First look: Surface Original skins bring an artist's elegance to your favorite Surface

Surface Dbrand Artists
Surface Dbrand Artists (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Coinciding with the launch of Surface Laptop 4, Microsoft also launched its latest ad campaign around the slogan of 'Original by design.'

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

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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

Surface Prox Dbrand Artist

Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

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.

Source: Microsoft (Image credit: Source: Microsoft)

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.

Overall, if you are looking for a way to spice up your Surface Pro, Laptop Go, Surface Go, or Surface Book, these creative skins are easy to recommend.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the 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 watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. 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.