For many people, a laptop is the most expensive electronic gadget they own. As such, most individuals want to care for their laptops to the best of their ability, and that includes their laptop screens, one of the most expensive components to replace.
For this purpose, a laptop screen protector (aka a screen guard) may be necessary. Still, it depends on several factors:
- the laptop’s screen
- the environment in which the laptop is used
- how the owner uses the laptop
- why the owner wants the protector.
Is a Laptop Screen Protector Necessary?
Whether it is necessary depends on if you fall into any of the categories below.
Do touchscreen laptops need a screen protector?
Generally, touchscreen laptops require screen protectors while non-touchscreen ones don’t, but that also depends on whether you use your touchscreen or not. For example, a 2-in-1 laptop (laptops that can be used as both laptops and tablets) that comes with a stencil will have a lot more pressure applied to its screen in the course of use than a laptop without a touchscreen.
That sort of laptop would need a screen protector, whereas a non-touch clamshell laptop (laptops that have their screens attached to the body by a fixed hinge) doesn’t need one if the owner is mindful and doesn’t mind minor scratches.
You need a screen protector if you typically use your laptop outdoors (which many civil engineers, architects, etc.). Outdoor environments expose laptops to dust, particles, projectiles, etc., which may damage a laptop screen.
Also, carrying a laptop outdoors requires that it be carried in a bag which may contain other items that can get caught on the laptop screen and cause it to crack.
How the laptop is used
A laptop screen may be damaged when the laptop is repeatedly opened from the edge or closed with an object in between the screen and keyboard (even if the object isn’t large).
If you find that you often do these things by accident, a laptop screen protector is a must.
If you intend to sell your laptop or swap it for extra cash to get a new one, then you need a screen protector. Apple values Macbooks higher when they are brought in in good quality, and any prospective buyer would pay more for a laptop without scratches or keyboard impressions on the screen.
Is a Laptop Screen Protector Worth It?
The prices of laptop screen protectors differ, but the average tempered glass protector costs $20 while only you know the cost of your laptop. It’s only worth it if the cost of the screen protector is small enough to justify what you want the protector to do.
Do Laptop Screen Protectors Really Work?
Laptop screen protectors effectively protect your screen from scratches, smudges, dust, and dirt. How well they work depends on the type of protector. Laptop screen protectors can either be made of polyurethane plastic or tempered glass.
Tempered glass laptop protectors provide better protection because they cover the whole screen, and glass has better scratch resistance which explains why they are more expensive than plastic laptop screen protectors.
In contrast, plastic laptop screen protectors cannot cover curved screen edges.
Do Laptop Screen Guards Protect Eyes?
Anti-glare laptop screen protectors can protect the eyes from excess blue light. Excess blue light has shorter wavelengths, and ophthalmologists (eye doctors) believe this allows it to damage vision and cause eye aches, headaches, blurry vision, dry eye, etc.
Ideally, ophthalmologists have advised that we apply the 20-20-20 rule (stare at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds every 20 minutes), but people often forget to do that. Anti-glare screen protectors can mitigate some of the effects of this.
Are There Laptop Screen Protectors for Privacy?
Laptop screen protectors may also function as a privacy screen that allows you to see all the contents of your screen when you look directly at it while stopping anyone looking at it from an angle from doing so.
These protectors are designed as polarized materials that force the light rays to be transmitted in a specific way; think of them as window blinds for your laptop screen.
Frequently Asked Questions
A glass screen protector won’t affect the image quality of your laptop screen. However, the cheaper plastic screen protectors may degrade over time and take on a yellowish hue which somewhat blurs your laptop’s images.
Also, plastic screen protectors don’t have the benefit of being made of the same material as your laptop screen, i.e., glass. As such, the rays of light coming from your screen are forced to bend before reaching your eyes, which may take a little adjusting to.
Laptop screen protectors may reduce touch sensitivity, especially the cheaper screen protectors; however, the difference is so minute most people don’t notice.
To be extra cautious, you can choose to get a tempered glass screen protector, which also has the added benefit of greater durability.
The truth is screen protectors aren’t the ultimate solution for protecting your laptop screen from damage; while they may protect from scratches and cracks, they are less likely to protect a laptop from a fall or having a heavy object placed on it.
These things are more likely to damage a screen permanently, so basic laptop screen hygiene is essential.
• Don’t open a laptop screen from the side or edges, do so from the center. Using one side places more pressure on the hinge on that side. When a hinge breaks, the laptop screen often goes with it.
• Get a laptop sleeve or case. If the laptop does fall or has weight placed on it, a sleeve will do more to protect the screen from damage than a protector ever could.
• Put a microfiber cloth in between the screen and the keyboard. You can use the one that comes with the laptop. It’ll help to stop keyboard impressions from being left on the screen and also prevents dust from getting stuck in the laptop.
• Clean your screen with a microfiber cloth regularly. Dust particles and dirt can leave scratches on your screen that may not be noticeable at first. Cleaning it off is essential, and other types of cloth may also scratch your laptop screen.
The decision to buy a laptop screen protector depends entirely on the unique circumstances of the laptop and its user. Users who use touchscreen laptops outdoors are more likely to need a laptop screen protector than those who use non-touchscreen laptops within enclosed spaces.
Laptop screen protectors, aside from protecting from scratches and smudges, can also protect your eyes and provide some privacy while you use your laptop.
However, other methods, such as using a laptop case, are vital if you want to give your maximum laptop protection.