Paperlike 2 Screen Protector

I really like the idea of devices that accept touch input, but at the same time touch input is a huge bane because of the inevitable fingerprints. Especially the iPads1 that work with the Apple Pencil are real fingerprint magnets2. Cleaning the display is possible, yet pointless.

A couple of weeks ago, Marco Arment mentioned the product Paperlike3 in passing during (I think) episode 353 of the Accidental Tech Podcast (ATP). According to the discussion on the show, the product was considered promising, but had some significant shortcomings in terms of refraction artifacts that might have been fixed in a newer version that was about to hit the market soon.

A couple of weeks later, the topic came up again and was concluded with a recommendation for the new product, Paperlike 2. This was enough for me to place an order that arrived shortly before Christmas at my home.

I appreciate that the people behind Paperlike 2 have put effort into the creation and documentation of a multi-step workflow for applying the screen-protector to your device. I was able to apply the Paperlike 2 just fine at the first try.

After one week of using my iPad several hours a day, I do not regret the purchase nor do I feel any desire to remove the screen protector from my iPad again. The effects of finger oil on the display are drastically reduced while the reduction in display quality in comparison to the „unprotected“ display is very minor and – so far – absolutely tolerable. In particular, I did not recognize a meaningful amount of refraction artifacts on the display.

I’m curious to find out how the Paperlike 2 performs in the long run and how durable it turns out over time. So far, the screen protector has suffered from some superficial scratches caused by using the Apple Pencil for writing and drawing. And the product does what it says on the tin, the feedback from the surface while using an Apple Pencil has improved without question. Plus, the matte finish reduces glare significantly.

In summary, I’m impressed by the results so far. I would not have expected such a good job from any screen protector on the market4.

  1. There‘s a whole range of iPad models that are compatible with either generation 1 or two of the Apple Pencil.
  2. Apple‘s marketing parlor is all about „oleophobic surfaces“. But in reality, the term „oleophilic“ would almost certainly be more accurate.
  3. The product is sold in reference to being as close as possible to the haptics of real paper. The topic of being less of a fingerprint magnet is seemingly not considered a selling proposition.
  4. I’ve had some experience with screen protectors already, and none of them really made me want to continue using it.