How to protect your new tablet or smartphone

If you’ve taken the leap and invested in a new iPad or Android tablet or smartphone lately, you may well want to protect your purchase.

Tablets are great, but unlike laptops, they’re operated via a touchscreen and often kept in small everyday bags rather than dedicated carry-alls with built-in padding. As a result, they can be susceptible to scratches.

Exactly the same argument applies to smartphones. Modern glass screens are very strong, but even these can get marked over time. So here are some tips on how to keep your new device as shiny as the day it was new.

1. Get a screen protector

These transparent pieces of film are shaped to fit your device, and come with an adhesive surface on one side.

It’s worth getting a pack with two or more, because they can be quite fiddly to fit and often the first attempt won’t be successful.

 

2. Clean the glass

Tiny pieces of dust or grease may be nearly invisible to the naked eye, but trap them for perpetuity under a screen protector and they’ll stand out like the proverbial pained thumb.

Clean your screen thoroughly with a lint-free cloth and lens cleaner before starting to fix the protector. Beware, though: rubbing the screen is likely to create a small static charge, attracting yet more dust to it. After you’ve polished it, leave it a couple of minutes then blow any small particles off.

 

3. Fit the protector

The easiest way to fit a screen protector is to remove the backing and then line up the edges at the top of the screen. Now, stick it on by very slowly rolling it down the screen, keeping an even pressure along the line that’s being stuck down.

Use something with a hard but flexible edge – like a credit card – to iron out any air bubbles that get caught underneath the protector while you go.

 

4. Protect the back too

Don’t just cover the screen. There are plenty of kits which can cover the back of your tablet or phone and save it from scratches.

From hard or soft cases to coloured plastic skins that don’t add any bulk to the design.

 

Read our tablets buyer’s guide here.

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