Colorware is a popular company known for coating consumer products such as Bose, Xbox One and PlayStation 4, and even Apple products. The company sent over their special full-body Matte black Colorware skin for the 2016 15-inch MacBook Pro and it’s made a traditionally Space Grey laptop look even better.
I already have a Matte Black iPhone 7 Plus on top of a “Space Grey” Apple Watch with a black band, so I wanted to keep things matching in a sense when it came to my new Macbook Pro in terms of the Colorware that I decided to choose. The company offers a wide variety of options of colors to choose from as well as premade options such as wood, leather, carbon fiber and even stone. Arriving in a simple envelope, I was concerned a bit about how the shipping company would handle the material, hoping that it wouldn’t be folded and bent, but luckily everything arrived in great condition, but Colorware did have a sticker saying “Do Not Bend” on the envelope which was really nice of them.
You actually setup the way you want your Colorware to look directly from Colorware’s site. Colorware has made picking out the skin as simple as they possibly could be allowing you to choose if you want the company to do it for you with a Skin + Device option, which will come directly from the company completely skinned and themed out according to how you want it to look, or you can go with the skin-only option. I went with the skin-only option, mainly due to the fact if I ever have issues with my MacBook, I’d much rather go to Apple with a skin that can be removed and avoid any hassle they would give me for completely modding out my MacBook. That goes without saying, I’ve seen some of Colorware’s fully modded MacBook’s and they look absolutely phenomenal. The company actually takes apart your Macbook and goes through a rigorous process of skinning your device piece by piece and sending it to you how you requested, presenting a one of a kind MacBook that will set you apart from anyone else in the coffee shop.
If you’re like me and just want to skin though, the process is just as simple. When you log into Colorware, you pick your MacBook size, and go to “Skin Only”. Once you’ve done this you are taken to a page that on the upper left corner allows you to pick different portions of your MacBook Pro to skin, from the top, bottom, the screen, as well as the keyboard. I Like everything to look similar, so I opted for a fully skinned MacBook Pro in the Matte Black color. After picking a solid black color, the company asks if you want a gloss finish, or a Matte finish, which I obviously chose Matte. As you go through the steps, you actually get to see what the MacBook Pro (or whatever accessory you decide to choose) will look like with the applied color so there are absolutely no surprises. After finally going through your process, you’ll notice that the price does increase as you end up picking what skins you’d like on your laptop. After fully skinning my MacBook Pro (minus the screen, because I still wanted to keep some Apple originality, plus I don’t mind the screen the way it is), my total came up to $95 with an estimated shipping time of two weeks.
Applying the Colorware was about as simple as it could possibly get. Each piece is separate from the others, which means that you can actually go ahead and do one piece at a time and not have to worry about others lying around with their adhesive exposed. Colorware advises doing this in a room free of dust and debris. I turned off my AC in order to get this done because I wanted everything to be as precise as it could be, especially the keyboard portion.
I followed Colorware’s video instruction that they include that shows you that you should lift up the adhesive from the wax paper completely, and arrange it back onto it with about a half an inch hanging off, to begin with. As you do this, you inch by inch install the adhesive for each piece until you’ve gotten it on perfectly. I wouldn’t personally use a card for getting bubbled out, but rather lift the adhesive and reapply which works better. And since you’re doing it inch by inch, there’s less margin of error.
After applying the back of the Macbook Pro, the hardest part was the keyboard.
Since the MacBook Pro’s Butterfly 2 keyboard is set up different from other keyboards in the past, you want to make sure that you align the top of the Colorware adhesive with each individual key perfectly. This took me about two tries before getting it down because I was so excited from doing the front of the MacBook Pro I just wanted it on already.
But take your time as this is an important step and you don’t want the Colorware to cover a key, or if you have a touch bar MacBook pro, covering that as well. Once fully applied, Colorware suggests using a hair dryer to lightly apply heat to the adhesive so it will not rise, or come off. Be gentle in doing this because you don’t want to mess up the MacBook Pro’s internals.
Applying the bottom Colorware adhesive was about as simple as just aligning the Macbook Pro’s openings so this took me the least amount of time and it came out perfectly.
After installing, I received not only a great looking matte black finish to my MacBook Pro but a protective element to my MacBook Pro that a normal “case” wouldn’t give me. When I sold my older 2012 MacBook Pro, although it sat in a case for years, things do get underneath of those cases, which can, in turn, leave small micro abrasions and scratches on your laptop. That can slightly damage resell value, and over time make it look mad. At least with the Colorware, if you are a fan of going caseless on your MacBook, you can do that not only in style but you won’t ding and scratch it up over time. Plus, I’d rather pay for a skin, than attempt to try to replace a scratched up back or bottom to my MacBook. It is worth saying though, that the Colorware will not actually protect the sides of the MacBook Pro so those both are still space gray, but barely noticeable.
Chances are I will never take this Colorware off of my MacBook Pro, mostly because Apple may never make a Matte Black (or Jet black) MacBook in my lifetime so this will have to do for now. Not only does it make my MacBook look super sleek, but it’s affordable for the price without having to paint my MacBook or put a bulky Matte Black case on it. Now I just need Apples wireless keyboard and mouse to complete my setup.
You too can customize your MacBook Pro or any accessory that you have thanks to Colorware by heading directly to their site today.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review unit
What I Like: Matte black looks much better than Space Gray, and the application process is super simple
What Needs Improvement: Depending on what you order, it could be weeks to get your shipment