Concluding my series on what it's like to add Toast wood covers to all my Surface devices is the Surface Pro with LTE and the custom Toast wood cover in bamboo.
Toast cover for Surface Pro: What it is
Toast is a small company based in Portland, Ore. They make all sorts of custom covers for tablets, laptops, and phones out of real wood.
The Toast cover sticks with 3M tape but is easily removed (well, relatively, and you won't damage your device either).
The Microsoft Surface Pro is the most popular of the Surface series. As a result, Toast makes covers for all models including every original Surface up through version three, and every Surface Pro model up through version five (a.k.a. Surface Pro 2017).
For this review, I'm using the cover on the new Surface Pro with LTE. Here is what is included in the kit:
- Back cover (split into two halves).
- Three sides.
- Covers for volume and power buttons.
That kit costs $49. For an extra $5, Toast will cut out the Microsoft logo and for another $5 the company can add some custom text.
Interestingly, there is also an optional wood panel for all of Microsoft's Type Covers. These come in the same four matching wood options but have no engraving. They cost $19 and while I thought it was weird – after all, it must stick to the bottom, fuzzy part of the keyboard – I opted to buy one to see what it was like.
For another $15, you can get a matching front panel to go around the Surface Pro's display. However, as I prefer the blackout look of the current Surface Pro bezel, I chose not to add that to my review.
There are also four types of wood to choose from, including ash, bamboo, walnut, and ebony, and four unique fonts for the optional custom text.
Surface Pro LTE's unique headphone conundrum solved
Installing the Toast cover for Surface Pro was a breeze with a few long strips for the sides and the two panels for the back. Total installation took about 15 minutes, which was a lot less than Surface Book 2.
However, I quickly discovered something new. The Surface Pro with LTE's headphone jack is a few millimeters lower than the non-LTE variant. This shift makes some sense as behind that 3.5mm jack sits the new LTE modem. As a result, the cutout for the jack was slightly off-center.
I quickly contacted Toast with some sample photos and comparisons. That was all they needed, and within five days they had a replacement piece for me. The new version – which is now shipping – has a longer headphone cutout that accommodates either model. That means it looks slightly off-center now, but it cuts down on costs since there is no need to keep two versions (plus, the LTE model likely has fewer sales than the non-LTE version).
Type Cover panel is worth it
I bought the additional Type Cover wood panel assuming I wouldn't like it, but it is great for people who desire a complete wood finish. The panel sticks to the bottom of the Surface Type cover using the same 3M tape. There is also a single strip that goes near the back. In the last two weeks, it hasn't come off or loosened.
The wood panel on the Type Cover makes it a bit heavier (almost twice the weight of the thin keyboard), but it also feels sturdier to type on and has a nice thud when opened.
Texture-wise, it also feels more consistent with smooth wood on the back and bottom covers.
Surface Pro + Toast juxtaposes tech with nature
I did not see any degradation in my LTE signal using the Toast cover, nor would I expect any.
Regarding quality, service, and value, does an excellent job. Not only have they consistently delivered on all three products I bought, but even when something was wrong, they very quickly resolved it to my satisfaction.
The Toast Surface Pro cover is a good one. I like the bamboo color, which doesn't contrast too much with the silver chassis. It also has a nicer texture than the ash wood I used for Surface Book 2.
- High quality, real wood cover.
- Easy to apply and precisely cut.
- Many options.
- Helps protect from scratches or cover existing ones.
- Adds bulk to the Surface Pro.
The Surface Pro is already light and thin. Adding a Toast cover – even with the optional Type Cover panel – does not drastically alter the feel of the Surface Pro. There is some added weight, which is a concern, but it is not nearly as dramatic as it was with the larger Surface Book 2.
If you are interested in this cover, order it in walnut or bamboo, opt for the $5 Microsoft logo cutout (which looks great), and maybe consider the Type Cover panel as well.
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