Who created Paperlike?
Jan Sapper is the brain and founder behind the screen protector Paperlike. He was that clever and named his product actually Paperlike which made it easy for me to find it back in 2017 when Paperlike was still on its first Kickstarter campaign.
After testing it for several months, I realized that Paperlike was an essential accessory for any iPad, especially if one was a professional drawing artist or professional note-taker, which I also described in my eBook “Paperless Note-Taking Like a Pro“.
In the following video you will see an interview I did with Jan back in 2018:
Why I cannot use my iPad without PaperLike anymore
As soon I started using the Paperlike screen protector with my Apple Pencil, it was clear why it is so essential to have this screen protector on any iPad.
First of all, the Paperlike provides a lot more friction when using the Apple Pencil, which means you have much more control over drawing lines the way you want them to be.
The reason behind this is that hand gliding with the palm of your hand on the screen is much smoother than on glass.
I realized that as soon I took the Paperlike off.
My palm stuck to the surface which makes writing a pain.
That was the moment I realized that I need to leave it on my iPad forever.
Just test drawing on your own iPad without Paperlike. Take your Apple Pencil and try to draw a line from one corner to the other while your hand palm rests on the glass.
You will quickly realize what I am talking about here. Your palm will stick in certain parts of your iPad which makes it really hard to draw and write.
There are also gloves that you can use to overcome this. However, I would rather have Paperlike on my iPad than to carry around a glove.
Does it really feel like paper?
Compared to writing on glass, Paperlike feels a lot more like writing on paper. In fact, it even sounds like writing on paper! But what’s more important is the resistance when writing. Because without it, we have much less control of the lines we draw and write.
For some people out there, the only let-down is the decrease of clarity of your display. Obviously, the iPad Pro and all the other iPads have a very high-resolution display. It looks awesome if you do things like watching movies and so on. But, as a professional, this decrease in clarity doesn’t matter to me at all.
However, Jan Sapper listened to his community and he did a great job to increase the quality of Paperlike, releasing Paperlike version 2. The Paperlike version 2 uses Nanodots Surface Technology (that’s what he calls it) and it just makes the surface of the Paperlike more structured. The light going through the screen protector is much less diffused and therefore gives more clarity on your display.
Of course, as for any matte screen protector, you will not be able to get rid of this diffusion completely. You will never get the clarity you are used to when you have the glass only. It’s just the nature of a matte screen protector.
Is the price for the PaperLike worth it?
If you’re saying, “Oh, there are much cheaper versions out there”, yes, there are, and I reviewed many of them in another video already. And I can tell you, that there is a reason that they are so cheap. First of all, for most, you only get one screen protector in the package. For Paperlike you get two in one package. Next, most of them were very disappointing when it comes to adding more resistance to my Apple Pencil.
In order to compare the new Paperlike version 2 vs Paperlike version 1 and the iPad glad only, I applied both versions next to each other on my iPad Pro and in the middle, I left a little space empty, so we can really compare all three different kinds.
In order to see the difference, I made a high-resolution picture of the setup.
In this picture you can see that that the Paperlike version 1 is diffusing the light much more. The black horizontal line is much more blurry too. Especially when looking at the 100% magnification. Hence, it is safe to say, that there’s definitely an increase in clarity looking at the Paperlike version 2 compared to version 1.
As you can see, though, in the middle, we have the display. Even there the different dots of the display, which are the pixels, are visible. If you compare the blank screen with Paperlike 1 and 2, we also see that Paperlike 2 is much closer to the screen without a screen protector applied.
However, as I said in the beginning, you will never get rid completely of a loss of clarity of your display applying a matte screen protector. Usually, the higher the friction of a matte screen protector the more loss of clarity.
However, Jan managed with his new Nanodots technology to increase clarity compared to the previous version, but also increase friction.
Let’s check out if this is true, and if it really is a better feeling there, and if he managed to increase friction indeed. Have a look at this video to get a better idea how it felt for me:
As shown in the video above, there is a noticeable difference. You really have to give some force to your Apple Pencil to write on it. It is much more like writing on paper now! I’m really surprised.
I’m excited Jan listens to the customer feedback and tries his best to improve his product. That’s the reason why I like companies like this! They listen to their community.
How to further improve the paper-like feeling using an Apple Pencil
However, there are some ways to further improve the paper-like feeling by applying a rubber nib onto your Apple Pencil tip as I described in this video:
Does PaperLike also work with other styluses?
I tested a lot of different styluses and published review videos about them. Both Apple Pencil alternatives that I recommend are working with the Paperlike screen protector. Those are the Adonit Note, that I use with my iPad Mini 5 and the Logitech Crayon that is used by many students worldwide in paperless schools.