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SPE Screen Protectors (3-Pack) for Palm Centro

Wed Dec 19, 2007 - 12:57 PM EST - By Jay Gross


The most important thing on the Centro to protect from harm isn’t its ego, but the touchie-feelie screen. Gleaming brightly, it faces forward and bravely invites touches. That means it suffers from Indiana Jones syndrome - constant exposure to hazard. Take those coins and keys that rattle around in the bookbag, pocket or purse you store it in. Wham, scrape, smush. All day.

The “touch” in touch screen means potential abrasion from the stylus, as well as from your fingernails, which by the way work fine for operating the Centro without yanking out its stylus.

Although it’s not all that fragile, there are many opportunities for the Gremlins in Charge of Mayhem to wreak their dirty deeds, if only with dirt. The screen is also a Centro’s most expensive replacement part. Fortunately, there’s a simple and inexpensive solution: a screen protector. Disposable and replaceable, they take the scrapes and scratches instead of the screen.

A screen protector doesn’t add anything to the Centro’s weight, either. My kitchen scale won’t discuss anything under a gram, so I’ve pegged the product’s weight at zero.

Screen protectors for Palm devices come in a variety of styles and configurations, some of which are generic to different cell phones with or without touchable screens. Generally, these have to be carved to fit, and unless you’re well practiced on your X-Acto knife skills, this can be a chore. And a disaster. I’ve spent years whittling paste-ups for various clients’ mockups, but I still prefer the hassle-free option: already cut to size.

What makes a screen protector good or bad is the amount of trouble it takes to get it on the Centro, the clarity of its plastic, its finish, and how well it fits. Some screen protectors are organized around the decal principle. Wet the surface (not MY Centro you don’t!) and smooth the film onto the glass. Now you know how to spell “hassle.” Some are too thick, so it forever after takes extra oomph on the stylus to operate the device. And some look cloudy, even before the Gremlins in Charge of Aging get ahold of them.

Smartphone Experts goes the distance on every score. Their Centro protectors are easily repositionable, even after being attached for a while. They’re clear as the proverbial bell, too. (Really, have you ever seen a clear bell? The things are made of bronze, brass, or – this time of year - silver!). The required stylus (fingernail?) pressure stays about the same, as far as I can tell, and they go on quickly and simply.

To install one, clean the screen first. If you do get “stuff” underneath it, it’s easy enough to lift the protector off and start over with a good cleaning. It’s easily repositionable. Make sure the screen its dry, lay the protector over it, and smooth out any bubbles with your fingertips. If it lands crooked, just lift it back up and reapply. Simple!

The Smartphone Experts protector takes the non-glare approach to finish. I have expensive, brilliantly glossy screen protectors on some of my other cell phones, and I’ve never noticed a problem, even in direct sunlight. The screen is, after all, a light source. Yet, I do like the non-glare looks, a great complement to the my (red!) Centro’s gloss. Although I could wish for a millimeter and a half of extra plastic on the top (or bottom) edge, this in no way interferes with the usefulness of the screen or the protection it affords.

A kit of three? What are the other two for? Store them in a drawer, for spares in case the Gremlins come calling - or in case your friends need one.

A screen protector provides a dispensable, cleanable surface when-not-if the Centro’s touch screen gets dirty. For cleaning either the Centro or the screen protector, simple rubbing alcohol works fine, but be extremely sparing with whatever cleaning solution you use, and don’t resort to industrial-strength anything.


Smartphone Experts comes to the rescue, fending off the Gremlins in Charge of Screen Dings with an essential accessory for Palm’s Centro. This kit of three removable and repositionable screen protectors offers great protection for the Centro screen, plus hassle-free installation, and a non-glare surface.

Treo accessory store



Design 5
Usability 5
Clarity 5
Cost/Benefit 5
(not an average)
  • Non-glare surface
  • Repositionable
  • Already cut to size
  • Cleanable
  • Cons
  • Very slightly undersized on one side

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