What’s better than wrapping your laptop in a beautiful wood cover — front, back, and sides? Not much, I tell you. But Toast managed to top all of that goodness by sending me one of their Real Wood MacBook Covers with Gear Diary’s logo emblazoned on the front. The result is absolutely gorgeous!
Included in the package was a laser-etched precision fit wooden cover, perfectly sized wooden back, and side pieces to finish out the effect. The covers are available in ebony, ash, bamboo, and the walnut I was sent.
The wooden skins are backed with 3M adhesive, so if you clean your laptop with the included alcohol wipes before installation, they should stay in place forever.
The best way to get started with the install is to wipe your laptop down in stages. I started with the top, and then I peeled back the top skin from the bottom. After lining it up perfectly, I pulled the rest of the backing off as I pressed down to make sure everything was sticking where it was supposed to. It’s important to do this slowly and carefully, because even though the covers are made to be removable, they aren’t made to be re-usable.
The top cover is on! Doesn’t it look lovely?
Next comes the bottom cover. it’s a little trickier because of the notches cut into the top; you have to peel carefully and make sure you get all of the backing off for installation.
I applied the back cover the same way as the front — lining it up carefully on the bottom and then pulling off the backing paper as I pressed down and advanced the install.
The back’s on — and it looks amazing! There are cutouts for every screw and the rubber feet. There are even special scores and notches so that the skin will perfectly fit the curved bottom of the MacBook Pro retina.
Next come all of the side pieces. They aren’t labeled, but it’s easy to figure out where they go. I found that starting with one of the side pieces (the one with the two microphone holes) was the best place to start; once they were carefully lined up, every other wood strip fell into place without any overlap.
My cold aluminum-skinned MacBook Pro retina now has a sumptuous coat of real walnut wood. It’s warm, feels great, and it makes my laptop look unique!
Here are some shots of the sides and how all of the wood pieces lay; there are a few spots that don’t get coverage, but the overall effect is absolutely gorgeous.
The Gear Diary logo is perfectly laser-etched into the front cover, and now there isn’t another MacBook in the world that looks like mine. If I get any scuffs or it needs an occasional shine, fixing it isn’t going to be any more difficult that a spray of wood preservative or a little bit of stain — similar to what you’d do with wooden furniture or hardwood floors.
While the skins will help protect my MacBook from scratches just by virtue of being there, they aren’t meant to protect your laptop if it drops — so if you usually keep your MacBook in a sleeve while carrying it around, you’ll still want to do that (and it will still fit). The main thing here is that in a sea of silver at your local Starbucks, in class, or anywhere else that you might usually see a sea of glowing apple-backs — yours will now stand out in a good way. You can go for the plain wood, but for a bit more it’s worth it to really put your own personal stamp on it.
Toast’s wood covers are made for a variety of MacBooks, SurfaceBook, and Chromebooks. You can even order extra side-rails ($5) if you wind up peeling one off accidentally or over time. The MacBook top covers start at $59 for a plain one, there are inscrioptions and pre-set designs you can pick for a little more, or you can upload your own logo for $84 to get a custom top cover like mine. MacBook bottoms are $34, and for $5 more you can add a custom inscription.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Absolutely gorgeous wooden surfaces now cover almost my entire MacBook; Engraved with the Gear Diary logo, now my MBPr is unique; Protective and beautiful
What Needs Improvement: Be super careful and take your time when applying the skins — you want to get it right the first time