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In my search for the perfect Kindle reading experience (see my signature for some links) I have tried various things. I am currently using as main daily driver the $69 Kindle 5 (or 4 Black, as some call it) in a black official Amazon lighted leather cover, with a piece of cardboard attached to the light to avoid shining into the eyes. One thing the black baby Kindle does, is gather finger prints and also glare from the lighted cover on its glossy bezel around the screen. I ordered the DecalGirl Kindle 4 Skin - Solid State Black matte skins to try how they would affect the device. My intent is only to use it on the front of the device, even though all the DecalGirl sets come with rear skin also (they also come with button covers I won't use either).

Having installed many screen protector type of films on other products, I knew cleaning the base was paramount. I did that successfully with microfiber cloth and some pressurized air. Unlike most screen protectors, though, the DecalGirl film is soft/bendy vinyl, which means it is actually very forgiving until you push it firmly into place as the final step, but also a bit tricky to maneuver. I placed first the button area into position (but without pushing it firmly in place yet), then went on to position the sides and the top. Once everything was in place, I used the microfiber cloth on top of the vinyl to push and stretch it in place, starting from inside, then towards the edges. It really is very forgiving, even a couple of creases that were left initially were evened out completely with this process - it also looks like it sticks well to curving surfaces, something not all protective films do well.

Bigger picture:

My first attempt ever at DecalGirl installation went marvellously well - with screen protectors I have gotten used to getting a spare because first tries with new products usually end up in trial and spectacular error. So how does it work then? In my testing, it does solve two issues very nicely: the film does not show fingerprints and it covers the white Kindle logo on the top of the device, which can be disturbing with the lighted cover that shines a light directly onto the logo. The film also seems very durable and as I said, installs very easily. The film is a slightly warmer black, slightly "browner", compared to the cool black of the Kindle, so expect the shade of the device to change a little towards the warmer side.

A negative, if any, would be a slight texture in the matte film. It does absorb light a little better than the glossy Kindle bezel does (that's what the texture does, disperses light), but on the other hand the shine is replaced by a texture (the kind well known from e.g. many matte screen protectors). The fact that it is vinyl and has a texture still means the bezel of the device is still visible in the lighted cover light, instead of fading completely to the background. I guess that is as far as one can get with plasticy materials anyway (felt/gaffers tape or some textile covering would help absord light better, but could come with its own host of problems, such as gathering dust and stains).

DecalGirl matte skin on the left Kindle:

Bigger picture:

The DecalGirl film is installable only once, while fairly easy to move around during the installation process (until you stick it in place), removing it will probably damage the film. Someone reported online that they also had managed to hurt a leather cover they had applied a DecalGirl film to while removing the film (it should be noted these DecalGirl films are not meant for leather surfaces), so I tried to place the film over the Kindle logo on the device and then gently remove - luckily it doesn't damage the Kindle logo or the bezel, at least not after a short exposure to its glue, but it does stick pretty hard once you press it in place.

All in all, fast service and a great product. Obviously DecalGirl is even more useful if you are into artsy coverings - in addition to various solid colors in both matte and glossy, they have a lot of artwork to choose from at You can even create your own.
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