The plastic screen of the old M9 was quite prone to scratches, so it was wise to cover it with an additional screen cover. Lucky owners of the new M can now put all their trust in the special tough Corning®Gorilla®Glass that comes with the camera (which in most cases will probably suffice to save it from damage) or may choose to show their screen that extra bit of care by applying additional covers.
Let us take a look at the choices usually available:
Widely available are special foils with silicone adhesive layers that can easily be applied but usually do not last very long and have to be replaced frequently. A single foil can cost up to €/$ 10. This seems steep considering the material is dead cheap in production.
Glass Screen Protectors
Alternatively you can stick on additional protectors made of tempered glass. Good ones (e.g. by GGS or Giotto) can cost way up to €/$ 20 a piece. They provide great protection against scratching and usually do not significantly reduce the screen clarity. Higher end protectors claim more than 98% of light transmittance using various different layers of coating. Alas, in very rare cases they can break if they are thumped hard enough and this could result in damages to the LCD screen that was to be protected in the first place.
Nevertheless these glass covers are very popular. I would have bought one myself but I simply have not been able to find one for the new M yet. The screen sizes just do not match even if they have the stated 3 inches. This is because the new Leica M screen shows a little more glass on the right side of the screen than is actually used for the color display. Manufacturers do seem to take a while in accommodating to these new camera models with varying screen sizes.
Plastic Screen Protectors
Stick-on screen protectors made of poly-carbonate offer a third option. They can offer good screen protection with the added benefit of not breaking easily and can quickly be removed if necessary. They are more resistant to glare than glass but naturally not as tough when it comes to scratching. But isn`t it better to have scratches on the protective cover than the camera screen itself?
I did a quick test of the only cover I could dig up that fits the new M / Typ 240. It is called the ACMAXX LCD ARMOR. You can find out more about the material used and the places to buy via this link (but watch out, the cover for the new M is not yet listed on the site). I bought mine for about € 22 including shipping via eBay and it was sent to Germany within a couple of days straight from California.
The ACMAXX LCD ARMOR offers good protection, showing good colors with quite enough contrast and the low-reflection coating seems to work just fine, also offering UV protection. In comparison to my glass screens used on other makes it does have a tendency to attract a little more dust to the surface but this can easily be blown off or wiped away.
Considering the foils and even most glass covers are quite thin, the ACMAXX LCD ARMOR is of much thicker material (0.8mm). The corners of the cover are rounded whereas the corners of the new Leica M screen are not. Thus the fit is good but not 100% perfect. Most people will probably never notice this. IMO this screen protector is the best you can get for the new Leica M today – unless you prefer foils or want to wait until glass protectors for the new M become available.