A few months ago I posted a review about using the Apple Pencil on the new 9.7-inch iPad for 2018.
I wanted to see how the Apple Pencil on the iPad compares to E Ink notepads like the Onyx Boox Note and Remarkable Paper Tablet.
My biggest complaint with using the Apple Pencil on the iPad is that it feels nothing like writing on paper.
The on-screen effect is extremely realistic but the combination of the slick glass screen and hard plastic stylus tip feels a lot less natural than writing on devices like the Remarkable and Sony DPT-CP1.
Those devices have added texture on the screen that make them feel more paper-like (and they have a different type of stylus tip too).
So I wanted to try a matte screen protector on the iPad to see if it would help improve the writing experience with the Apple Pencil.
I ordered a pack of these matte screen protectors from Amazon.
The installation was easy, and the screen protector went on well, except there’s a small bubble below the home button that refuses to go away.
I really like the feel of the matte screen protector. Instead of cold, slick glass it does help give the screen more of a slightly textured papery feel. It improves the grip some too, making it less likely to slip out of your hands.
As you’d expect from a matte screen protector, it does reduce glare considerably and it cuts down on fingerprints too.
But it also degrades the quality of the screen. A lot. It takes the iPad’s nice display and makes it look like a cheap low resolution screen from ten years ago.
The matte layer gives the screen an annoying glittery quality that’s really noticeable. Light colors look the worst, whites especially. However, the glittery quality is barely noticeable with dark colors. When using night mode and dark backgrounds it looks quite good. I like the matte look for some things but other times it looks terrible and bothers my eyes with the added fuzziness.
When it comes to writing with the Apple Pencil, the added texture does help a little bit, and it has a slight scratchy sound like writing on paper, but it still feels nothing like writing on paper. It has more of a slick, sliding feel that I find is more conducive for cursive writing, and the hardness of the glass has no give to it.
Quite frankly it doesn’t really feel much different than writing without the screen protector. To me there’s not enough of a difference to justify the decrease in screen clarity. The matte layer is nice if you want to reduce glare and fingerprints, and I like how the texture feels, but it doesn’t really do much to improve the writing experience with the Apple Pencil.