The Paperlike 2 with Nanodots: a Dream Come True for iPad & Apple Pencil Users

You love your iPad. What’s more, you adore your Apple Pencil. These two tools, in combination, turn the iPad from a mere luxury multimedia device into a veritable beast of a tool for business users and digital creators. But there’s always been a problem when using the Apple Pencil on the iPad. That problem is the feeling of plastic on glass. It's awkward, tiring and the result is usually sloppy.

As such, many notetakers and digital creators alike have sadly missed the experience of pencil or pen on real paper. Well, so did we.

That’s why, in 2017, we created the original Paperlike, the first iPad screen protector that feels like paper, specifically designed for Apple Pencil users. And it was a huge success. 

However, there were problems. While happy with the product, many users of the original Paperlike wanted the screen to feel even rougher, providing a better paper feel. But they also wanted a lot less light refraction, an inevitable downside to the original.

These two desires created a bit of a paradox for us at Paperlike. 

  1. Making the Paperlike more rough was likely to cause more light refraction, not less.
  2. Getting rid of the light refraction would likely mean reducing the surface friction.

This was quite the conundrum because manufacturing the Paperlike 1 involved a reductive process. The flat surface was made rough by removing material from it. The material was removed by shooting microbeads at the surface, which removed material in such a way that it achieved the right surface roughness. However, this also meant that surface would be 100% affected by the microbeads.

But we knew we couldn’t let our community of loyal Paperlikers down, so we put our heads down and went back to the drawing board and came up with an all-new manufacturing method.

After months of designing, prototyping, and testing, we finally found the solution: an all-new development we call Nanodots® Surface Technology. Essentially, Nanodots® are tiny dots sprinkled across the screen protector's foil. These dots don't disturb the light as nearly as much as the random uneven texture from the first Paperlike, thus you get a rougher screen with less refraction.

We created the Nanodots® Surface Technology using an additive process, instead of the reductive one from the Paperlike 1. That means the flat surface is made rough by adding material to it. In principle, it’s like making sandpaper: start with a flat surface and stick stuff on it until you get the necessary level of roughness. 

Paperlike® Nanodots® in action

However, unlike sandpaper, the Nanodots® won’t hurt your Apple Pencil! That’s why the most important part when developing the Paperlike 2 was to get the right size, material and distribution of the microbeads. We needed to create that paper-feel without affecting the integrity of the Apple Pencil. After all, what good is a screen protector that makes you replace the Apple Pencil tip constantly?

What’s more, the distribution of the microbeads directly defines the amount of unblocked space, resulting in less light refraction. So while we needed to keep the Nanodots® distribution high for roughness, we also couldn’t overdo it without ruining the viewing experience.

The result is nothing short of incredible, but don’t take our word for it. Here’s what our customers are saying.

Creators

Artists all around the world love the Paperlike for the improved precision and tactile feel. We optimized the ideal amount of friction for long drawing sessions and the right stroke resistance for optimal accuracy. 

Writers

The iPad is an amazing device for taking notes and for going paperless. But something's not quite right. The slippery feel of the plastic pencil tip on glass makes writing imprecise and tiring. 

The Paperlike helps writers combine all the advantages of a digital device while keeping the nice tactile feel of paper. 

This means writers are always ready to jot down their next big idea or just those endless meeting notes.

Joy-seekers

After you're done with all that making and doing, you might want to enjoy your iPad in a say "less productive way". Since the new Paperlike is made for superior display quality, nothing stands in the way of you and some relaxing hours of Netflix or Youtube. And you know what's best? The matte and glare-resistant finish of the Paperlike even allows you to enjoy your screen time sitting in the sun. (Please apply sunscreen where necessary, the Paperlike does not fix that.)

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The all-new Paperlike with Nanodots® Surface Technology is available on the Paperlike online shop. Whether you’re a student, digital artist, or professional, we’re here to make your iPad and Apple Pencil experience the best it can be.