SideKick does a great job in cleaning an iPad screen
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SideKick does a great job in cleaning an iPad screen

At last week's Macworld Expo, a company called LensPens ( introduced new iPad and MacBook screen cleaners that the company promised would do the best job ever in cleaning your Apple products' screens.

I was skeptical, but I gave the LensPens iPad product -- known as the SideKick -- a try. And I have to admit: they're right.

As iPad owners know, the screen of the Apple tablet is a fingerprint magnet. No matter what you do with the iPad, you're constantly touching the screen, leaving oily fingerprints behind. A rub on your shirt sleeve doesn't work well (and could even scratch the screen if you're not careful). Sprays, tissues and cleaning cloths aren't always at hand when you need 'em.

However, the US$19.95 SideKick is easy to keep close by. It's small enough to slip into a purse or pocket and take with you.

There are no cloths, no sprays and no liquids with the SideKick. It comes in a case; remove it and move/rub the pad over the iPad screen, and it absorbs the fingerprints. Insert the pad into the carrying case and the pad is automatically cleaned, leaving it ready for the next cleaning. The carbon pads have to be changed out after 150 uses. Used daily, that's about five months. Then you'll have to order more pads, which are around 25 bucks for 12 months' worth.

By the way, if you're using the SideKick and you notice it leaves some black marks on your fingers, don't worry. The cleaning compound is carbon based, similar to a pencil lead. It leaves black marks on all surfaces which are not very, very smooth.

There are also LensPen products for Apple laptops. I'm sure they'll work as well as the iPad product, though you're not going to be touching a laptop screen constantly like you do with the iPad.

Rating: 9 out of 10

-- Dennis Sellers


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