The Microsoft Surface Laptop is arguably one of the most beautiful PCs on the market today (though not the cheapest, or most powerful). All that flair though comes at a heavy price: it's prone to scratches.
I speak from experience, having scratched a burgundy Surface Laptop that Microsoft sent for review, and then recently denting my personal cobalt blue one. To put it mildly, you need to baby the Surface Laptop if you want it to remain pristine.
Luckily, Toast offers its famous wood covers for the entire Surface line to hide my shame. I last reviewed Toast in 2014 with a Surface Pro 3, but I wanted to see how it looks on the Surface Laptop.
Toast makes covers for Surface Pro, Surface Laptop, and the entire Surface Book line (including the new 13- and 15-inch models). They also make the covers for the HP Spectre x360, Lenovo X1, Razer Blade, and even Dell's XPS line.
Ordering is simple. Pick one of four types of wood (walnut, ash, bamboo, or ebony) and then choose your options. Pricing starts around $50, but that's just for the top cover. Additional choices include the bottom half, around the display bezel, and the keyboard deck.
Toast uses lasers to etch on the covers too. For an extra $5 they will cut out the Microsoft logo to let the mirrored symbol shine through. The company also offers custom engraving on either half of the cover with four font choices and three text sizes.
Admittedly, the toughest part is picking the wood type to go with your PC. All four choices look tremendous, but they will contrast differently with your Surface's base color.
Maxing out a Toast wood cover with all the options can run well past $100. That's a lot of cash, but remember, this isn't just some vinyl sticker. Toast uses real wood precisely cut for your device.
Toast is based out of Portland, Oregon. My custom Toast cover arrived about a week after I ordered it. Communication during the process was excellent with a dispatch notice keeping me aware of its status. The packaging was also excellent, keeping the cover protected during transit.
Applying the Toast wood cover is straightforward especially with the well-documented instructions included in the box. Dry run the pieces first and when ready peel off the 3M tape and apply to the Surface Laptop (wiping down with alcohol beforehand helps too).
Putting the Toast wood cover on the Surface Laptop felt very much like putting a LEGO kit together. Each corner, strip, or top fit together like blocks. The total installation took about thirty minutes and was relatively stress-free. If part of the kit was misapplied, it was easy to pull up and reapply as the 3M tape takes a few hours before it adheres.
Unlike applying a wet-skin like Skinomi, there was no need to let the Toast dry or settle overnight.
I opted not to install the Toast keyboard deck cover. Sticking 3M tape to the Alcantara Surface Laptop seemed odd to me, and more importantly, I didn't care for the look as I wanted to leave some of the Laptop's signature blue color remain.
I'd be remiss to also not mention the cover smells great.
I was expecting to be impressed by the Toast cover. After all, the company has been around since 2012 and now make wood covers for tablets, laptops, and even phones. They've earned a lot of dedicated fans.
I love this Toast cover for the Surface Laptop. Setting aside that it hid my shameful dent in the lid, I adore the design, look, and color contrast with the cobalt blue.
I'm particularly impressed with how the Toast cover rounded the edges of the Surface Laptop. I also recommend doing the Surface logo cut out for that extra five bucks. Not only did it make aligning the cover during installation much more comfortable, but it looks fantastic when contrasted with the wood.
While it is a costly option to protect your Surface PC, I felt I got my money's worth with Toast. The ordering process was great, the item is custom made and shipped appropriately, and the end-result is outstanding.
Plus, I should be able to remove the cover if I ever change my mind (though I doubt I will).
If you're looking for a way to make your Surface or premium Windows laptop stand out while adding some class, I can recommend the Toast wood cover. I like it so much I just ordered one for the Surface Pro with LTE and Surface Book 2 15-inch.
- High quality, custom made, real wood cover.
- Easy to apply and precisely cut.
- Many options.
- Helps protect from scratches or cover existing ones.
- Alcantara cover option seems weird.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.