Review: iSkin Keyboard Protector
The iSkin iBook/PowerBook G4 Ti Keyboard Protector has been discontinued and replaced with a new, universal model. Check out our review of the new ProTouch PB for all the details.
Although we review many different kids of products, the goodies that are designed for Apple’s portables are always our favorite. This is especially true when they not only look cool, but also protect our ‘Books from mishaps. iSkin, the company known for its superior iPod cases, has created a keyboard protector for Apple’s portables…but only if they aren’t aluminum.
The iSkin iBook/PBG4 Keyboard Protector is a molded, silicone ‘layer’ that fits over the keys of any iBook or PowerBook G4 Titanum (the models that feature key layouts the same as the white iBooks). Protecting your keyboard from gunk, hair, dust, and spills, installation and removal are painless. Typing and use are not inhibited.
The protectors come in a variety of colors. Our test model was of the ‘creamsicle’ (light orange) variety, although you can also get them in blue mist (light blue), bubble gum (pink), lemonade (yellow), lime light (light green), white frost (clear). Asphalt and Snow are solid colored, and have the keyboard characters printed on them (to give your TiBook a white keyboard or your iBook a black one). About the colors – although together with bubble gum they appear to be different, creamsicle does tend to look pinkish by itself. Whatever you choose, it’ll be nice to add a splash of color to a newer portable (especially if you had a fruit-colored iMac or iBook).
iSkin should develop a ‘glow in the dark’ version of these, using the same material as their glow in the dark iPod cases, to give owners of iBooks and PowerBook G4 Titaniums a solution that is cheaper, but comparative to that of the PowerBook G4 17″ and 15″ Aluminum keyboards.
Attachment & Cleanup
The best part…well…one of the best parts is that no adhesive is required to attach it. Installation is as easy as laying it over the keys. Removal is just as easy. Cleaning is easy, too – using water and mild dishwashing solution (NO SOLVENTS!), will keep the iSkin protector clean, and can even prevent marks from showing up on your screen.
I think many people don’t invest in things like this right away is because they are afraid that they won’t like the feel – that they wasted $25/$27 on a product that, in theory will make their life better, but is annoying to type on. In my tests, I think that the iSkin improves the feel, both by quieting the noise when typing, by making the bumps on the ‘F’ and ‘J’ keys bigger and easier to find, and by making it slightly harder to hit a key off-center.
Some people might be worried that since the portables remove heat through the keyboard, the iSkin would inhibit this and cause your ‘Book to overheat. I, as well as some other reviewers around the web, can vouch that little, if no change of temperature has occurred.
Our only complaint is that these are a bit on the pricey side. If they were $5-$10 cheaper, it would be a much more attractive product.