Review: RadTech Portectorz

by on August 10, 2005

Every once in awhile, we get a chance to review a product that makes us wonder why nobody else had come up with it before. Although products like iSkin’s ProTouch PB uses silicone to protect the keys, few have used silicone to protect other parts of ‘Books, mostly because it blocks heat dissipation. Cleverly, RadTech has utilized this rubber to protect something often damaged on laptops, but sometimes overlooked—the ports.

With a starting price tag of nearly $20, the Portectorz has some sticker shock associated with it. Once you get past that, there are many qualities worth noting.

Portectorz
Portectorz

Portectorz
Portectorz + iBook

Portectorz
Portectorz (Peeled Off)

The Portectorz are available for only certain Apple notebooks: 12″/14″ iBooks, 12″ PowerBooks (DVI models only), 15″ PowerBooks, and 17″ PowerBooks. The thin strips cover and practically “seal” the ports on one or both sides of your computer (depending on your machine). Most ports (ethernet, modem, video, audio, USB, FireWire) are covered, and on some the cable lock slot.

Made in Japan, using a Uni-die molding process (to prevent seams), the Portectorz certain look good while keeping your computer safe in those tough environments. Since they only add a few millimeters to the side(s) of your computer, you can still continue to use your existing laptop case.

There are quite a few ways to use the Portectorz—the first is by merely slapping it over the ports on your computer. Little nubs fit each port rather snugly, and should do a good job of keeping them protected from random things floating around your desk, computer bag, or backpack. The second method would be used for when you want to use a particular port—unplug part of the Portectorz and curl it around, so that you can access one or two ports, while not removing it completely. Finally, the third way involves the best of both worlds—cutting the Portectorz into sections that can be removed independently (you can even do this for each port). This will allow you to remove only the ones you want, while still protecting the others.

In our tests, the Portectorz worked as expected on an iBook, although the cover was a bit looser on the audio and video ports than the FireWire, ethernet, and modem ports.

Obviously the price will steer some away, and we feel that most laptop bags and just basic care when using an iBook or PowerBook will prevent problems from happening for most users, but those who want just a bit more in less-than-forgiving environments will find the Portectorz well worth the price. Now, if only there was one for the Mac mini…


The One-Sentence Verdict™

RadTech has done a great job creating yet another simple, but well-designed portable accessory, although the price might steer some away.

Pros: Protects ports on iBooks or PowerBooks, aesthetically matches

Cons: Expensive, some covers fit better on some ports than others

The Facts

3.5/5Product: Portectorz
Company: RadTech
Platform: Mac (iBook/PowerBook)
Price: $19.95-$23.95

This post has been filed in 'Book Accessories and Reviews