Leather & Apple never looked so good

  • August 10th, 2006

marware macbook protection

Who would have thought PVC leather and the Apple MacBook could look so great together? If a seemingly indestructible piece of plastic could offer little help preventing the discoloration on select rev. A MacBooks, maybe PVC leather holds answer?

If you can overcome the idea of applying leather on to your shiny white or dull black MacBooks, Marware has a great solution for protecting your investment in the form of Protection Packs [product page]. Each Protection Pack is comprised of two elements: a) keyboard cover, and b) a palm rest (padding & protection) peice.

Keyboard & screen protection

The included keyboard cover serves as both an intermediary layer between the keyboard & screen, as well as a convenient microfiber screen wipe. Anyone who carries their notebooks around within the confines of a messenger bag or backpack should be well aware of the potential contact the keys and screen make at any given time. On several occasions upon opening my MacBook, I would noticed a number of horizontal lines across the screen.

It was only a matter of time before I came to the realization that the visible streaks were the result of oil or dirt transfered from the keyboard. Naturally, the MacBook – carried in the dedicated laptop sleeve integrated into the Timbuk2 Commuter – is often sandwiched between my back and whatever books or items I have within the main compartment. This compression was likely reason for contact being made between the keys and screen. Inserting the Marware cover alleviated any contact made between the glossy screen and keys.

1 mm of leather isn’t so bad

marware padding thickness

After viewing first-hand the degree of precision used in creating these palm rests, all hesitation concerning the idea of applying PVC leather to the palm rests of your notebook subside. These single pieces are cut to fit. Marware claims that the pieces can be easily applied, removed, and reapplied. Appropriate considering most users who apply the palm rest will certainly become obssesive with the idea of lining each perfectly measured edge of the palm rest with the edges of the MacBook. Trust me, I know.

The 1 mm (approx.) thick palm rest provides just enough padding to be noticeable, yet does not prevent the magnetic lid from closing thanks to the corresponding cut-outs. During longer typing sessions, the padding provided by the Marware Pack alleviated the pressure around the bottom of the palms.

Marware vs. ShieldZone

The Marware Protection Pack has proven far more advantageous when compared to the ShieldZone palm rests kit which I experimented with a few weeks back. Focusing on nothing but the palm rest portion of the kits, consider the following:

  • Ease of application: Hands down, the winner between the two is Marware. While ShieldZone requires the use of a special application solution, squeegee, and an incredible level of patience & perseverance, Marware Protection Packs can be applied sans solution or lip biting. ShieldZone is to clingy saran wrap as Marware is to velcro.
  • Air bubbles and realignment: As you can imagine, laying down a plastic film using a solution and squeegee often results in a few unplanned air bubbles [for the untrained]. The great thing with film is that as long as it is wet, it can be manipulated. The disadvantage concerning ShieldZone kits is that once the solution begins to set, removal for realignment means destroying the film. If a user is unhappy with his / her application of the Marware kit, it can easily be peeled off and re-applied.
  • Aesthetics: Naturally, MacBook palm rests carry a matte finish (both the white and black models). Would you rather have palm rests which matched the glossy screen? Or, would you rather carry the matte finish with a slightly off colored Marware Pack.
  • Level of protection: Both kits provide a suitable level of protection and added peace of mind concerning the palm rest area of your beloved notebooks. Both offer similar protection from dirt, oil, sweat, or other dirt and grime. Although ShieldZone offers the peace of mind of an impenetrable and scratch-resisitent (even to drywall nails) solution, Marware offers similar functionality in a much friendlier package. The added benefit of the Marware kit is the convenience of a padded palm rest which protects both the MacBook shell and your palm rests from continuous stress and contact.

Check out the MacBook protection Flickr set for a better idea of both palm rest solutions.