I was extremely interested in testing the NuVue Privacy Protector before my recent 10-day tour of user groups in the Mid-Atlantic region (Philadelphia PA, Princeton NJ, and Hershey PA). I’d be traveling by air, rail, and highway and I was looking forward to working on reviews and other “sensitive” writing assignments without exposing my writing to others seated nearby.
I was particularly pleased that this product only works as a privacy screen in the vertical (portrait) position. So, at least in theory, it would keep prying eyes from my work as long as I worked in portrait mode, while also allowing me to watch videos with my wife in landscape mode.
The NuVue Privacy Protector is a so-called “privacy shield,” a peel-and-stick iPad screen protector that, according to the headline on the product’s Web page, “keeps your iPad screen as clear, sharp, and scratch-free as brand new while preventing others from viewing your screen.”
Photo courtesy Newer Technology
The page also describes the product as, “Custom fit to your iPad, this smudge and glare reducing privacy and screen protector is peel-and-stick easy to install. Unlike other screen protectors with adhesives that can create air bubbles, the NewerTech NuVue Privacy Protector’s static cling design provides years of smooth finger tip touch sensitivity and precision usage.”
Installation was straightforward and pretty much the same as almost every other iPad, iPhone, or iPod screen protector I’ve used.
The first thing I did was wash my hands thoroughly. This step wasn’t in the instructions but I always do it before touching any transparent film product with an adhesive backing.
Then I peeled the plastic mask off the back of the product to expose the adhesive. Next, I carefully aligned the NuVue film with the Home button and edges of my iPad as I carefully pressed it down onto the iPad screen. While performing this step I tried hard not to touch the adhesive with my fingers and to avoid creating air bubbles as I pressed the film onto the iPad screen.
Before I describe the results of my installation, I’d need to mention that I’ve applied this type of screen protector dozens of times and have become quite skilled at doing it without leaving fingerprints or air bubbles. Many of my friends, having screwed up one or more attempts to apply such products, bring their devices to me for application. I almost always get perfect or near-perfect results. But not this time…
Despite the claim that NuVue was “unlike other screen protectors with adhesives that can create air bubbles,” I had serious air bubble issues for the first time I can recall. After carefully repositioning the product several times and doing everything I could to apply the film without any air bubbles, I was completely unsuccessful.
Here’s a picture of the best I could do after repeated attempts.
(Mediocre) photo courtesy of Bob LeVitus
As you can see, it isn’t very good.
To make matters worse, as careful as I had been while trying to get the film applied without bubbles, I ended up with a corner that was creased and refused to stay affixed to the screen.
Here’s a picture of that:
(Mediocre) photo courtesy of Bob LeVitus
I tried to reposition the film several more times but it never got any better.
In spite of the bubbles and recalcitrant corner I tested NuVue’s privacy claims and found that it did a pretty good job of making the screen difficult or impossible to read from either side when the iPad was held in portrait orientation. The viewing angle was the key — if someone were sitting next to me with their head very close to my shoulder, they’d probably be able to read text on the screen. But if their head was a foot or more away from my shoulder the screen was mostly obscured. Effectiveness also varied with the distance between my eyes and the iPad — the closer I held the iPad to my face, the more effective the privacy screen worked. Conversely, if I held the iPad with my arms completely extended a person sitting next to me would probably be able to discern some (if not all) text on the screen.
And, as promised, NuVue didn’t obscure the screen much (if at all) when the iPad was held horizontally (in landscape orientation).
Screen brightness and color vibrancy were decreased slightly in both portrait and landscape orientations, even when the screen was directly in front of me. The effect was slightly more pronounced when the screen was viewed from an angle in landscape orientation.
Finally, touch screen sensitivity was about the same with or without the film.
The Bottom Line
Overall the film performed its privacy functions reasonably well in portrait orientation, subject to the viewing angle. And it wasn’t terribly intrusive when viewing movies or photos in landscape orientation, nor did it affect touch screen sensitivity.
If it weren’t for the air bubbles and difficulty I had installing it, the NuVue Privacy Protector wouldn’t be a bad product. But I found the air bubbles and bent corner so annoying I removed the product before I left for my trip.
So, because I found the product so difficult to install properly and easily damaged during installation, I can’t recommend it in good conscience. On the other hand, if you think you can install it without air bubbles or corner damage and are willing to risk $40 to find out, you might be happy with the NuVue Privacy Protector.