While there have been new ads, including one taking on Apple, there is also a more subtle 'Redesign your Surface' program that is out there too. The website has Microsoft partnering with dbrand and artists for some very creative skins.
I ordered up two of the skins, and here are some photos of how they look and what we love.
Surface Duo: Marcus Rivero
For my Surface Duo I wanted something with more punch (I'm also a sucker for the blue vs. orange palette).
In a deeper dive into Marcus Rivero, the artist behind the piece, Microsoft notes that this "Surface design embodies his signature style with bright, air-brushed colors, and pays homage to his process of experimenting with bold new mediums."
I like this skin a lot, especially as we head into summer, where the colors give a warmer vibe. It also nicely matches the "ice" Surface Duo bumper I've been using.
Dbrand is generous here, too, offering two skins for the rear of Surface Duo depending if you use the bumper or not.
Note: due to the thickness of the 3M skins, using a bumper is advised if you reverse-fold Surface Duo.
Installation is fast and easy. Line up the Surface logo with the skin, and you're good to go.
Design and installation: A+
Surface Pro X: Brooke Shaden
Surface Pro X (SQ2) in platinum already gorgeous looking, so for this, I didn't want a skin that drastically altered the appearance. I also wanted one that would match my 'ice' Type Cover.
The Brooke Shaden skin is fabulous. From the description: "Using film negatives as a nod to Brooke's art, this piece embraces her ability to reshape the physical world into an entirely new creation."
I love this design. Indeed, I am curious how it would look on Surface Duo with a grey bumper. It is a subtle design, but it also adds depth. I love the juxtaposition of nature and technology, but also the tones that this utilizes. It's both techy with the markers and corners yet natural with the shadowed leaves.
Installation is also effortless. Dbrand uses two pieces for each half of Surface Pro X. Like Surface Duo, align the skin with the logo, and it lays down perfectly. For the second skin, starting with centering it around the camera and rear microphone, lets you get perfect placement.
Design and installation: A+
Surface Originals: Final thoughts
These new skins are not low-cost. Surface Duo is around $26, while a Surface Book 3 skin runs you $50. But I imagine a good chunk of that money goes to the artist, which I support, and dbrand easily makes the highest-quality skins around with excellent and robust packaging to prevent damage during transit.
Besides the two skins shown here, there are five others. One is dbrand's own black and white fractalesque design, which is captivating (and my next choice) along with the stunning 'black and purple' piece by Collete Davis.
My only gripe with these skins is the website itself, which is a total nightmare for navigation. While it's pretty looking, there is just too much going on, making it difficult to get to the actual skins section to order.
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 loaded up https://www.weareoriginalbydesign.com/ Am I crazy or is that site harder to navigate then it should be???
100 percent it is hard to navigate and very weirdly designed.
I get the intent, but I find it kind of pointless nonetheless. It's an extremely limited selection of designs, and it's really just an extension of buying skins from dbrand. I don't get why they aren't just on dbrand's site directly. The site borders on unusable, its design is so terrible. I would like if they had partnered with dbrand for something more akin to the Xbox Design Lab, where you have more options (as dbrand's main site does), with these featured artists displayed prominently. This solution is just weird and not implemented well at all.
When I first got the Duo, I bought about 6-8 different color skins (as I'm not a big fan of white devices).
I used about 3 of them (with & without the bumpers) but I eventually went back to running it naked because it just feels better in my hand & I've never broke or cracked a phone. That being said, the idea of slapping on a thin piece of vinyl that can have ANY image or color you want is WAY more appealing to me than putting a big cumbersome case on it especially when looking for customization over protection. Side note- if you like changing skins regularly, keep a piece of glass to put the used skins on & they stay fairly re-usable
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