The latest unibody aluminum MacBooks are fantastic, and I truly love mine, but I found out quickly that the aluminum surface doesn’t take kindly to scratching. Within the first week of owning it, I had an inch long nick in the top cover…it mocks me daily. […]

The latest unibody aluminum MacBooks are fantastic, and I truly love mine, but I found out quickly that the aluminum surface doesn’t take kindly to scratching. Within the first week of owning it, I had an inch long nick in the top cover…it mocks me daily. So finding some adhesive skin options to protect my precious has become a major todo list item.

Below is a listing of seven different lines of laptop skins that are sure to keep your precious MacBook safe from scratches.

GelaSkins & Infectious

The usual suspects seem to be GelaSkins and Infectious (see disclosure at bottom). Both have some incredible artists delivering stunning designs, and both offer skins for a number of different devices (iPod, iPhone, MacBooks, Wallpaper graphics, etc) to suit nearly anyone’s needs. The 13″ MacBook skins run $30 at both sites. (Though iPhone skins are $10 instead of $15 at Infectious.)


iamhuman has a relatively limited number of designs, but they are very clean. The stylization of the iamhuman skins is top notch — these are definitely a bit more my style. They sport some lovely wood-grain designs if you’re into that kind of thing. A stand-out feature is the cutout so you can still proudly display the Apple logo. Prices range from $30-$45 and they work for Apple and PC notebooks alike.


Similar to iamhuman skins, Macvatar also has the Apple logo cutout in their skins. Unfortunately their designs are extremely limited at only 6 options. These skins price at $25, making them the cheapest options yet for protecting the outer shell of your MacBook.


Skinizi designs are slightly edgier, though I really like their comic-looking cityscapes. They offer skins for laptops, iPod/iPhone, and Nintendo DS. Prices are 25 Euro, which is around US$31 currently.


Going the distance it seems, is iStyles, which sells its protective skin designs for $25, and you not only get the top cover, but also a wrist rest skin too. Pretty decent deal! The designs are all over the board, so you can probably find something you’ll like. iStyles also offers skins for several different electronics if you’re in the market.


Probably least to the point of what I was looking for — yet pretty cool — are the offerings at SkinStyler. They only make wrist rest and trackpad skins. As for me, I’m not sure I’d love the trackpad skin. The organic style of the wrist rest skins however are pretty cool — especially on the black MacBooks.


If you’ve got first hand experience with any of these products, or know of some other options that people should check out, share the wealth below in the comments.

Disclosure: Infectious is backed by True Ventures, which is also an investor in Giga Omni Media, the parent company of this network. Giga Omni Media founder Om Malik is a venture partner with True Ventures.

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  1. I’ve got a full body skin from http://www.bestskinsever.com on my 15″ Unibody, and I couldn’t be happier. It’s clear, so it gives the body a clear-coat like glossy finish. The kit comes with pieces to cover almost all of the exposed aluminum on the machine. It fully covers the bottom of the laptop, which is much more important than the lid to me, since dirty table tops are the most likely places to pick up scratches. It’s a great option if you don’t want to put graphics on your machine, but you still want the protect the case.

  2. You should check out the ulrasuede skins at schtickers.com http://www.schtickers.com/catalog/index.php?cPath=53 I got the light blue one with the apple cut out and man is it amazing!

    I love it!


  3. I had a bright pink Gelaskin cover on my white plastic Macbook (late 2007 version) and I loved it. It always caught atterntion and it was a good protection tool against little scratches. My new MacBook Pro is still boring grey and naked. But I’ll try to personalize it some time soon. You can take a look at this happy couple together. Pink Macbook really stands out.


    Recently I wrote a post in my blog about different covers you can buy to give your mac some colour and prepare it for spring. It’s all in Russian though. But if you are interested you can take a look at the pictures and click the links.


    I really liked cute textile cases I found on flickr. I would love to make something like that to my MBP. http://www.flickr.com/photos/fernfiddlehead/sets/72157601025741549/

  4. While practical the problem with these “skins” is that they are mostly naff. The same applies with the iPhone and iPod. I get torn between wanting to keep my expensive equipment looking fresh and being able to admire Apple’s industrial design.

    I have yet to see a design or silicone skin that looks any good. For example the ones featured in the screen shot are shockingly bad. And if you are a Mac user chances are you care a modicum about aesthetics.

  5. Any good resources for doing a custom design of your own onto a cover? I would love to do my own logo or something like that. Could be cool, but I don’t want to commit to having 15 or more skins made.

  6. Jesus Franco Monday, March 16, 2009

    @ Zoolander, yea there are a few actually.

    I recomend skinit.com,
    my previous employer (Mohegun Sun) slaps it’s logo on every employee laptop and to be honest it might be the highest quality skin I’ve ever seen in person. Their prices are not that far off from buying a skin that isn’t customized. Skinit’s print quality has to be almost as good as car decals and stuff, it’s insane. And a lot more affordable then getting a paint job.

  7. Scott Rafferty Thursday, April 2, 2009

    I recommend MacStyles. All of the designs are cut out of solid colors. The designs are mostly simplistic but still make a bold statement. They also have MacPad, which are skins for around the keyboard.

  8. Robert Oleysyck Saturday, April 18, 2009

    I really like the style of the designs at iamhuman, but they don’t make any of them for the 17″ MacBook Pro. Boooooo!

  9. iToppers.com also makes skins for MacBooks and they are priced really well. They were one of the first on the market and they have some fun and unique designs — I like the tie-dye frog. You can have custom skins made from your own artwork and you get two copies for the same price others charge for one (in case you mess up installation or it gets scratched in time).

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