Paperlike Screen Protector Review

Thinking about buying Paperlike screen protector for your iPad? We already did! Take a look at our review. Find out the pros, cons and see how good it actually is!

The Paperlike screen protector is made of a matte finish material that mimics the texture of paper. It reduces glare, provides a more tactile feel when using Apple Pencil with iPad, and enhances the precision of drawing and note-taking. Not only does it provide a paper-like feel, but it also serves as a protective shield against fingerprints and smudges on your iPad.

Essentially, it’s a screen protector that gives you the feeling that you are writing on paper. That’s exactly what I was looking for a screen protector that can shield my screen from scratches while providing the feeling of writing on paper rather than glass.

Based on my criteria, I stumbled upon the Paperlike screen protector, and I bought it. Here’s my review of the product. I thought it might help other people decide whether it’s worth it for them or not.

Best Rated
Paperlike Screen Protector
9.5

Paperlike Screen Protector

  • Screen Protector Type: Matte anti-glare
  • Mimics Paper: Yes
  • Unit Count: 2
  • Hardness: 3H
  • Features: Anti-fingerprint, anti-smudge, anti-glare, water repellent

What’s Included in Your Paperlike Screen Protector Package

  • 2x Paperlike Screen Protectors
  • 2x Cleaning Wipes
  • 1x Dry Wipe
  • 2x Sticker Pack 
  • 1x Postcard
whats inside paperlike screen protector box

How To Apply Paperlike on Your iPad

Applying a screen protector can feel daunting, especially if you consider yourself clumsy. However, Jan Sapper, Paperlike’s CEO, has created a helpful instructional video for customers.

Many people worry, “I’m going to mess it up, there will be bubbles, it won’t be straight,” but it’s easier than you think. Simply follow the guidelines in the video without improvising, and you’ll be fine.

Estimated Application Time: Even first-time users can apply it in just 5 minutes.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

  1. Align the Protector: Place the Paperlike screen protector on your iPad and align it precisely.
  2. Create a Hinge: Use the included guiding stickers to create a hinge on one side of the protector. This will help you open it like a book.
  3. Secure the Protector: Place a sticker on the opposite side to keep it in place.
  4. Clean Your iPad: Use the included wet wipes and dry wipes to thoroughly clean your iPad screen.
  5. Peel and Apply: Peel off the backing from the protector. Carefully place the protector onto the screen, using the hinge to keep it aligned.
  6. Remove Bubbles: Use a credit card or the provided tool to smooth out any bubbles.

And that’s it—you’re done! Enjoy your newly protected screen.

Overall Experience With Paperlike

The Paperlike screen protector combines the qualities of a matte finish with a touch of smooth plastic. Its texture is slightly grainy, offering a subtle depth that enhances the feel. When using an Apple Pencil, it feels akin to very soft and smooth chart paper. However, the experience differs when using your iPad without the pencil.

Color Accuracy and Display Quality: One immediate benefit is the reduction of glare. This, along with the absence of fingerprint smudges, makes for a more pleasurable experience overall.

Using an iPad with Paperlike is definitely more comfortable, but there are a few drawbacks:

  • Color Vibrancy: The matte finish can make colors appear less vibrant.
  • Durability: After several months of use, you may start noticing scratches on the screen, which can somewhat diminish the overall display quality.

To be fair, these issues are common with all matte screen protectors and are not exclusive to Paperlike. Despite these minor drawbacks, the improved writing and drawing experience, reduced glare, and fewer smudges make Paperlike a worthwhile addition to your iPad.

ipad with paperlike screen protector in pitaka folio case next to magic keyboard and apple pencil

How It Feels To Write on an iPad with Paperlike

Writing on an iPad with Paperlike makes the most noticeable difference. Designed to simulate the feel of paper, it excels in this regard. The grainy texture, combined with the lack of glare, allows the Apple Pencil to glide smoothly across the screen.

If you’ve never used an iPad with a screen protector that mimics paper, you’ll be amazed—just like I was the first time. The transition from writing on glass, which is undeniably cool, to writing on a surface that feels like paper is remarkable. It made me exclaim, “Wow, I didn’t realize technology could do this.”

Writing has become a much more enjoyable experience. Previously, I preferred using a journal or notebook, especially for longer writing sessions. But now, I prefer my iPad with Paperlike.

How It Feels To Write on an iPad with Paperlike

Full disclosure: I’m not a professional artist. However, I have consulted with designers and illustrators to get their feedback.

Drawing on an iPad with the Paperlike screen protector feels more natural compared to using the iPad’s original glossy screen. The protector offers greater control and precision. You can better gauge the pressure you’re applying, and the entire process feels more controlled thanks to the paper-like texture.

This enhanced control makes drawing a more intuitive and satisfying experience, whether you’re sketching, shading, or detailing. The improved tactile feedback helps artists of all levels achieve a more authentic and enjoyable drawing experience.

Is Paperlike Durable Against Scratches?

You will see scratches, but it’s important to note that these scratches are on the screen protector, not your iPad’s screen.

