Review – Toast wood cover for Surface Pro 3

When you spend $800 or more on a Surface Pro 3, you want take measures to protect it from harm. But often, a cover makes it heavier, reduces certain functionality or just takes away from the aesthetics of the beautifully-crafted device.

The Toast wood cover for the Surface Pro 3 does nothing of such. Not only does it protect the body while keeping it light and slim, but it also enhances the Surface's form by adding a skin of natural wood.

The case against this 'case'

It is important to start by pointing out that the Toast cover is not a case; it is a stick-on skin constructed of several pieces of real wood. Each panel is laser-cut to fit perfectly over the back, sides, and even the buttons of the tablet to provide a layer of protection from bumps and scratches.

The application of the Toast cover is easy but takes a careful hand. After cleaning the body of the Surface using the included alcohol pad, you simply peel the film from the adhesive backing of the wood and stick it to the corresponding panels of the device.

Though easy in principle, you must be sure to line it up correctly before applying pressure. Once stuck on, it is incredibly difficult to pull off without damaging the thin layer of wood. I slightly misaligned the piece around the audio jack, which then broke when pulling it up to readjust it. Thankfully, it is barely noticeable.

The cover for the back of the Surface is made of two pieces, one for the top and one for the back of the kickstand. This separation allows for the stand to be used through its entire range of motion without interference. There are single panels for the top and left side of the Surface and a two-piece section for the right side. Toast even includes covers for the power and volume buttons.

The result is a fine wood finish over the body of the Surface framed by the thin metallic lines of detail showing through from underneath. The wood and metal combo is reminiscent of a vintage Hi-Fi stereo cabinet or the interior of an antique car.

It has the looks but...

Not only is a Toast-skinned Surface great to look at, but it is very nice to hold. The wooden cover gives the device some added grip and comfortable warmth in hand.

The beauty of the Toast case is undeniable. What is debatable is its effectiveness against damage, but the company itself markets their covers as artistic additions and not protective cases. Still, the wood is durable enough to guard against scratching. If you want anything beyond that, you will be better served looking elsewhere for protection.

Make it yours

To top it all off, Toast also offers custom-engraving on their covers for a negligible $5. You can choose from four locations on the back of the Surface, along with three different sizes of text. It was a no-brainer for me to spring for the custom text.

You can take the personalization even further by contacting them for a custom case based on your own design.

The takeaway

Toast makes a beautiful cover that compliments the Surface Pro 3 mightily. If you are looking for a unique way to dress up your Surface, you just found it. I cannot recommend this cover highly enough, especially for the price.

The Toast wood cover comes in four flavors: Walnut (pictured), Ash, Bamboo, and Ebony. It goes for $44.00 or $49.00 with the personalized custom text. You can get it directly from Toast's website.

Seth Brodeur