needed a screen saver, what was I to do? All sorts of plans when through my head. At first I took the plastic bag the tablet came in , cut out the holes on the sides for the connections along with the hole in the back for the back camera and the hole in the front for the front one. The bag was clear, clearer than my original screen saver, but it was too flimsy the the tablet moved around a little in it.
My next try was a one gallon baggie. This was not 100% clear, but it was actually good enough. I cut out the appropriate holes again and put my tablet into the baggie. It worked a little better because the baggie was the exact width of the tablet, so when I put the tablet into it, it seemed secure. The problem with this was that the baggie had some wrinkles in it and it stretched after a couple of days. Well that baggie idea fell by the wayside. I felt that there had to be a cheap solution to my problem. When I looked online, it seemed that everyone was complaining about not only the price of screen shields, but also how hard they were to install. Some actually tell you to take a hair dryer, set it to hot, and blow the air over the screen shield while it is on the tablet. This is not for me. I began thinking of the different things that I could do and realized that I needed to make a trip to my local office supply store.
I was going to try and find a piece of thin, tough plastic to put over the screen of my tablet and also try and use paper clamps to hold it on. I finally found a pack of 10 clear page protectors and they were made from a material that felt thicker than the screen shield that I threw away. They were made by a company called [In] Place and sold at Office Depot. I also located some paper clamps that were about 1.5 inches wide. I couldn't wait to get hone and try out my idea. The sheet protectors opened sort of like a book with the top attached. They are larger than my 10.1 inch tablet, so I had to measure and cut them. The first thing that I did was separate one by cutting it up the middle, which gave me two large pieces. I took one piece and measured it against the tablet. I cut it making sure that I left an opening for the front camera. I could have done that better. I should have used a hole punch. Boy it looked better than I thought possible. I stretched those paper clamps open a bit so they didn't put too much pressure on the tablet when I clamped them on. They didn't reach the screen so all was fine I thought. I made sure the clamps didn't cover any connection on the sides. I then took the handles off the clamps.
I am sorry to report that the clamps were a bad idea, because they moved. I knew the screen saver I made was great and all I needed was a way to hold it in place. I was not about to use any paste. Then it hit me. I had this very clear cellophane packing tape. I cut it into thin strips and pasted the screen saver on with that. I overlapped the edges of the plastic about 1/4 inch. I made sure that the tape didn't cover any connections and didn't reach the back of the tablet. At no time did any tape touch the screen. It wasn't perfect and some might be offended by this method, but I thought that it looked okay and the sheet protectors only cost about $5 and I got 10 in a package that can be cut into 20. If enough people went in on this project they could each chip in 50 cents for one double page protector and a few cents for tape.
1 Package of [In] Place Easy Load Heavy Duty Sheet Protectors
1 Roll of clear packing tape
Left: Heavy Duty Page Protectors
Installed Screen Saver. Pay no attention to the reflection, the protector has no waves or bubbles in it and lays flat
Good luck with your project.