Surface Book Toast Wood cover review: Protect your laptop in style – PCWorld

Only two kinds of electronic devices exist in this world: the kind that have been scratched and the kind that are gonna get scratched.

A scratch or nick on your budget laptop may not bug you, but on your pristine $1,900 brushed-aluminum Microsoft Surface Book… that hurts.

Enter Toast’s custom wood covers. Long available for most models of Apple laptops, as well as the Surface Pro line, Toast’s covers now also fit the Surface Book.

The Toast covers come in walnut, ash, and “ebony” wood veneers, as well as bamboo. And if you care about such things, the company says the wood is sourced from responsibly managed forests in North America, while the bamboo is from sustainable sources in Asia.

A full kit for the Surface Book can cover the top, the bottom, the sides, and the keyboard deck. Toast sells the pieces separately, which may seem annoying if you expect a full set, but it means you can buy replacement sections, too. (Amazon sells all the parts together for $105).

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The Surface Book kit I installed included a top, bottom, and keyboard deck cover.

The wood and bamboo sticks to your laptop using a super-strong 3M adhesive. Different sections appeared to use different strengths of adhesive—I’m guessing because some parts may be more prone to detachment. Should you choose to remove part of the cover, tiny holes punched into the adhesive make that possible. You just need to first heat up the attached cover with a hair dryer.

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Don’t be disturbed by the little holes in the adhesive backing—they’re there to make removal possible.

Installation

If you’re the kind of person who drinks 10 cups of coffee a day and never, ever successfully put the decals on your model battleship, this process may not be for you. You need fairly steady hands, patience, and maybe 30 minutes so you can relax while doing the job.

Before you apply the cover, you’ll want to clean the entire laptop. Toast includes two alcohol wipes for this, but to me that seems like wishful thinking. Unless your laptop is brand-new, it’s likely covered with fingerprints and strawberry-jam smears, and may need more intensive cleaning than two tiny wipes can handle. I ended up digging into my own stash of alcohol wipes and burning four of them as well before I was satisfied that I had removed enough of the grime. This is an important step, especially on the smaller sections, as fingerprint oils will prevent the adhesive from bonding to the surface.

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