on January 5, 2006
I've owned this product for about a month now and purchased it because I was frustrated with seatmates on airplanes looking at my notebook screen for the whole flight, trying to figure out what I was doing. This screen works wonders in deterring others from taking glances at my private information. In fact, most people think I'm crazy, typing away on a computer with a blank screen, or so they think.
There are some disadvantages with this screen though. Your seatmate directly next to you will be able to see through the filter to your screen partially, because they are within the viewing angle of the screen with the filter on. But move over any farther and the screen is not visible, nor is it visible across the aisle (if sitting in an aisle seat). About the only other place that it is visible is if someone is standing directly above you, one row back. Turning down the brightness of your screen also helps immensely in blocking people from viewing your screen through the filter at any angle.
(Please note, having this filter installed screens out about half of the light coming out of the screen. If you have poor eyesight with dim lighting and have trouble with computer screens, this product may not be for you.)
Additionally, the clear plastic tabs included with the filter adheres to the plastic border around the notebook LCD screen to keep the filter in place. It works, but blocks about a 1/8" of the screen at 6 points, especially noticeable around the bottom of the screen where the start bar is located.
You'll also notice a large "3M PF14.1W" printed in the top right hand corner of the filter. It's used to help in determining whether the filter is facing the right direction, but it's quite distracting at times. The height of the lettering is equivalent in size to the window bar at the top of any program.
This filter is also very dust, lint, debris, and smudge attracting. You'll find yourself wiping the filter often.
Overall, this filter does its job. Great for those who need to comply with HIPPA or other privacy regulations. But as an individual consumer, I wonder if the high price is justified for the benefits it provides.
on May 13, 2007
I'm a consultant who travels weekly. Lots of time on flights makes a privacy filter important to me. Being something of a perfectionist and the fact that I look through it for hours each week, I ordered both the ViewGuard and the 3M filters to compare them. I kept the 3M and returned the ViewGuard. Why?
The image clarity of the 3M filter was significantly better (note that I work with small fonts, spreadsheets, etc. and wear glasses) Yes, ViewGuard, I removed the protective film before making the comparison! Two things bugged me about the ViewGuard: (1) its polarization cuts run diagonally (the 3M run vertically), which is distracting, and (2) the image through the ViewGuard is a tiny bit blurry/hazy compared to the 3M. 3M seems to have a more clear film that they use. A colleague of mine did the same side-by-side and agreed with me.
Both products do what they claim, and both fit my notebook well, although I also prefer the optional vertical mounting strips that come with the 3M product (both come with mounting 'dots', but 3M supplies an alternate mounting mechanism as well).
Let's face it: $50 for a piece of plastic seems expensive, but there's no alternative if you want to work on client (or your own financial) information on a plane. Thanks, 3M, for making a quality product. (And no, I don't work for 3M!)
on March 12, 2010
I bought the Gold privacy screen for my new Mac Pro 15.5 Laptop. It works great! Fellow workers complain because they can't see my laptop screen unless they get directly behind me. It works especially well with window light hitting it. If fellow workers do stand directly behind me, I just spin around and they back off. I reordered the one for a 17" Mac Pro as it fits better than the one 3M recommends for the 15.5". The 3M recommended screen fits only over the viewing area and leaves about a 1" border to the edge of the screen and is held on with cheesy plastic tabs that glue on the screen. It looks bad and in two weeks the cheesy plastic mounting tabs fell off. You will have much difficulty cleaning the laptop screen with the cheesy plastic tabs glued in place. The Gold Screen for the 17" Mac Pro fits over the entire screen of the 15.5" Mac Pro and is right to the edge of the entire screen. It just leans up against the screen as it leans back. It is a glove fit and is well worth the difference. It lays down flat when I close the screen and travels well. Don't buy the Gray Screen Filter, the Gold is 500% better! The Gray was a costly mistake. Cheaper isn't always the answer. Also, I bought directly from 3M and paid way too much one the first round. (sales Tax, shipping, and a higher price) This time Amazon was my source. (3M(tm) GPF17.0W Widescreen Gold Notebook Privacy Filter) Roger
on August 20, 2006
I bought this with some hesitation after reading one negative review...but I'm glad I got it because it works great but keep in mind you have to have the shiney side facing the monitor for it to work properly
on March 14, 2010
The 3M Gold Privacy Filter (PFG15.6W - you'll find it's GPF for "gold privacy film" and "HPF15.6W" is engraved on the film itself.) works as advertised. Clear, sturdy construction, helps with privacy, comes with enough mounting tabs and looks absolutely great.
