iSkin First Impressions

To further my recent coverage of iPhone case reviews I’ve acquired a small bounty of protective items not only for the iPhone 3g but for the MacBook.

In the MacBook corner we have the absolutely beautiful iSkin SOHO designed to birth a 13″ MacBook in luxurious comfort. Complementing this is the iSkin ProTouch Keyboard Protector for iBook, Powerbook G4 and MacBook Pro.

For the iPhone 3g we have two cases: the iSkin Revo 2 “Premium Silicone Protector” and the iSkin Solo “Flexible Slim-Fitting BodyGuard”

The iSkin SOHO is a great protective case for slipping into a bag or carrying under an arm. It has no handle, strap or pockets and is designed to offer your MacBook a high degree of no-frills, all-round protection. I’m very impressed with the tasteful leather finish and stitching. The case, when closed and empty, is very sturdy. It’s obvious from first looks that it’s going to effectively protect the MacBook from knocks when it’s inside a rucksack or shoulder bag.

It’s also possible to use the MacBook when it’s inside the SOHO. Elastic straps on the top of the case will anchor it to the lid of the MacBook, letting you open it up and get computing immediately. Very useful if you keep your computer turned on in a constant sleep for quick email checks and other tasks. It’ll also act as a barrier for heat, but I can’t help but be somewhat concerned that the MacBook might overheat when heavily used inside it.

The ProTouch Keyboard Protector is a peculiar object. It does precisely what it says on the tin; I can only describe it as a “keyboard condom.” It is, however, a little bit uncomfortable to use when placed upon the keyboard and comes folded in the pack, so it has retained a couple of kinks which prevent it fitting as snugly as it otherwise could. There’s no doubt, however, that it will prevent dirt, dust, hairs and other crap from finding its way beneath the keyboard. It even has a lip around the edge to protect the gap around the keys.

I am in two minds about the iSkin Revo 2 “Premium Silicone Protector”: on one hand it offers a very high degree of protection, on the other its not the most attractive case in the world.

Not only does the silicone case include flaps that protect the docking port and headphone jack from dust and grime. It also boasts a solid plastic, clip-on screen protector that snaps over the silicone case, protecting the iPhone screen from all manner of pointy objects that it might come into contact with in a bag or pocket. When you want to use the iPhone touch screen you simply pop off the protective shield and clip it onto the back of the case. This has the added benefit of making the back of the iPhone and case combination perfectly flat… so it doesn’t rock about when you use it upon a table. Nifty!

Finally the Revo 2 comes with a screen protector that protects only the touchable area on the front of the iPhone. This is the one I chose to apply after fighting for a half hour with the full coverage protector from the other case package.

The iSkin Solo “Flexible Slim-Fitting BodyGuard” is a much more rigid case than the Revo 2. If offers protection of the power and volume buttons, but does not cover the dock or headphone ports.

Because the front of the iSkin Solo doesn’t cover any of the iPhone front this package comes with a screen protector that, in theory, does the job. I had a nightmare attempting to affix this to the screen, I managed to get dirt and dust everywhere.

One notable thing about the screen protector, however, is that it does not use adhesive to stick to the front of the iPhone. I actually washed the screen protector with soap and water in an attempt to remove the dust and grime it had lifted from my iPhone screen. This attempt was successful but, unfortunately, tap water leaves a residue on the protector when it dries.

I’ll be cranking out separate and more detailed reviews of these products soon. If you’re looking for a Silicone case in the mean time then the Revo 2 Silicone Protector is actually a pretty good option. Not only is it the most protective silicone case I’ve tried so far but it’s useful for keeping the iPhone stable on a table and the included screen protector does a really good job of preventing fingerprints and smudges showing up in addition to its protection of the screen.

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