BodyGuardz Armor


I'm a firm supporter of the opinion that most electronic devices are better naked than protected by a case. Yes, I've heard all the advice otherwise, and yes, I know that nothing is completely scratch proof. Heck, just last week I shattered my Thunderbolt when I absentmindedly perched it on my sink, turning it into a poster child for the dangers of case-less smartphones. That said, few things can change my mind. I'd rather commit to being more careful than hiding my expensive new device under a cheap looking cover.

Will the BodyGuardz Armor Carbon Fiber for my Galaxy Tab 10.1 convert my way of thinking? Let's find out, after the break.

BodyGuardz Armor is a custom-fit carbon fiber protective skin that adheres to your Galaxy Tab 10.1 in all the right places. A sheet of plastic covers the back, while thin strips are cut to fit the sides, top, and bottom of your tablet perfectly. BodyGuardz also throws in an “HD anti-glare” screen protector for good measure.

Applying the product is not nearly as taxing as you might expect. Gone are the days of those pesky sub-surface bubbles that have plagued screens forever. The carbon fiber design lends itself to easy smoothing: BodyGuardz claims that you can simply rub down the device to remove any bubbles that the application process left behind. I was a skeptic, but trust me, it works. The finished product was, in my experience, free of bubbles or wrinkles.

BodyGuardz Armor BodyGuardz Armor

One snag, however: if you don't have the patience of a saint, you're inevitably going to misalign the skin, resulting in a bit of a skewed look. Sure, you can remove the skin and reapply until all your lines are parallel and clean, but keep in mind, the more you remove and reapply, the less adhesive the skin becomes. So while you BodyGuardz has escaped the bubble plague, it still requires a steady hand that is confident in its first-time performance.

The custom cut strips for camera area and the device's perimeter are fairly simple to apply, as you're working with a pretty small space.

BodyGuardz Armor BodyGuardz Armor BodyGuardz Armor BodyGuardz Armor

The end result is a mixed bag. The product feels great in the hand and will most certainly protect your device from the errant scratch or scuff. And if you've taken your time in the application process, it looks and feels even better. But if you're not a surgeon, the final result might be less than stellar. As you can see, I couldn't get my back panel to align perfectly, which, to me, gave the armor a cheap, sloppy look. And the strips for the Galaxy Tab's perimeter are hard to defend. They look silly, almost like decals you would put on your notebook in first grade. They also have a tendency to bunch up on the corners where the fit doesn't seem quite right. In short, skip 'em.

BodyGuardz Armor BodyGuardz Armor

And you can skip the screen protector, too. I'm not sure exactly what “HD” means in regards to a screen protector, but the branding didn't live up to the hype. If you've ever used a screen protector on your device, you've experienced the headaches that ensue. The edges never fail to curl, resulting in a dirty, messy, all around awful look. And even BodyGuardz couldn't promise a bubble-less experience: unlike the carbon fiber back panel, the plastic screen protector doesn't lend itself to “smoothing” out the bubbles. Bummer.

All that said, if you're looking for something to shield the big plastic back of your Galaxy Tab 10.1, you've found it. Take a deep breath and you'll be able to apply the carbon fiber skin without incident. And in black, red, and white options, the skin looks really, really nice.

BodyGuardz Armor

The same can't be said for everything else in the box. Avoid the perimeter strips at all cost. They look downright silly. And the included screen protector is just that-- your average screen protector. I've never been a fan, and never will be.

BodyGuardz Armor won't protect your tablet from a drop, or from any heavy duty damage. For that kind of protection, you'll need a case. But if you're just looking for something to spare your tab's back from unnecessary dings, and you've got the patience to sit down and take your time applying the product, BodyGuardz Armor is worth a look.


Reader comments

Android accessory review: BodyGuardz Armor Carbon Fiber for the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1


My buddy has been selling these carbon fiber skins for iPhone forever. He made me one for my evo. Gonna get one for the tab next?

editorial point:
Why is someone who has a stated bias against covers/cases for electronics being given the task of reviewing covers and cases? Would that not be the equivalent of having vegans review steaks?

Great metaphor, but neither a correct nor necessary one. It's exactly like someone who doesn't prefer a case, screen protector or skin reviewing a case, screen protector or skin. Chances are, you'll get a more objective review, actually.

Moreover, any one of our writers is more than capable of reviewing an accessory they don't necessarily use in their daily lives. If they weren't, they wouldn't be writing for us.

I rather like having someone who has been trained by previous troubles to not like these covers and cases to review them for me. If a case/skin is great enough to convince this guy, then it's got to be good for me.

Not using a case is great and all if you never plan to sell it. I use an Otterbox Commuter for my MyTouch 4G and it actually improves its looks. Of course, that may have more to do with the schizophrenic design of the MT4G than the case.

Could just take it to a mall & find the ghost Armor stand.. I put the ghost Armor on all my phones & the one time I didn't I dropped my phone & shattered the screen.. You need to do a review on this Ghost Armor product.. Its amazing.. If u have GA. On ur phone & happen to scratch the screen its ok, when u wake up the next morning the scratch is GONE... Just like magic.. It cost $30.00 to cover my entire thunderbolt with the extended battery cover but if for any reason some of it starts peeling bring it back & they replace it for a $5.00 installation charge but the new armor itself is free.. Make sure though if it's peeling off & ur remove it to save the piece you removed. They send it back to the manufacturer as defective. It's so worth it.. The best part is....... It doesn't even look like you have a protective coating on ur phone....

I've used BodyGuardz on all of my devices. For my Tab, I just got the screen protector, not the full body protection, and not the HD, just the regular protector. A day or so after application you don't even notice it's there. I ordered and applied it before it was settled that the 10.1 had Gorilla Glass. But it's a cheap way of adding another layer of security. No regrets here.