Using an Apple Pencil on your iPad typically won’t cause scratches unless the tip is worn out or damaged. You can find more information about maintaining your Apple Pencil here.

However, using any screen protector with an Apple Pencil will result in some scratches over time. The screen may start to look messy after a few months of use. The good news is that Paperlike includes two screen protectors in the package, allowing you to replace the scratched one and maintain a clear, smooth writing and drawing surface.

How Long Does the Paperlike Screen Protector Last?

The lifespan of a Paperlike screen protector depends on your usage and tolerance for scratches.

I use my iPad and Apple Pencil daily, and after 6-9 months, the screen protector shows significant wear. It feels dirty and has scratches that can’t be cleaned, even with the best screen cleaners. For me, that’s the limit, so I replace it once or twice a year.

However, if you use your iPad less frequently, the screen protector can last much longer. I know people who still have their first Paperlike screen protector after 2-3 years, and it still looks good—good enough, at least.

How Often Should You Change Screen Protector on iPad?

It depends on the usage, and Apple Pencil is the one that will leave the scratches, not your finger, so let’s put it like this.

2hrs/day4-5/months
4hrs/day2-3/months

The more you use Apple Pencil on your iPad, the quicker it will be scratched, and the visibility will decrease.

Does Paperlike Wear Out Apple Pencil Nibs?

Yes, the Paperlike screen protector, with its matte, grainy texture, does cause Apple Pencil nibs to wear out faster compared to the original glossy glass surface.

However, Apple Pencil nibs are designed to be durable and generally take a long time to wear out, provided you use them without applying excessive pressure. Therefore, the increased wear from using Paperlike isn’t particularly concerning in terms of overall longevity and durability.

Benefits of Paperlike Screen Protector

There are 8l compelling reasons to add a Paperlike screen protector to your iPad:

  • Extra Layer of Protection: It prevents scratches, cracks, and other damage from accidental drops or impacts, keeping your iPad screen in pristine condition.
  • Enhanced Writing Experience: Writing on an iPad can feel like writing on glass, but with a Paperlike screen protector, it feels more like writing on a piece of paper. This texture improves control and precision, making note-taking and drawing more enjoyable.
  • Prevents Smudges and Fingerprints: The screen protector reduces the accumulation of fingerprints and smudges, helping you keep your screen clean and tidy.
  • Reduces Glare: It minimizes glare and reflections, which is especially beneficial when using your iPad outdoors or under bright lights. This makes it easier to see your screen clearly in various lighting conditions.
  • Improved Drawing Experience: For artists, the Paperlike screen protector provides better control and a more natural drawing feel, similar to working on paper. This can enhance the precision and quality of your digital artwork.
  • Eye Comfort: The reduced glare and matte finish can also make using your iPad more comfortable on your eyes, especially during extended use.
  • Professional Look: A clean, smudge-free screen presents a more professional appearance, which can be important for business and educational settings.
  • Cost-Effective: By protecting your iPad’s screen, the Paperlike screen protector can help extend the device’s lifespan, potentially saving you money on repairs or replacements in the long run.

Drawbacks of Paperlike Screen Protector

Here are some drawbacks to consider when using a Paperlike screen protector:

  • Reduction in Screen Clarity: The matte texture of the Paperlike screen protector can slightly reduce the clarity and sharpness of the iPad’s display. Colors may appear slightly muted or less vibrant compared to the original glossy screen.
  • Potential for Screen Scratches: While the Paperlike screen protector protects against scratches on the iPad’s screen, it can itself become scratched over time, especially if not handled carefully. These scratches may affect the smoothness of writing and drawing.
  • Increased Wear on Apple Pencil Nibs: The textured surface of the Paperlike screen protector can cause faster wear on the nibs of Apple Pencil, requiring more frequent replacement of the nibs.
  • Installation Challenges: Applying the Paperlike screen protector without trapping air bubbles or misaligning it can be challenging. It may require patience and precision during installation to achieve a bubble-free and properly aligned result.
  • Maintenance Requirements: The matte texture of the Paperlike screen protector may require more frequent cleaning compared to the original iPad screen to maintain its optimal feel and performance.
  • Adaptation Period: Some users may need time to adjust to the feel of writing and drawing on a matte surface, especially if they are accustomed to the smoothness of the iPad’s original glass screen.
  • Price Consideration: While the Paperlike screen protector offers benefits, it comes at an additional cost. Users should weigh the benefits against the added expense when deciding whether to purchase it.

Is The Paperlike Screen Protector Worth It?

Ultimately, whether the Paperlike screen protector is worth it depends on how you use your iPad and your priorities regarding screen protection, writing/drawing experience, and visual clarity. Many users find that the benefits of enhanced tactile feedback and scratch protection outweigh any minor drawbacks. If these factors align with your preferences, investing in a Paperlike screen protector could be a worthwhile choice to improve your overall iPad experience.

How To Remove Paperlike from iPad Without Damaging The Screen?

Honestly, it is easier than it looks. I created a video for this purpose. You just need a sharp object so you can have a grip on the edge of the screen protector. After that, it peels off easily. I personally used a knife, but you can get it done with anything else that’s sharp, perhaps even with your nails.

