Choosing the Right Privacy Screen
September 26, 2019
There are different types of privacy screens depending on the type of device, type of display, size, installation method, and intended use. It is important to consider these factors when selecting a privacy screen for your device to ensure the filter fits and properly meets your needs.
Type of Device
Privacy screens must lay perfectly flat against your device’s display, otherwise there may be unwanted bubbles, lines, or distortions that develop. A precise fit is also vital for maintaining image clarity. Your first step in choosing the right size privacy screen is to figure out what type of device you need it for. Privacy screens are suitable for several types of devices, including all-in-one, standalone monitors, laptops, MacBooks, tablets, and mobile phones.
Type of Display
Next, take a look at your device’s display type. If your device has a raised frame around the edge of the display, it is a raised bezel screen. If, on the other hand, your device has an entirely glass screen without a raised frame, it is a flat front glass screen. Please note that privacy screens do not work with curved displays. Also, the brand of your display usually does not matter as long as the size fits. However, some low resolution or extremely high resolution displays require a specialized type of privacy screen. What is most important is that the privacy screen you choose for your device covers the active area of the display in its entirety (i.e., the area where the display lights up). Some privacy screens may go beyond the active area, while others will perfectly fit within the active area; both are acceptable. If the privacy screen is smaller than the active area, it will not be fully effective. The uncovered areas will lack privacy protection, thereby exposing the contents of your display. Having too small of a privacy screen also allows the bright light from the display to shine through more strongly in the uncovered areas, which can be distracting.
Once you have established the type of device and display, it is time to determine the size of your display. For MacBooks, surface devices, and mobile phones, the privacy screen is usually pre-cut to match the exact brand and model. Whereas, for laptops and computer monitors, the standard privacy screen sizes will fit any brand or model as long as the dimensions are correct.
To confirm your laptop or monitor’s display dimensions, check the display’s width and height measurements. Use a tape measure to measure the display from left to right for the width, and from top to bottom for the height. For a raised bezel computer display, measure the height and width of the display only, not including the raised frame. For a flat front glass computer display, measure the height and width of the entire display, including the flat frame (edge-to-edge). Make sure your measurements are as exact as possible, as they can only be off by no more than 2 mm for the filter to fit.
To further ensure that you are choosing the correct privacy screen size, it is important to note that it is not recommended to make your selection based solely on your computer display’s diagonal size. Some manufacturers will overstate the privacy screen size. For example, a privacy screen advertised as 24” could actually be 23.8” or 23.6”. Be especially careful with an advertised 22” screen size, as many 22” screens are actually 21.5”. Furthermore, even if a screen is 24” diagonal, the aspect ratio has to be taken into account. Common aspect ratios are 16:9, 16:10, 5:4, and 5:3.