Poor Man’s Screen Protectors

Palm (among others) sells these screen protectors for use with their PDAs. Currently, their web site lists them at $19.99 for some unspecified quantity of them. One came packaged with my E2. It’s essentially a disposable piece of plastic with an adhesive backing. You’re supposed to trim it to fit the PDA’s display, and stick it on. The claim is that it protects the display from scratches and “improves handwriting recognition.”

At first I wrote these off as totally worthless, but then I tried the included one, and I was surprised to find that it actually does help with Graffiti. I can’t see using it with one of Palm’s older B&W LCD screens, but with the color screens it does seem to make a difference.

What is a rip-off, is what Palm is charging for what is essentially adhesive-backed sheets of plastic. Always the cheapskate, I went poking around the house, and found a roll of medium-grade sheet plastic that my wife and I bought a few years ago at Jo-Ann. No adhesive backing, but I decided to try it anyhow, hoping that static cling would hold it on the display. I trimmed it to fit, wiped it clean with a damp rag, and tried it out. So far so good. It clings to the display just fine, and seems to work just as well as the real thing. And, I can buy several yards of the stuff (enough to make hundreds, if not thousands, of screen protectors) for less than what Palm is asking for a single pack of theirs.

Do I rule, or what? I’d better go now, I need to go look for my life.

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