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What’s the best plastic screen protector for laptops?

A laptop is often the only instrument people have to work from home or on the road. If something happens to it, you can have a few days without an income while it’s in for repairs.

You might be able to delay an expensive repair job if the laptop’s body or casing is damaged, but it’s a different matter with the screen. Even the smallest sharp objects, such as keys or a pen, can scratch the display. 

The best way to prevent damage, whether in your backpack or on your desk, is to apply a plastic screen protector. The Forito Screen Protector For 17.3-Inch Laptop is an excellent option.

What to know before you buy a plastic screen protector for laptops

Accurate fit for your model

While there are several universal computer screen protectors, they are not the best. Not all laptops have the same display size, camera position or hinge location, so you want to look for a plastic protector made for your model. That way, you know that the bezels and the camera cutouts will fit accurately without overlap. 

Retains interactive functions

You might not think it’s important for a screen protector to allow interactive functions, but it’s crucial if you have a touchscreen. For example, creators might use their laptops to draw or sketch. If the protector inhibits that, it won’t work. Be aware that some plastic protectors can hamper the use of interactive tools and look for a compatible protector. 

It’s not for all-around protection

Typically, a screen protector is a thin layer of plastic or tempered glass you apply over the display to prevent cosmetic blemishes. It’s designed to stop fingerprints, oil or scratches from showing.  If you want to protect your laptop from damage, it isn’t the right tool — use a sleeve or clip-on case instead.  

What to look for in a quality plastic screen protector

It remains clear for a long time

Unlike glass, plastic tends to become brittle and gets a somewhat yellow discoloration after time. This usually happens with low-quality plastic, so you must ensure that the screen protector is made from high-quality material. It must retain its crystal-clear visibility, or you won’t be able to see what’s on the screen.

Easy application and removal

Little is more frustrating than trying to apply a protective layer to your laptop or cellphone, only to struggle with air pockets or confusing instructions. For that reason, a good-quality screen protector comes with easy-to-follow instructions. Some manufacturers include tools such as a microfiber cloth and a small plastic scraper to smooth out imperfections. When it’s time to remove the plastic protector, you should ideally use the same tools. 

Rounded edges to make it invisible

Many tempered glass and plastic screen protectors are marketed as having 2.5-dimensional edges. This is an important aspect, not clearly explained. While the corners are rounded to help the protector blend in with the screen’s bezel, the edges are rounded, too. When you look at the protector’s edges, it must taper downward instead of ending on a 90-degree angle. This helps reduce its visibility further and makes the feeling more natural. 

How much you can expect to spend on a plastic screen protector

The price depends on the manufacturer and if the protector has been treated with a special coating. A no-fuss protector costs $10-$15, while a more elaborate one runs $15-$25. 

Plastic screen protector FAQ

Can you reapply a plastic screen protector?

A. You can, but it’s not designed for it. The protector is made to go on the screen once and stay there. When you remove it — for example, if it’s not aligned properly — there is a good chance you’ll get dust and small debris on it. That will then leave small air pockets and unsightly particles.

Is it better to have a plastic or glass protector?

A. Plastic is more affordable and does the job, but tempered glass is always more durable. A plastic protector gets scratched easily (so your display doesn’t), but glass is highly scratch-resistant, increasing its longevity.

What’s the best plastic screen protector to buy?

Top plastic screen protector

Best Forito Screen Protector For 17.3-Inch Laptop

Forito Screen Protector for 17.3-Inch Laptop

What you need to know: This screen protector is compatible with most laptops with a display size of 17.3 inches, no matter the brand.

What you’ll love: It’s designed to fit perfectly over the pixel area of the screen and doesn’t stick over the bezels or the internal camera. The protector has nine layers, including a blue-light blocker and anti-glare technology. It ships with a scraping card, two cleaning cloths and a guide sticker.

What you should consider: Some users advised that you apply it in a clean room, as dust particles can easily create air pockets that are difficult to remove. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top plastic screen protector for the money

Best Supershieldz Screen Protector For MacBook Pro 13

Supershieldz Screen Protector for MacBook Pro 13

What you need to know: Engineered to reduce fingerprints and glare, this screen protector is almost invisible.

What you’ll love: This bundle includes three protectors that are easily applied and leave no residue when removed. Even though they’re made from five layers, they’re thin enough to provide a natural feel and are compatible with touchscreens. 

What you should consider: Some reviewers said the protector is tricky to apply the first time correctly even though tools are included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Best Bersem Screen Protector Compatible with MacBook Pro 15-Inch

Bersem Screen Protector Compatible with MacBook Pro 15-Inch

What you need to know: This screen protector is perfect for keeping your MacBook’s display in great condition.

What you’ll love: Made from thin silicone, it blocks around 65% of harmful blue light, reducing eyestrain. The protective layer is treated with an anti-glare coating to reduce reflections and stops fingerprints and scratches from showing. 

What you should consider: Some buyers said the camera hole was slightly misaligned, affecting the visuals.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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