DS Screen Protectors

What is a Screen Protector and Why you NEED One

A set of screen protectors is the first thing you should buy for your Nintendo DS Lite. The wonderful thing about this handheld console is the touchscreen. Given that all DS games use it in one way or another and given that the DS will be around for a very long time, you need to invest in a very high quality screen protector.

You should apply both the top and bottom screen protectors as soon as you can. You never know when your stylus or nail will have a micro-scratch that will scar your screen forever. Actually screen protectors may help hide the scratch from site if its not very deep.

On these pages, we are only concerned with Ultimate products/configurations, so we need to find the best screen protector available for the DS. I havent been able to find a good review of screen protectors, so I will make one of my own here (its what we do anyway).

Things to Consider

The critical things to look at are:

  • Ease of Application: Several screen protectors use adhesives that will damage the screen if they are ever removed. The best option is an adhesive free silicon or static electricity approach, that will allow the screen protector to be adjusted during application. This is oten unavoidable, since even the smallest piece of lint or air bubble will force you to remove and reapply the screen.
  • Screen Coverage: Any self-respecting company should take the time to measure the exact dimensions of the top and bottom screens of the DS Lite before releasing a product for it. You would expect this, but we’re not going to take their word for it! Perfect, edge-to-edge coverage for each of the screens is expected.
  • Toughness/Sensitivity: The protector must not interfere with the sensitivity of the touch screen or the motion of the stylus. It should also be tough enough so that it will never need replacing. This may sound like a tall order to fill, but a scratch-free plastic surface that will last 3-4 years should not be that difficult to create with current technology!
  • Optical Properties: Some protectors will have glare reducing properties and of course different feels to them such as slippery, papery or just textured. I expect that there is no color deformation at all, other than the natural dimming one might expect. As for the texture, I believe that is completely subjective to the user and I will only leave that up to you to decide.
  • Price: How much should this cost? I would have to insist that it be less that $10 delivered. If you can find one in a local electronics shop then you should definately buy from them, save the receipt and if you have any trouble down the line return and replace it. This is one of those accessories that is essential, but should definately cost an appreciable amount.

DS Screen Protector Summary Reviews

(1) Hori: Nintendo has made this their officially licensed screen protector. Its also the most popular screen protector, or at least the most discussed, it is often referred to as the best available on the market, as long as you purchase the japanese model. You will want to make sure of that fact as there are a lot of Hori knock-offs (as should be expected from any officially licensed product).

  • The Good: It uses a silicon edge as adhesive that does allow multiple applications / reapplications, is extremely durable, scratch free after heavy use and perfectly sized.
  • The Bad: It is very difficult to remove lint and fingerprints from the sticky side, so you have to be very careful when applying.

| Zigg’s Review at 4 Color Rebelion | DecalGirl’s Review (Retailer) | EB Games (Retailer) |

(2) BoxWave: This company has been making quality screen protectors for cell phones and handlend devices for whole now, so its no surprise that they have a good quality product to offer us for the DS. You must search out a good deal for them as prices vary greatly.

  • The Good: Easy application by fold-out plastic method, great fit, durable and scratch free.
  • The Bad: There are several versions with anti-reflective properties or not that can have significant effects on the color of the screen (see review below for detailed description).

| PalmSolo’s Review at Geek.com |

(3) GameStop: I went looking around for alternatives to the above screen protectors, basically because I wanted one as soon as possible and I also wanted to be able to return it if I didnt like it. GameStop offers a screen protector+replacement stylus package for $5.99 that I decided to try out. I cant find what company actually produces these for GameStop but Im suspecting it might be Pelikan, who having now learned from their mistakes, are offering a decent product. *** My Choice (for now!) ***

  • The Good: The screen protectors themselves do not use adhesives, but static action and have a protective tab with fold out plastic. Installation was a breeze and the screen allowed me to reposition it without problem. Coverage is excellent, look and feel is like-its-not-there and the price is right.
  • The Bad: Slight plastic feel to the screen protector and very small sensitivity decrease. Both these are very minor effects that I have now fully adjusted to. I have noticed scratches on the surface however, (probably from my nails) so this is a quick fix and not an ultimate accessory!

(4) Pelican produced the first horror-scenario screen protector a few years ago that used a chemical adhesive to bind to the screen that slipped and peeled off soon after. They seem to have learned from their mistakes and have several generic-looking products on offer at almost all games and accessory stores. I suggest that the next time you’re looking around BestBuy or CircuitCity you pick some up and try them out. There are several bundles offered including replacement stylus’ and carrying cases or straps, so you may find something you like out of them.

Worse Case Scenario

Well, if you didnt heed my warning and have destroyed your TouchScreen, you can always replace it for about $20. Installation isnt that bad (I havent done it myself, but have seen had a look at the DS Lite schematics. You can always have an expert of handy friend help you if you dont know what you’re doing. So dont worry if you bust up your screen! There is always a way to Game-ON!

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