It’s not every day that I recommend a product simply because it’s lovely to look at and adds joy to my tech experience, but the Grovemade Walnut MacBook Back is just such an item. At $49.99, it’s in that no-man’s land between cheap enough to not think twice about — but just pricey enough that it might give you pause.
I recently bought a 13″ MacBook Pro retina. As I had done with my previous 15″ MBPr, one of the first things I did while waiting for it to arrive was to buy a Bodyguardz Clear Skin to protect its top and bottom surfaces.
So here’s my 13″ MBPr with the Clear Skin installed, and in my opinion it’s a bit boring; it looks like every other MBP out there (maybe a little shinier from the skin). Meh.
While the Clear Skin on my 15″ had been plastered with stickers from places and events I’d visited (easily removed when it was time to hand that laptop down to Kev), I had already decided I wasn’t going to go that route this time. But I still wanted to do something to make this laptop uniquely mine. I wanted something a little bit classier than a sticker covered lid that I would feel proud to pull out of my laptop bag; that’s where the Grovemade Walnut MacBook Back came in.
- Made with all-natural walnut veneer
- Hand sanded and finished with natural oils for a smooth feel
- Compatible with MacBook Air 13”, MacBook Pro 13” and 15”
- Made entirely in the Grovemade workshop in Portland, Oregon
- Adheres with a 3M adhesive that does not leave a permanent residue
The Grovemade Walnut MacBook Back consists of a thin (0.04″) wooden veneer that is backed with 3M adhesive. In the center there is a lasercut Grovemade logo; when the laptop is in use, the leaf logo will illuminate over the glowing Apple logo.
Installation consists of peeling back a corner of the adhesive paper’s cover …
… removing it, and exposing the sticky back side.
I didn’t break out the calipers to make sure my measurements were perfect, but I did lightly lay the Grovemade Walnut MacBook Back on the laptop to test the spot that I thought it should go. I realized it needed a little better centering, and it was no problem to lift the veneer up and re-center it (several times).
Once I was satisfied with the location, I rubbed the veneer down completely to make sure that the adhesive back was evenly applied.
Just like that, my MacBook Pro now had a lovely new facade; when the laptop is open, the Grovemade logo lights up prettily.
As I said, this isn’t a product that adds any real functionality to my laptop. But every time I see my MBP, pull it from my bag, or shut it, the wood veneer is there begging to be stroked and admired. It’s beautiful, a touch of nature on an otherwise cold metal design, and it just … I don’t know … it makes me smile.
If you are ready to graduate from randomly placed (even if meaningful) stickers on your laptop lid to something a little more classy, then you ought to take a look at the Grovemade Walnut MacBook Back.
No, the wooden veneer won’t keep you from dinging your laptop’s corner in a drop, it won’t make your laptop run faster, and it won’t make your laptop less crushable; in all honesty, it won’t do much of anything other than look gorgeous and possibly give you a good feeling when you see it. You’re the only one who can decide if that’s worth the money.
The Grovemade Walnut MacBook Back retails for $49, and it is available directly from the manufacturer for the 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pro.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Easy to apply; adds a beautiful eye-catching wooden veneer to an otherwise ordinary laptop lid; feels lovely and looks much better than the stickers so many of us cover our laptops with
What Needs Improvement: Just remember that if you buy this, you are buying it because it is beautiful — not because it will necessarily add protection or function to your laptop