iPod nano + Brasso + invisibleShield

October 09, 2005

As you have no doubt heard, the Apple iPod nano gets scratches when looked at, much less used. Even my nano, which, if you know me personally, is transported on a cloud and handled with velvet gloves (read: I'm anal), has succumb to noticeable scratches.

After reading about the guy who removed nano scratches with Brasso (a mild abrasive), I was intrigued and knew that I had to try it out. As per Todd's example, I used a micro-fiber cloth and concentrated mostly on the screen, which I rubbed for ~15 minutes. Surprisingly, all of the scratches that were there had disappeared — I was amazed. Granted, my screen was in pretty good shape to begin with, but after applying the Brasso it genuinely looked new. The same treatment was given to the metal portion of the nano with the same spectacular results.

After letting the Brasso dry and wiping the nano clean, it was time to put on the invisibleShield, which is basically a military-grade, nearly impervious, nano condom (watch the demo videos); the end result looks as if the nano has been vacuum-sealed.

Getting the shield on is a bit tricky and requires you to dip the film into soapy water to allow for it to slide about the nano so that perfect alignment may be achieved (the film is cut to fit the nano precisely). I was a bit reluctant to soak my nano with water, but knew that others had done it without incident and so I went against every anal-retentive bone in my body and "dove in." I decided to apply the front film first, and surprisingly, I had it bubbleless and perfectly aligned in less than five minutes. I found that the best way to get the film on the nano is to completely soak it, shake the water off, and then lay it perpendicular to the top or bottom of the nano and kind of let it 'fall' until all of the nano is covered. This method completely obviates the bubble issue and all that's left to do is align it (be careful though as this can produce bubbles if done incorrectly).

Unfortunately, I couldn't leave well enough alone and ended up trying to get out a piece of dust near the bottom, which caused a seemingly endless cycle of pulling the film off, soaking it, and re-applying it. While the "stickiness" of the film never seemed to dissipate, its clarity did, and after more than a few "tries" it became apparent that some of the marks were going to be permanent. So, the lesson to be learned here is that you should roll with your first effort if you think you can live with it, because it's probably only going to get worse.

Applying the back layer was nearly as easy as the front, but because the back piece also covers the sides I had to tackle its application in two steps. I found that trying to align the sides (and get them to stick) before the back was completely dry was damn near impossible. What I ended up doing was aligning the back and letting it dry for about 45 minutes before working on the sides (I just let them hang over the edge). After setting the sides and letting the whole thing dry for a few hours I have to say that I'm really happy with the results.

[It's amazing how some posts that you envision to be three lines end up being six paragraphs.]

You should follow me on Twitter here