If you are looking for a privacy filter for an HP Envy 15 with a 15.6" screen, this fits perfectly with very tight tolerances. Even if you aren't using for business or working on things that are highly confidential, with these large, vibrant, wide viewing angle screens even set at the lowest light setting, it is easy to see what you are doing from a distance let alone tight quarters like an airport/airplane, train, classrooms, or even home. You may want one of these so 20 other people can't see that you are reading a "Dear John" email while listening to Wayne Newton's greatest hits. Or, heck, so your kids can't see you are spending hours on myspace even though you forbid them to do the same.
I will mention that I'm not sure what the third-party seller here on Amazon is thinking by charging $73 + $4 shipping for it (as I write this and have watched for over a week). It's $58 if you buy directly from 3M.
- Great fit on 15.6" screen (HP Envy 15 is perfect)
- High quality - solid construction, stiff and doesn't seem prone to damage. I've only had mine a little while so don't know what a year worth of use will do to it, but after a month, no issues.
- Great look - really turns heads (which could be opposite of what you want in a privacy filter)
- Clear - just as claimed by 3M, it is much clearer than older-style privacy filters. When directly in front of it, I can hardly tell it's on, but with traditional privacy filters, it is very noticeable.
- Double sided (mirrored gold/orange and matte black)
- Largish block letter engraving ("3M PFG15.6W") in top right corner that makes it hard to see what is behind it. If you are like me and prefer your Windows task bar to be on the top of the screen, and/or use Linux (I use both Win7 and Linux on the same machine), this will be an irritant unless you turn upside-down, which makes it a little trickier to get out (thumb cutout should be on top).
- Glare: if using with gold mirror side out, there is a noticeable glare in a bright room or from rear lights. Good news is just flip it around if you don't like this.
- Mounting tabs: Really a subjective nit pick. These have long been my biggest irritant for 3M privacy filters. Yes, they are sturdy and plenty are included for a single mounting, but they come off over a small amount of time so they should work on the glue, or provide more (especially for $58). Also, they are clear, but on darker backgrounds, you can see them very easily and just look cheap. They are a little too big (for my use on a notebook anyway) so cut them before mounting. I find they "jut" out too far in front of the screen and too much of them are on the bezel (I have the same problem with them falling off after a little while whether I cut or not - no difference).
- Price: Even at 3M's retail of $58, it is a little spendy - yes, it looks cool and is much clearer than "traditional" privacy filters, but the reason you probably don't see them around is most aren't going to spend almost 2x as much.
- Privacy protection isn't quite as good as traditional 3M privacy filters. It is very good, but there is a little trade-off with having more clarity. Really hard to notice, but I put side-by-side to compare and the viewing angle with the Gold is slightly wider.
I recommend these for keeping other eyes off your work and play while looking very cool.
on February 16, 2006
Three big disappointments. Biggest is the viewing angle is WAY too wide. It darkens at 45 degrees, but you can still clearly see what someone's up to, even if it's *kind of* harder to read precise text. It doesn't blacken until your near a 90 degree viewing angle. Pretty lame.
Also, though it's "matte" it's a lot more reflective than a regular LCD flat screen. Maybe it's less than an old glassy CRT, but the reflectivity is terrible compared to an LCD. You can actually make out your own face and highlights in the screen, even highlights coming from a side window (which I was hoping would be reduced by the microlouvre, not increased). Bright environments are 5 times harder to work in than they would be with a regular LCD screen.
And lastly, looking at it straight in, it darkens the screen enough to be distracting and eye-straining. So it's the worse of both worlds - it darkens too much for the user, and not enough at odd angles.
The method for sticking the frameless kind on clutters your screen with cheesy plastic adhesive disks.
Plus, it's pretty expensive for a sheet of plastic.
Wait until the tech gets better. Or decent, at least.
on August 23, 2006
You can almost completely stop those peeping toms with this filter. While it is not 100% effective, it does block or blur most of the view from people who are not directly behind you. You can kind of see the double sided tape squares you place in each corner to keep it affixed to your monitor but it isn't obvious enough to be annoying or distracting.
