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Lenspen SideKick touchscreen cleaner review

Sections: iDevice Accessories, iPad, iPhone, iPhone/iPod touch/iPad, iPod touch, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Peripherals

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Provides: Touchscreen cleaning to remove fingerprints, oil, and grime
Compatibility: Any smooth glass screen or touchscreen (iPad recommended)
Price: $19.95 to $24.95, replacement pads are $14.95
Availability: Now

Lenspen, a company known for their camera sensor, laptop screen, and lens cleaning equipment, now has a range of iPad screen cleaning products under the SideKick moniker. Based on proprietary carbon-based cleaning technology, it eliminates the need to carry around cleaning sprays and microfiber clothes to fight the constant battle against fingerprints on iDevices. With a few simple waves of the SideKick (that will make you feel like a magician as you watch grimy fingerprints disappear), your iPad’s screen is returned to an almost flawless like-new state, fingerprint free and ready for more use.

Features

Lenspen’s secret is a patented cleaning compound on the SideKick’s replaceable pad, which contains carbon, an element known to absorb oil. Long used as an old wives’ solution, newspaper makes a great window cleaner because of the high carbon content of newspaper ink. Rather than crumple up that old paper (assuming you have not switched to offerings in Apple’s Newsstand), just flick open your SideKick and give the iPad’s screen a few swipes. When finished, the SideKick’s cleaning pad folds back into place and swipes over a shammy built into the case, which removes excess oil from the cleaning pad surface.

The best part about the SideKick is the way it leaves your screen feeling. When you first take an iDevice out of its box and peel off that plastic cover, there is a certain squeaky-clean feeling to the glass. Your finger glides smoothly, but there is the ever-so-faintest hint of friction that rapidly disappears as finger oils, smudges, and other schmutz find their way onto your screen. Cleaning products such as microfiber clothes and sprays help, but they never quite restore that new-from-the-box feeling because they always leave some of the oil behind. An iPad screen after the SideKick is akin to the sensation you experience after visiting the dentist: the perfection of a flawless clean!

Although the SideKick works equally well on any glass surface, it is primarily designed for the iPad. Use on the iPhone is tricky, because you want to avoid contacting your skin with the SideKick (it leaves a black mark).  The SideKick does not work well on phones with a screen protector, especially antiglare or textured ones, because the cover may trap the cleaning carbon and cause you to smear black powder all over your hands. Care should also be taken when using the SideKick on an iDevice in a case, as the edge of the case may pick up black smudges, which on some plastics may be impossible to remove.

Models

Lenspen offers several models of SideKick. The model reviewed for this article was the soft-touch edition, though all SideKicks offer identical functionality.  The models include:

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Lenspen SideKick Review

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