When it comes to skins to protect or customize your hardware, few other brands stand out like dbrand. The company is now running a special, limited-edition skin made from genuine leather, available in three different hues.
We were recently sent in samples for the Surface Pro 8 and, quite frankly, if you're OK with putting "dead cow" on your 2-in-1, you're going to love what dbrand has done here.
The skin is uncomplicated. There are three colorways, including black, brown, and tan, with a price tag of $50. That's more expensive than the typical skins, but these are thicker and made from "100% authentic, full-grain, vegetable-tanned cowhide," which justifies the cost.
Currently, you can pick up the skin for Surface Pro 8, X, 7, 6, 2017, and Surface Pro 4. There are also skins for the Xbox Series X too. You can also get the skins for your smartphones, including iPhone, Samsung, OnePlus, Google, and more.
Dbrand goes on to note that these skins aren't like the typical vinyl ones the company sells, providing some installation advice and what to expect:
- After installation, take a few minutes to really rub-down the edges with the included color-matched microfiber cloth. This process will smooth down the border of the leather and make it feel like it's melting into your device. As a result of the leather's thickness, without smoothing it down, you may find an unpleasant sharp border on the skin. This sharp edge will disappear entirely and permanently - just needs to be rubbed away with the microfiber.
- Scratches and marks are normal. Over time, as the leather collects natural oils, these scratches will disappear and form a timeworn patina. Attached are a few images to give you an idea of how that before/after will look. You can kickstart the process by rubbing away at any scratches with your thumb. While we do plan to release a "Leather Care Kit" in the near future, the natural oils from your hand are the key to this patina process.
Putting them on our Surface Pro 8, you can see just how thick the skins are, although it is not something you notice once installed. The texture and smoothness are simply unmatched compared to vinyl as they have a warmer feel.
Installation is super simple. Just align the skin with the camera and microphone holes on top and the Surface logo on the bottom. Dbrand's use of 3M ensures these will adhere very well after it settles on the device, but if you need to lift it off and correct that is not a problem either. Indeed, I could swap out skins on the fly during the photo shoot without a hitch.
If you have a black Surface device, my advice is to go with black or brown leather, whereas tan may look better on platinum laptops. Of course, the baller move is to split the skin like in the photo above, where one half is black, and the other is brown.
Overall, these are, pardon the pun, killer skins. The idea that these skins will age and patina just like boots or jeans is also a nice bonus.
We hear dbrand has plans for more devices, too, including Surface Duo 2, which is something we're looking forward to trying as that is a combo made for each other.
Just remember, you have less than 18 days to order these before they're gone, as this is a limited run. Also, please don't buy these for your vegan friends unless you really hate them.
Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.
I wish they had them for the Surface Laptop Studio. I would have bought them.
They may. They're doing more runs, I'm told, for other devices including Surface Go and Surface Duo. We'll see what happens.
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