Why Doesn’t Paperlike Have Screen Protectors for Android Tablets?

I noticed that a lot of Android users have been asking this, and I reached out to Paperlike for comment, and this is what they said:

By contrast, Android tablets come from a variety of manufacturers. Their technical specifications vary, as do the styluses and apps on offer. Creating products that can accommodate such a broad market and still deliver the amazing experience that we’re known for would be a very tall order. The variation in materials and accessories would play a major role in how the Paperlike feels and how effective it would be for users, making it difficult for us to deliver a consistent experience that aligns with our own high standards. While we may consider Android tablets in the future, we have no plans to do so at this time.

In my words, there are too many Android Tablets out there, and all of them have different surfaces and designs, and creating screen protectors for so many designs would be too damn hard.

You shouldn’t be expecting Paperlike for Android tablets anytime soon.

Paperlike 2.1 vs Paperlike 2.0

The differences between Paperlike 2.1 and Paperlike 2.0 are generally subtle improvements aimed at enhancing user experience and durability. Here’s a breakdown of the key differences:

Paperlike 2.1:

  1. Improved Matte Texture: Paperlike 2.1 typically features a refined matte texture that offers a smoother writing and drawing experience compared to its predecessor. This improvement aims to provide better control and precision when using an Apple Pencil or similar stylus.
  2. Enhanced Scratch Resistance: There may be enhancements in the scratch resistance properties of Paperlike 2.1. While both versions aim to protect the iPad screen from scratches, the newer version might offer improved durability against daily wear and tear.
  3. Reduced Glare: Like its predecessor, Paperlike 2.1 continues to reduce glare and reflections on the iPad screen. This feature remains beneficial for users who frequently use their iPads outdoors or in bright environments.
  4. Compatibility and Fit: Paperlike 2.1 is designed to fit various iPad models snugly, ensuring easy installation and compatibility with the latest devices. This includes improvements in the alignment during installation to minimize the risk of air bubbles.

Paperlike 2.0:

  1. Original Matte Texture: Paperlike 2.0 introduced the concept of a matte screen protector tailored for Apple Pencil users. It provided a textured surface that mimicked the feel of writing on paper, enhancing precision and control.
  2. Scratch Protection: Like Paperlike 2.1, the 2.0 version focused on protecting the iPad screen from scratches, fingerprints, and smudges. It offered an additional layer of defense without compromising touchscreen responsiveness.
  3. Initial User Feedback: Paperlike 2.0 received positive feedback for its ability to improve the writing and drawing experience on iPads, making it popular among artists, note-takers, and professionals who preferred the tactile feedback of paper-like surfaces.

Paperlike Compatibility

Paperlike screen protectors are designed to work with all the newest iPad models and even some olden generation iPads.

iPad ModelCompatible
iPad Pro 13-inchYes
iPad Pro 11-inchYes
iPad Air 13-inchYes
iPad Air 11-inchYes
iPad 10.9-inch (10th gen)Yes
iPad Mini 8.3-inch (6th gen)Yes

Are There Cheaper Alternatives For Paperlike Screen Protectors?

Yes, there are several alternatives to the Paperlike screen protector that offer similar matte textures and functionalities at potentially lower prices. Here are a few options to consider:

KCT Paperfeel, ESR, ZAGG, JETech, etc.

If you are looking for something a bit cheaper or different, we recommend taking a look at the best screen protectors for iPads.

FAQ’s

Is Paperlike Screen Protector Reusable?

No, Paperlike screen protectors are not reusable. You can’t take it off it loses adhesive properties and effectiveness when removed.

Does Paperlike affect screen clarity or color accuracy?

Yes, Paperlike screen protectors can slightly reduce screen clarity and color accuracy compared to the original glossy screen of an iPad. The matte texture of Paperlike can cause colors to appear slightly muted or less vibrant, although this effect is often minor and varies depending on individual perception and iPad model.

Does using Paperlike impact Apple Pencil performance?

Yes, using Paperlike can impact Apple Pencil performance slightly. The matte texture of Paperlike may provide a different feel compared to the smooth glass surface of the iPad screen, affecting the glide and feedback of the Apple Pencil. Additionally, the textured surface can cause slightly faster wear on the Apple Pencil nibs compared to using the Pencil on a smooth glass surface. However, many users find the trade-off worthwhile for the improved writing and drawing experience.

Founder & Chief Editor | ernests@wolfoftablet.com

I'm a writer and editor in iPads & Android Tablets, Windows Tablet section. I'm passionate about technology, especially about tablets. I'm on a mission to assist people in discovering their ideal tablets. In addition, I'm dedicated to producing helpful how-to guides and sharing top-notch tips and tricks. In my early carrier I founded and became and editor at worldoftablet and have been a guest author at many other tech blogs. In wolfoftablet I'm focusing on iPads, Tablets, Apple Pencil, Apps, Reviews, Buyers Guides and Tablet Accessories. In free time I like to play games on my PS5 or iOS.