When it comes to permanently safeguarding your laptop you really only have three choices:
- Stop eating and drinking around your comp (not gonna happen!)
- Be a Zen master when your Big Gulp destroys your new MacBook Pro (no thanks!)
- Sacrifice a bit of the typing convenience laptops provide by putting a translucent protective cover on it (hmmm not thrilled about that but I want to know more!)
Keyboard covers are single-layer translucent sheaths that are molded to fit snugly over a laptop’s keys. Protecting from dust and particles is a nice side benefit, but covering up the liquid escape routes that lead to the laptop’s motherboard is the main attraction, offering permanent protection for those of us who are a bit more, uhmmm, generous when it comes to beverages.
And since people protect Macs like their firstborn, Apple users will naturally have a greater selection to choose from, with a few clear favorites leading the way:
KB Covers is the industry standard for translucent silicone based keyboard covers.
Moshi offers a non-silicone option. They use 0.1mm thermoplastic urethane.
Kuzy offers low-priced silicone options with one main difference, they print keys directly onto the keyboard covers.
PC users have less selection to choose from. You’ll find some generic silicone skins on Amazon for Lenovo, HP, and Dell — and you’ll also have the option of buying directly from your comp manufacturer. Here’s a list of options for Lenovo users. (Note: use caution when matching skin to your comp model).
But most importantly, we want our readers to know that user feedback for each of these protective covers is all over the map, usually dependent on which camp the user comes from:
- Joe ‘Two Finger Peck’ types half an email a day and looks confused when you ask if his productivity has suffered since buying his keyboard cover.
- Stephen King is seething because he would have cranked out another novel by dinnertime if it weren’t for this troublesome silicone disc between him and his VISION.
That is the main trade-off to consider. How important is your current typing speed and efficiency to you? How willing are you to adapt to a slightly different typing feel in exchange for a safer environment?
So to say Your Mileage May Vary when it comes to protective keyboard covers is putting it mildly. I mean, we get it, it would be great to put a snug protective film over the top of your laptop so that it could NEVER be ruined. Thats why this growing side industry shows no signs of slowing down. But the truth is….there’s a trade-off. It’s just a question of how important that trade-off is to you.
But don’t forget, it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing choice within the first ten minutes of buying it. Keyboard covers slide on and off easily, so you can use them in certain situations but not in others. Typing in a protected environment and want to bang out an essay? No problem, take off the keyboard cover. Sitting at the kitchen table surrounded by 3-year-old spill monsters? Slide it on for some much needed peace of mind.
One final note: please take great care in matching up the keyboard cover with your laptop model. With so many keyboard variations out there, we don’t you to spend time researching and then order a skin that doesn’t fit. Good luck!