I saw Shield Zone’s Invisible Shield at Mac World in Boston, and obtained the iPod Nano version, with a cut out for the scroll wheel. It’s basically three pieces of plastic, the front cover, back, and a little circle for the center of the wheel. It is shipped with a vial of applicator solution, and directions for attaching it to the iPod. The company offers a lifetime warranty, and if you ever need to send in your iPod to apple you’ll need to use it. The plastic is hard to get off the iPod once it’s on, so once removed, the device will have to go to Shield Zone for a replacement.
The product is marketed as the same material used to protect the blades of helicopters. It doesn’t seem to scratch or tear, though it will not protect your iPod, or other device from dents or dings if you drop it or are to careless with it. You can safely put your iPod in your pocket with your keys with no worry about it being scratched or nicked. And you don’t have to worry about those pesky fingerprints, if you see any just wipe them off with a cloth.
The application/installation is a time consuming process. Expect to set aside a couple hours for the hands on part. Then, give it 24 hours for the iPod to dry after your done.
There are two problems I had with getting the Invisible Shield onto my iPod. One of them was the sides on the Nano. The instructions Shield Zone gives you says to soak the Invisible Shield in soap water before you start. This makes the plastic less sticky so you can align it. Unfortunately this also makes it harder to stick around the corners correctly. The plastic tries to stay straight, and you end out having to find the point where it’s sticky enough to attach but not sticky enough that it attaches at the first spot it touches, which may not be aligned correctly. This may take a few tries to get right, reapplying soapy water to the edge each time it gets too dry.
The other issue I had with application was the air bubbles. They take a lot of time to get out, and I found some appear after it finishes drying. The instructions say to use a credit card to rub out the air bubbles. This mostly works, though similar to the sides issue, the timing is key. If you do it immediately after applying the Shield, it will be to loose and you end out stretching, and moving the shield around without moving the bubbles anywhere. If you wait too long, you won’t be able to get the bubbles out with out ripping the whole piece off and starting over.
The Invisible Shield will not remove, or hide scratches that already exist. It actually seems to make them show up more. If you have already beat up your iPod, you will probably want to get a scratch removal kit before you start. If you do not, you’ll end up with an iPod that has marks you’ll still see and not be able to do anything about.
Overall the Invisible Shield is worth the money, and will protect your investment. This is especially true with the first generation Nano’s which many people scratched up so much they can’t see the screen. Also, unlike a lot of the cases I’ve seen for the iPods, the Invisible Shield attaches to the system itself, and nothing can get under it. This prevents dust from causing the shield itself to scratch the iPod.
So if you want to protect your new iPod from getting beat up, give Invisible Shield a try.