5 Replies Latest reply: Nov 26, 2012 9:45 PM by Periphrast
Periphrast Level 1 (5 points)

A recent support note issued by Apple warned the owners of MacBook Pro Retina models not to use palm rest covers: 



Leaving palm rest covers or other material on the palm rest surface of your computer could result in damage to the display when you close it.



To enable thin design, the clearance between the display and the palm rest area is engineered to tight tolerances. Do not use palm rest covers as the added thickness may interfere with the designed resting position of the display.


"As a best practice, keep the palm rest clear of any material."


Here's my question:


If you can't use a palm rest cover with Retina models without damaging their screens, then what about screen protectors?  Is it possible to apply a thin layer of film to the display it was designed to protect  without actually hurting said display? 


This is an important question even though it sounds like a joke.  Apple users are debating the answer on  internet forums right now and there are a number of third-party screen protectors for this model.  Are they safe for us to use?

  • steve359 Level 6 (12,330 points)

    If you are referring to something to protect the screen while transporting, it happened during shipping.  My MBP came with thin styrofoam sheet between the screen abd keyboard, and several people have kept that shipping protector.

  • Periphrast Level 1 (5 points)

    Screen protectors aren't simply used to protect the screen  while transporting the laptop.  They're a thin plastic film used to protect the screen at all times.  The idea is to put one on and never take it off unless it shows signs of wear. 


    Well-known brands of screen protector include Wrapsol, Moshi, RadTech and the ubiquitous Invisible Shield(TM).  All four companies make screen protectors for the MBPR.  I'm just trying to make sure that Apple isn't advising us not to buy them because they might damage that expensive Retina display.

  • stevejobsfan0123 Level 8 (39,745 points)

    The article you linked refers to palm rest covers, not to screen protectors. A trusted company like Zagg would not make a screen protector if it would cause harm. If it did, I'm sure there would be a class action lawsuit of some sort.

  • steve359 Level 6 (12,330 points)

    There are several types of screenprotectors.  One of them is in transport, as Apple susbscribes to for shipping.  And I am serious about people keeping the shipping sheet -- I still have mine.


    As to the "cover while in use" ... I rarely touch the screen when I use mine, and even then only with fingertip.  But I have applied the "squeeze flat" covers to my HP Touchpad and years ago to my Compaq iPaq.  In both cases I found getting them completely flat and bubble free to be quite the challenge, thous creating semi-permanent distractions to viewing.

  • Periphrast Level 1 (5 points)

    Steve 359:  I don't mean to seem disrespectful, but are you unaware of the vast industry which has been marketing screen protectors for Apple since the original iPod? Judging from your other comments, I think you are aware.  I mentioned brands of screen protectors specifically, which would suggest I'm not talking about the provisional (and ephemeral) screen guard with which Apple ships the product. 


    I appreciate your comment about bubbles -- I had to learn to overcome those myself over the years during applications -- but there are many alternatives to that style of screen protector now. 


    Stevejobsfan:  We all know the difference between a palm rest cover and a screen protector.  Here's where the ambiguity lies:


    The point of not having a palm rest cover is to avoid the risk of contact between it and the screen given the "clearance between the display and the palm rest area," which is, as Apple puts it euphemistically, "engineered to tight tolerances."


    Common sense would suggest they were only talking about the wrist guard, but Apple's article seems to imply that a keyboard protector would be a bad idea as well if you close the laptop with it still seated.  I myself have seen damage to screens caused by silicone keyboard protectors. 


    Personally, I don't see how a screen protector would damage a screen no matter how tight the clearance, but on other forums, there are furious debates over this.  I posted on the official Apple forum mostly because I'm hoping an actual Apple employee pauses to comment and the question is officially noted.


    Also:  This particular article by Apple is brand new and has never applied to any of their previous products.  Just so, the MacBook Pro with Retina Screen is also very new.  Therefore we couldn't see a class action lawsuit arise until enough users had experienced the issue to form one.  It isn't as if protectors by Zagg (who only recently came to own the Invisible Shield franchise, BTW) have ever damaged a non-Retina screen.