Review: Moshi iVisor AG
Screen protectors are a common accessory for iOS devices, due to their mobile nature, constant contact with your fingers, and higher risk of damage. However, the people over at Moshi think that your portable Mac could use one, too. Is this a crazy idea, a money-grab from paranoid customers, or cheap insurance? The $35-$39 iVisor AG hopes to provide additional protection and reduce glare for the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
Taking a cue from Moshi’s own iPhone and iPad screen protectors, the iVisor AG is a bit different from traditional film screen protectors. Rather than the entire protector sticking to the screen, the iVisor is thicker and only the frame sticks to the bezel around the screen itself. This prevents bubbles by creating a tiny air gap in between the screen and the screen protector. This reminds me of many iMacs, notably the 2009–2011 models that had a glass cover that sat a few millimeters in front of the LCD panel itself. The edges of the iVisor AG are color-matched to the particular computer (silver for the MacBook Air, black for the MacBook Pro), and Moshi did a great job of getting the color pretty close, despite being a different material than the aluminum or glass surfaces. On the MacBook Air iVisor, the silver coloring fades and becomes clear where the MacBook Air text is located just below the screen. On the iVisor for the non-Retina MacBook Pros, the black frame fades to clear in the same manner. This leads to about an inch of slightly strange patterns on either side, but allows the branding to still be visible. It’s a little unnecessary, but I’m sure people would complain if they did leave it filled in.
The unique design of the iVisor is designed to prevent air bubbles during installation. The process is simple and painless: make sure your screen is clean, peel off the iVisor and line it up, press the edges to stick it to the bezel. Additionally, the iVisor is easily removed by just getting under one corner and peeling it off. Unlike most other screen protectors, the iVisor can be washed if it gets too dirty or loses stickiness from constant removal or repositioning. This not only makes the slightly—under-$40 price (depending on size) a very good deal (especially taking into account the prices of single-use iPad screen protectors), but that you can keep using it, even if you have to take your computer in for service or move to a newer model of the same type.
Another feature of the iVisor is to provide an antiglare texture, since Apple has long-abandoned matte displays as an option. Testing on a MacBook Air, the iVisor didn’t hinder visibility or reduce brightness in any noticeable way. This should be the same on an older MacBook Pro. As for a MacBook Pro with Retina Display, it seems the display could lose some sharpness, but we weren’t able to test this.
Moshi recommends that you keep the packaging, as the iVisor can be removed and packed up for temporary storage. The ease-of-installation and reusable aspects of the product are its biggest advantages over anything else out there.
Still, some might wonder why you’d need a screen protector for a laptop. Reducing glare aside, the iVisor does protect against Apple’s ongoing goals of thinness. The MacBook Airs have the LCD panel directly exposed, and marks from the keyboard can start appearing in various areas, especially if you carry the computer in a bag with a lot of other things. This used to be more apparent with computers like the old iBooks, but seems to have slightly returned on some MacBook Airs. The MacBook Pros aren’t likely to have this issue, due to the glass on top of the LCD, but there have been some instances where the glare-reducing coating starts coming off. Finally, the iVisor can hide some minor scratches on the screen, too.
Regardless of if you think the iVisor is worth the money for your needs, it strikes a good balance of blending in with Apple’s hardware, justifying its price by being reusable, and offering some utility. Because of these points, the iVisor is a great addition to any Apple portable.
The One-Sentence Verdict™
Moshi’s iVisor not only protects the screen of various Apple portables, but also reduces glare in a very premium-feeling product.
Pros: Matches MacBook, washable, repositionable, design prevents air bubbles
Cons: Might not be as necessary with the glass-covered screen of the MacBook Pros