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Accessories Review: Skinomi Carbon Fiber TechSkin

In my quest for something that would protect the screen on my G-Tablet, I came across the Skinomi TechSkins on Amazon. Since the full-body skin was only $4 more than the screen protector alone, I decided to go with the silver imitation carbon fiber skin. I received it last week, and slapped it on in about half an hour all told. The following are my impressions of the installation process and of the product itself.

Installation prep:

Obviously, you want the surface to be clean, and Skinomi is cool enough to include a spray bottle of cleaner with the kit. The solution seems to do a good job of cleaning grease and grime without leaving streaks. They are serious when they say you need a lint-free cloth. I just used the green polish cloth that came with the G-Tablet, which is actually NOT lint free, but it only dropped a few specs, which I was able to spot before I laid down the skin.

Installation process:

The adhesive that Skinomi uses is VERY sticky, but it also seems to come off clean, and it doesn't fully set for a few minutes, so if your skin is off-center, you can adjust it. The skin clings to curves and contours very well, which is good for the G-Tablet, with its contoured back. The back skin went on pretty easily, but the screen skin was trickier. I think if I were to do it again, I would have gotten my wife to give me an extra hand in laying it down. Trying to wrangle an adhesive strip the size of the G-Tablet is tricky for sure. An extra hand would have gone a long way.

Two slightly annoying observations: The holes for the screws on the back are not actually centered quite right. Not a big deal unless you are really anal, but it's still a little disappointing. Also, the pieces that go around the edges don't actually make it all the way around the G-Tablet. There are six pieces, and they add up to about 1/4" short. This wouldn't be a big deal if I had know this going in, but as it turned out, I didn't notice it until after the pieces were on, and I was past the point of no turning back. I think the idea is that you are to touch the two top and bottom pieces in the middle (just above the webcam, and at the dock port) and then leave a symetrical gap on the side pieces. At least, that's what I would do if I were to do it again.

Post-installation impressions:

I'm VERY happy with the TechSkin itself, although I am slightly disappointed in my own work in installing it, at least the side pieces. I ended up with a few small (maybe 1/16") bubbles of solution under the screen skin, but they faded out in about three days, much to my delight. The screen skin is slightly sticky right out of the box, but after a bit of use, it seems to absorb a bit of your body oils and becomes just as slick as the original screen. All of the parts seem to be extremely durable. I had to try pretty hard to leave any sort of indentation in either the carbon fiber skin or the screen skin.

Another VERY cool aspect of the screen skin is that it actually seems to help the viewing angles a bit. Not a ton (it's still not an iPad) but I would say that it seems to add an extra 5-10* of viewing with the webcam angled away from you, which is where the G-Tablet seems to be really lacking. It also shows FAR fewer fingerprints than the bare screen, which is worth the money on its own.

The fake carbon fiber looks pretty nice, and adds a bit of texture, which makes it much more comfortable to hold for long periods. The edges are just slightly jagged, but they seem to get smoothed out after a few days of handling for the most part.

Overall, I would rate the TechSkin package at a 9.5/10. If they had more complete directions that show how the individual pieces are supposed to fit, this would be a 10.
 

Related:

#1 Zebulon, Mar 22, 2011
I f'd up mine. The adhesive was so tough that trying to pull it up gently to maneuver was virtually impossible. It looked like crap when I got done. So I yanked it off and will try with a different protector later.
 
#2 luvduchovny, Apr 1, 2011
Yeah, I was a little nervous with mine once I felt how sticky it was. I just ended up dousing the sticky side with the cleaning solution and wiping up the excess as it seeped out the edges. That seemed to help. It did take about four days for all of the bubbles to disappear, but it looks great now.
 
#3 Zebulon, Apr 1, 2011
I wished I would have thought of your trick. It might have saved me the frustration.
 
#4 luvduchovny, Apr 3, 2011
I got the Carbon Fiber Skinomi as well. Screen protector actually went on quite smoothly (amazingly enough). I too noticed the holes on the back piece of skin didn't quite line up, but thought it was me. I can live with that. I also found that there is a short side piece that leaves about 1/4" space at both ends. Again, I thought it was the way I put them on, but after looking at all of them, and seeing all the cut-outs are in the right place, it has to be a short piece.

I e-mailed Skinomi customer service about it, but haven't heard anything back so far.
 
#5 Simru12, Apr 6, 2011
Not a trick at all. It's clearly described in the instructions. (You *did* read the instructions before applying the protector, right?) You need the solution (a weak soap solution) to prevent the screen protector from sticking during application. Makes it easy to slide around and position properly.

BTW, be sure to get all *air* bubbles out when applying. Some small bubbles with solution in them will disappear over a few days.
 
#6 stevenp61, Apr 12, 2011

Read the instructions? You actually READ the instructions? :eek: I remember glancing over the instructions... my bad. I was just so used to putting skins on other things... my phone, my ebook reader, my zune, hell even my phone back in the days that I had a flip phone that I guess I got ahead of myself. I do better with dry based applications obviously. ;)
 
#7 luvduchovny, Apr 21, 2011
I'm thinking about ordering these as well. Do the instructions state which to apply first, the screen protector, or the exterior skin?
 
#8 dpbain, Apr 24, 2011
Zebulon,

Thanks for the tip on this! And the review. I also found that it seemed to improve the viewing angle some.

As for the holes on the back not lining up quite right, mine didn't either. As it was drying, I noticed the "divot" on one side (of course, it was on the WRONG side) for the microsd and usb cover. I'm wondering if the back had been placed correctly if the holes would have lined up better.

As for reading the directions, there weren't many and the ones that were there seemed to leave a bit to be desired in actually placing the pieces - pretty much figure out where they go and then do it.

And, NO, I am *NOT* saying I don't like the protector(s). Think they are a very nice addition to the tablet. Figure the screen protector may be worth the price alone for the better viewing. Do like the carbon fiber look much better than advertising for Viewsonic (good company, just don't like advertising for folks <g>).

I'd say with a bit of work on the instructions (keying pieces and positions, and some "gotcha" cautions) there would be no question about this being a top drawer addition.
 
#9 tvande, Apr 24, 2011
Yes. You are supposed to put the skin on first. When putting on the back, make sure you first look for the divot on the side before lining up the 4 rubber pads, though.

Also, I'm pretty sure it states that you are supposed to only get your fingers wet with the solution when putting on the skin as opposed to spraying the whole adhesive side of the screen protector.

All in all, it went on fairly smoothly. Like the others, the side sections did not quite line up completely - must be a design flaw.
 
#10 Chickenhawk1, Apr 26, 2011
The Skinomi people actually have a video on YouTube showing several tips. This includes spraying the adhesive side of the skin with the cleaner so you can move it around to line things up, using a hair-dryer to reduce creases, etc.

Someone else read the directions and learned that walking away for an hour or so after applying the big pieces to let them set before coming back for the smaller pieces helped the final fit and finish.

I liked the video so much I ordered the skin so I'll get a chance to try these out myself in a few days.
 
#11 FatDog, Jul 17, 2011