Review: Paperlike – At least since the release of the Apple Pencil, the iPad has been a sensible alternative to conventional devices or pen and paper thanks to numerous note and drawing apps. Drawing or writing on the screen, however, takes getting used to due to the smooth nature of the display and is enough after getting used to not 100% close to the feeling of writing or drawing on paper.
The Paperlike display film , which we have already introduced to you , remedies this problem and is intended to ensure that you can work on the iPad as if on paper. You can find out whether Paperlike meets the high expectations in our test report
Paperlike: Extensive scope of delivery, easy assembly
Paperlike comes in a lovingly designed packaging , which at the same time should ensure that the screen protector is not kinked through the outer packaging made of cardboard. Wherever possible, plastic is avoided, which makes the packaging very environmentally friendly.
In addition to two copies of the film itself, the scope of delivery of course also includes the tool that is required to attach the film. These include wet wipes, a dust sticker to remove dust from the display and guide stickers for smooth attachment. Thanks to practical video instructions on the manufacturer’s website, the steps can be clearly followed so that a smooth process should be guaranteed.
For me, the application of the film went as planned, but unfortunately it already had two small creases on the edge, which meant that I could not apply it 100% without bubbles. A kink can also be seen in the replacement film. I do not want to rule out that I caused the kinks when unpacking the film , but I proceeded very carefully and I am not aware of any fault. This is of course annoying with a (for a film) very expensive product, here the manufacturer could possibly rework and make the film a little more stable . However, if both foils are actually unusable, the manufacturer also offers the option of contacting us on its website, whereby a replacement foil can be requested.
Paperlike in a practical test: Improved operation, even without using the pencil
Once the film has been attached, you will immediately notice a clear difference , even in normal operation with your finger. Due to the texture of the film, the display is no longer as smooth and the finger glides noticeably better over the screen thanks to the reduced resistance . This makes operation a bit more fluid and also more pleasant overall . In contrast, if you use a screen without paperlike again, it feels a bit sticky because the finger sticks much more to the glass.
When using the pencil, an even more noticeable difference can be felt. If writing with the pencil on the display glass of the iPad feels very strange at first and requires getting used to, Paperlike shows a completely different picture. You feel right at home, the acclimatization phase is minimal, if at all . Writing goes smoothly by hand – just like on paper. While writing with the Apple Pencil, I noticed for the first time that the Pencil shows small weaknesses in accuracy when it comes to very fine movements. I had never noticed this without Paperlike, as the accuracy suffers a little anyway due to the unusual writing on the glass surface .
Even when drawing with the Apple Pencil you notice a difference when using it with Paperlike. This is clearly noticeable, but from my point of view it is not as extreme as when you use the pencil to write. Due to the slightly lower resistance in contrast to glass, it also happens more easily that you slip a bit when drawing longer lines, which is of course not ideal.
Better handling in everyday life – but not without compromises
The great advantage of Paperlike is clearly in the operation of the device – whether with finger or pencil and whether for writing or drawing. Unfortunately, these advantages do not come entirely without disadvantages that affect everyday use of the iPad.
Immediately after attaching the film, it is noticeable that the display of the iPad no longer looks quite as brilliant as without the film. This is practically unavoidable, since the film is matt and matt displays inherently do not display colors as vividly and also appear less sharp – this is exactly the case on the iPad.
Normally, matt displays have the advantage that they reflect less when exposed to light, especially when working outdoors and in direct sunlight, and thus enable more effortless work. Unfortunately I could not confirm this with Paperlike. In a direct comparison of two iPads, the display of the iPad without film was easier to see at every angle and the more acute the viewing angle, the less it was visible on the iPad with Paperlike. This went so far that, despite the display being switched on, it was no longer possible to see from a certain angle whether the display was really switched on or not.
Another problem I noticed during my test is Paperlike’s susceptibility to scratching . Especially when drawing, fine scratches appear on the film, which become visible when you look at it at an angle. This did not affect the display properties during my test, but I could imagine that the increasing number of scratches with increasing usage could lead to problems at some point.
Summary: Buy recommendation for Paperlike?
Last but not least, before I come to my final conclusion, here is a brief overview of the most important properties of Paperlike :
- easy installation on the device
- improved usability with touch inputs
- Write and draw like on paper
- matt foil
- somewhat deteriorated display properties during use
- prone to scratches
Despite some limitations that emerged during my test of the Paperlike, it is a very interesting product that fundamentally changes the operating characteristics of the iPad.
I see students as the largest target group who write a lot by hand on the tablet and can thus make full use of the display film. Of course, everyone else who uses their tablet mainly for writing also benefits from Paperlike. Artists will also notice a difference when drawing , but I don’t see as immense advantages here as when writing.
In summary, it can be said that Paperlike improves the operation of the iPad in every respect, but this is at the expense of a not so excellent display. However, if you work a lot with the Pencil, you will be willing to accept these disadvantages, as the advantages clearly outweigh the advantages in use . Paperlike can be ordered for 34 euros and is available for every iPad with Apple Pencil support.