Amazon.com has the lowest price I could find on the web plus free shipping. I got my in 3 days and am completely satisified with this product.
on June 20, 2006
First off, I want to say that Amazon had the best price I could find, and this shipped right away and arrived 3 days after ordering, even with 3-5 day shipping.
Second, I agree with some comments I have read on this. Sure does feel like you spent a lot of money when a thin piece of plastic arrives that cost you over $50. Unfortunately there is no alternative. To me though, the privacy is worth the price.
I bought this so I could have stock charts up on my laptop at work without people being able to see what I was doing (so I wouldn't get in trouble for trading) when they would walk by down the aisle. This works perfect in that sense. I tilt my laptop so it faces me, and when people walk by, the laptop looks to them as though it is off. The screen is black for them except in the little thumb notch spot 3M made so that you can easily remove the screen.
I used the plastic tabs that came with to hold it in place, they work well enough... however, I found that I cannot close my laptop with the privacy filter held in, as it flexes in the middle and thus falls out. I can't really imagine a better way for 3M to improve this, except perhaps to make it much more rigid.
Some other notes that potential buyers may be wondering...
1) It only filters and looks black from side to side, not up and down. If someone is standing over your shoulder, they will have no problem seeing it. It is only when they go to an angle to the side that it will block. So horizontal blocking, but not vertical.
2) This thing smudges easily! Expect lots of dust, fingerprints, etc. It wipes off just as easily though with a dry Kleenex.
3) 15.4W fits perfectly with my 15 inch widescreen. Perfect fit.
4) The tabs that hold it in are small and transparent. They have very sticky material on part of them, and look like a half circle attached to a rectangle.
5) This filter does not reduce glare in my opinion.
Overall, this was well worth the cost of privacy for me. No one can tell my PC is on even though my screen is open.
on February 26, 2006
Fairly narrow viewing angle
Good solution for what I needed
Pricey for a thin piece of plastic
Cheesy plastic tabs to hold it on the screen
Doesn't protect so well in the dark
This is something I had been wanting for some time now. I do a lot of flying, and hate it when the person next to me reminds me that the red eight plays on the black nine. A year or so ago, these were in the $60 price range. Woah, too steep for my blood. When I saw the price drop, I ordered. It showed up quickly, and installed easily. They send two types of tabs to attach the filter to your screen. One method (the one I ended up using) are plastic tabs that extend from the frame outside of the screen in that kind of "catch" the filter if it tries to fall off, and the other are a few pieces of what appears to be thick double stick tape. I wasn't impressed with either one of them.
I found the viewing angle to be adequate, but somewhat wider than what I expected. When I move my head to the side, I can start to see the edge of the screen darken, but part of the screen remains visible until almost a 45 degree angle.
Can the traveler in the seat on the plane next to me see what I'm doing? well, sorta yes and mostly no. Unless it is nearly pitch black, at best all the person next to me could see was vague outlines, however when all the lights were out, the screen was *VERY* dim but still visible. He couldn't read what was on the screen when I had my email up, but images with a lot of contrast were identifiable.
Overall, this was a good solution for what I wanted it to do. I would have given it a 5 had the viewing angle been a bit narrower, and the protection been better in dark environments.
on September 25, 2003
I saw this at a small local computer store for dirt cheap so I decided to pick it up. The fit on my Toshiba laptop is perfect. Looking right at it, you can clearly tell that it is there as it has a dark tint and you can see the thin lines in it, but everything on screen is still readable and enjoyable, except for the annoying, non-removable "3M PF15.0" logo near the bottom right of the filter that blocks off some of the text in the taskbar. It probably won't hinder daily use, but just the fact that it's there is annoying.
For the screen to actually appear black, one would have to stand at a rather extreme angle where the screen wouldn't even look all that clear to them in the first place. It will block somebody from reading any text, but for the most part they will still be able to tell what you are doing.
Also, once you get dust on the back side of the filter, forget about getting it all off. I can spray it with compressed air all day and wipe it with my microfiber dust clothe as much as I want, but there is still some dust on it.
In short, it does *NOT* make on-screen data visible only to the person directly in front of the monitor. I suggest that if you can, try one out first to see if it fits your needs. Maybe somebody at your local computer store will let you put one on a monitor and you can test out the angles to see if it is worth the price for you.