Skinomi is the first company to offer screen protectors for the Notion Ink Adam and they were nice enough to send a free sample to test for this review. I imagine the install process and overall review will apply to most other tablets Skinomi makes skins and screen protectors for as well.
I received the screen protector and black carbon fiber skin pack. They sell the screen protectors individually too, and with other skin designs, both on Amazon and from Skinomi’s website. I’ll break this review down into two sections for each because the skins and screen protector are different and install differently.
Skinomi Black Carbon Fiber Skin Review
I’ll start with the skin because the instructions suggest installing it before the screen protector. The skin covers the back of the Adam, the three white sides, and the narrow strip between the curved edge and the top of the Adam’s screen.
Applying the Skins
The skins go on just like stickers and you use a blow dryer to heat the edges to make them stick better; you don’t have to wet the skins like you do the screen protector. I watched Skinomi’s YouTube tutorial to get an idea of how the process works.
The back piece is easy to put on. I thought the Adam’s rounded edge would be an issue but the skin wrapped around it without a problem—there aren’t any air bubbles or wrinkles whatsoever, and I didn’t even use the installation card, just my hands.
The strips for the three edges could stand to be slightly larger; white shows through at the edges and around the ports, and it doesn’t go around the USB ports because the space is too narrow (I’m assuming).
I like the back panel—it looks cool and the skin is textured so it makes holding the Adam feel more secure in your grip—but I’m considering removing the side pieces. I don’t like how the white underneath shows through; the silver carbon fiber skin would probably look better. It would have been better if Notion Ink had just made the sides dark like the rest of the Adam—I’m not a fan of the whitewall tire look to begin with.
Skinomi Screen Protector Review
After trying the matte screen protector that comes with the Notion Ink Adam and not caring for the way it negatively affects the Adam’s display quality, I was eager to find something better.
I’ve never installed a screen protector like Skinomi’s before, and that was probably my downfall. It requires you use a spray solution to wet your fingertips and both sides of the screen protector. Here’s Skinomi’s video tutorial below.
Applying the Clear Screen Protector
After thoroughly cleaning the Adam’s screen, installing the Skinomi screen protector is a simple process that only takes a few minutes, but I managed to botch the operation quite nicely. I imagine it’s a lot easier with a smaller cellphone’s screen, but with the Adam’s large display the screen protector is about 7-inches by 10.5-inches and is quite awkward to handle once you wet both sides with the included spray.
I started at one side of the Adam’s screen and managed to get to the other end, but the protector was slightly misaligned about halfway through. So I peeled the protector partially off, re-sprayed it, and redid that half so that it was straight.
As instructed, I used the installation card to remove excess water and bubbles but must have been pressing too hard because it made a bunch of superficial scratches on the screen protector. I would advise using it very carefully or just use your fingers instead as I ended up doing.
Before you get too carried away, make sure to do what I neglected to do. Get a bright light and look very carefully over the screen to make sure no dust, hairs, or other particles are between the Adam’s screen and the screen protector. You only have a 3-5 minute window where you can remove the screen protector to fix any imperfections before it starts to cure.
It’s actually pretty amazing how awful the screen protector looks for the first 24 hours or so after you put it on. You are going to be tempted to take it off—don’t. As it cures the streaks and bubbles disappear. I had loads of bubbles and streaks, especially on the half that I reapplied, but after about 3 days they were all pretty much gone. What wasn’t gone, however, was a stupid dog hair that managed to sneak in when I reapplied the second half. I couldn’t see it when the screen protector was wet and once it’s dry it’s too late.
The skinny on the screen protector, good and bad:
- It seems to reduce fingerprints by about 90% compared to the Adam’s screen and they wipe off easier.
- It has a good smooth feel and touch sensitivity does not seem to be affected at all.
- Reflections are about the same. It is not an anti-reflection screen protector, although it does seem to be just slightly less reflective with the screen protector on, but it is hard to tell for certain.
- The screen protector is a little undersized; it doesn’t fit all the way to the edges.
- It has a rubbery feel when you drag you fingernail across it. Since I’m going to remove mine, I dug my thumbnail in really hard and dragged a big deep line across the screen. The next day it was almost completely gone, just a small superficial scratch remains.
I decided I’m going to take the screen protector off. Not because I don’t like it but because the trapped dog hair right in the center of the screen drives me nuts.
Overall, I would say it is a good screen protector if you install it correctly. The half of the screen that went on smoothly the protector is perfectly clear and looks great. The half I reapplied has a couple of imperfections, besides the dog hair, that show up outside in bright sunlight. You can’t see them normally, but outside there are a few subtle shadows from where some of the bubbles were. Of course that is something that only applies to devices like the Adam with outdoor-readable Pixel Qi screens.
I’m going to try some other screen protectors when they eventually come along. Since I use the Adam outside a lot, I’m looking to get something that cuts down on reflections more.