Pocket-lint is supported by its readers. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

(Pocket-lint) - One of the best scoops I've ever got was because I was sitting at the right place at the right time. I was on a train when the chap next to me opened up his laptop and started to work. The document he was working on outlined that company's roadmap for the next 12 months. Bingo.

However, if the chap had used one of 3M's Privacy Filters for Notebook and LCD Monitors, reviewed here, my scoop would have been scuppered.

While some laptop screens already come with privacy capabilities, a lot don't and so you're work is on show whenever you open your laptop on the road.

It's a pain, because you want to use your travel time, but are afraid to give away company secrets, and no matter what people say, it's always interesting to look at what the guy or girl next to you is working on.

HP's superb flash sale has loads of deals to check out

The 3M Privacy Filter for Notebook and LCD Monitors promises to reduce that fear by only allowing you, or in fairness, those sitting directly behind you, the chance to see what you see. Anyone else - i.e. those sitting next to you just get a black screen.

In practice and the screen, which offers either a gloss or matt finish (just a case of switching around the screen) fits over your screen and is held in place with some tabs which stick to your monitor's frame rather than the screen. It means that you can easily remove the screen when you are working in the office and don't have to worry about sticking anything to the screen itself.

Of course there are drawbacks. The first and most important one is that the screen will darken your display (although 3M say this reduces glare to help prevent eyestrain and headaches), and the second is that the 3M have placed the product code and there logo in the top left or right corner (depending on whether you've chosen glossy or matt) which will slightly interfere with the reading of your menu bars.


At £41 for the 15-inch model the screen isn't cheap, but then loosing your company secrets isn't either. If you are constantly finding yourself working in public areas and worried about your secrets falling into the wrong hands this is a must-have piece of kit.

Writing by Stuart Miles. Originally published on 10 April 2007.