Thursday, September 6, 2007

Review: Shieldzone's invisible shield for the Macbook (full body version)

Der deutsche Testbericht ist hier.
Giveaway contest of one set

Material: Plastic skin that has been originally developed to protect rotator blades of helicopters.

Product: Full Body Version for the Macbook 13.3” consisting of eight separate shields.


Shieldzone's products are famous for being indestructible and if I remember correctly it all started out with skins for the iPod. Now they have grown immensely as a company and offer many shields for different products including cell phones, watches, laptops, iPods, etc. just to name a few.

The package

My invisible shield arrived well packaged in a carton roll and this roll was packed into another package with air cushions to prevent any damage that might occur during shipment. I have to give the highest grades for packaging.

The contents

Besides the shield itself the package included two bottles of application solution, a plastic squeegee and a detailed instruction on how to apply the shields in English (maybe in time there will be instructions also available in other languages as well?). For more pictures please check out my post regarding unpacking pictures of the invisible shield that can be found here.

The application of the shields

Now it is time to describe how the shields are applied to your precious Macbook.
Before starting I recommend to clean your Macbook. Please check out my cleaning tutorial also before starting the application process.
  • First you have to wash your hands thoroughly to prevent getting dirt on your shields.
  • The second step is to wet your finger tips with the included custom application solution. Then you peel off the shield and spray in both sides with the solution as well (I recommend using rather a lot of the solution).
  • After the shield is soaked you put the shield on the surface you wish to protect and thanks to the liquid on the shields you are able to slide the shields very easily to have them aligned perfectly.
  • Once the shields are in place you have to squeeze out the liquid beneath the shields with the squeegee. I recommend starting in the middle of the shields and working your way out to the edges. Do not forget to wipe off the liquid that is being squeezed out at the edges to prevent it from getting into your Macbook.
  • If you see any bubbles you have overlooked it is possible to remove the shield to try again, however I recommend to be extra cautious on the first try already because by removing the shields it is possible that they might get stretched.
  • After the shields are applied you need to let the Macbook rest in place for 24 hrs. I have used my Macbook during this period without any consequences though (I haven't moved the Macbook; just used it at home). By letting the Macbook rest any small bubbles that might have been impossible to squeeze out will disappear.
This was the final step and if you did everything accordingly your shields should be applied perfectly without any big bubbles.

A few extra tips that I have to give for the whole application process that I found useful are:
  • Start off with the bottom shields; those shields are not visible like the others and you can use them as your “practice shields”.
  • As for the palmrest and trackpad shields please be extra careful with the solution. Wipe off any liquid immediately to prevent any damage to the trackpad.
  • Regarding the shield for the lid I recommend applying it with another person because that one sure is the toughest to apply. It is easier if there is another person who can tell you if everything is aligned correctly. As for the squeezing process start off at the apple logo and work yourself to the edges.
  • Last but not least remove the battery during the application process and take your Macbook off the power cord.

The feel and the looks of the shields

I do like the looks of the shields. It is obvious that you have skins applied to your Macbook but I do not find it ugly at all. My favorite shield is the palmrest ones. They prevent any discoloring effects that might occur to unprotected Macbooks. As for the trackpad shields some people might have trouble with the shields because it is harder to slide your finger on it once the shield is applied. I recommend to any trackpad acrobats to maybe leave the trackpad unprotected. In my case I have a VX revolution mouse I take everywhere so that is no problem for me. One thing that is unavoidable however is that some dust elements get beneath the shields during the application process and they are visible (especially on the white Macbooks I guess). But if you are careful you can minimize the risk of trapping any big dirt elements beneath the shields.

Final thoughts

All in all I am very impressed by the shields. They really are tough and can take a lot of abuse without breaking (check out my strength test). And should they be damaged by accident, shieldzone offers a lifetime guarantee on the shields and replaces them in return for a small handling fee (2,95$). One small complain I have is the fact that the edges of the Macbook are not protected by the shields but I guess that it is close to impossible to protect the side where all the ports are placed. Maybe in the future the shieldzone people will come up with a solution to protect the edges as well. Many of you readers may complain about the rather high pricing compared to other vendors but I think the price is justified. You get the toughest skin out there (probably) and you have a lifetime guarantee. The support of the company is excellent and the price tag should be no problem really if you spend 1000$ and more on a Macbook.



Chris said...

I agree wholeheartedly. If we're spending $1200+ on a Macbook/Macbook Pro an extra $50 to keep it safe shouldn't be an issue. Nice work on the review.

Iphonesia said...

Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
thank you :)