1. Jason Cockerham's Avatar
    Something magical has happened. My boring, metal, gray MacBook Pro has been transformed into a leather covered thing of beauty. What was an admittedly not ugly but certainly not exciting laptop now looks and feels like a genuine leather notebook. And it’s all because of Toast.

    Let’s Take it From the Top

    Toast is an Oregon-based company known for making absolutely gorgeous skins and covers for phones, laptops, and other devices out of wood and leather. There are several different colors and combinations and you can even customize the skins with your own text or designs. The whole point is that they add an incredibly beautiful and unique look to your devices while keeping it safe from scratches and dings and are good for the planet.

    Win win win.

    I’ve been a huge fan of Toast for a while and have gotten to review their products a few times over the years, but this is the first time I’ve gotten to look at their leather skins. And that’s a big deal for me because as those of you who might have seen some of my other reviews will know, I love leather. It’s weird I know, but I love leather products. Leather wallets, leather phone cases, leather notebooks, and now, thanks to Toast, a leather MacBook Pro.

    Look, Design, and Feel

    In case you weren’t paying attention until this very sentence, this skin is made out of leather. I got the Whiskey color (cuz I mean, why not?) and it’s a beautiful rustic brown color that I’m already a fan of. I received both the top and bottom cover which I highly recommend and as per usual, the attention to detail for this skin is incredible.

    [REVIEW] Toast Leather MacBook Pro Cover-top.jpg

    It’s really quite thin which I love cuz it doesn’t add a ton of bulk to an already large computer and the cutouts for the screws on the bottom and the way it folds so perfectly right up against the curves on the edges is just cool. I really can’t say enough about how well it’s executed.

    [REVIEW] Toast Leather MacBook Pro Cover-left-side.jpg
    [REVIEW] Toast Leather MacBook Pro Cover-right-side.jpg
    [REVIEW] Toast Leather MacBook Pro Cover-front.jpg

    This Whiskey color also works really well with my Space Gray MacBook Pro. I thought at first it might look at bit weird, but it actually looks fine. In truth though, you don’t really ever see the two colors at the same time because the skin covers the whole laptop and when you open it, you don’t see it. So really, you'll only ever just barely see them overlap if you look at it from the side.

    And since this is real leather, it feels like real leather. Which, I mean, is awesome. Who doesn’t love the feel of genuine leather?

    Applying the Skin

    So, I’m definitely a bit OCD about gadgets. The slightest little scratch or anything will annoy the crap out of me and that same mentality stretches to skins and screen protectors. If there’s even one speck of dust under my screen protector after I apply it, it’s like nails on a chalkboard to me.

    When applying skins, I’m always incredibly nervous that I won’t align it right and it will be just a hair off and drive me crazy. And with a large skin like the one for my 16-inch MacBook Pro, I was definitely freaking out about having to put it on.

    Thankfully, the application went incredibly smoothly and I was able to get it on without much of a hitch. The only reason I say “much” is because I did have to peel it up just a bit after I started to realign it, but then it was smooth like butter.

    Toast makes this process as easy as they can by adding some small guidelines on the inside of the skin and the 3M sticky stuff on the back can actually be peeled off once or twice during the application without losing its adhesiveness. Now once it’s on, you can’t pull it off and reuse it, but you get a couple lives trying to get it on.

    The bottom was a bit easier than the top as I had the screw holes to align it with. For both pieces, I started by peeling the back off about 1/4 of the way, then laying on the computer and aligning it properly, then slowly peeling the rest of the back off as I laid it down. I don't know if it was my technique or the glass of whiskey I drank to calm my hands, but it worked surprisingly well.

    Functionality

    Ok so it may seem kind of superfluous to discuss the functionality of a skin - it’s a skin, it keeps your stuff clean, but it is a tad more interesting than that. Most importantly, it does keep your computer safe from those pesky coffee shop table tops and any miscellaneous gear floating around your bag or car.

    That being said, a case, it is not. Don’t go throwing it against your wall or anything. Well, I guess you can, but don’t blame me or Toast when it shatters.

    Anyway, it does a great job at keeping it safe from the minor wear and tear but it also does it in style. Since this is real leather, you can see all the little scratches that get into the leather. Now you might think that’s the exact opposite of what you want, but any true leatherhead will tell you that those little scratches will disappear over time, and they also work to add some beautiful character to your skin.

    Leather is one of those fun things that gets better with age. Not only does it gain character, but genuine leather actually patinas over time. That’s what happens when a nice whiskey-brown leather like this one slowly turns to a darker brown over time. It’s a really neat effect of leather and I can’t wait to see what this skin looks like in 6 months.

    The Toast Experience

    Now, of course, Toast is not the only skin in the uhh...skin game (sorry). There are plenty of other companies that will sell you nice stickers for your computer that do mostly the same thing these skins will.

    What makes a Toast skin different is firstly that it’s made from all natural materials – wood or leather. I honestly don’t know of any other company that does this or certainly that does it this well. These skins are incredibly thin while still maintaining the beauty and stability you’d expect from natural materials like this. That is Toast’s secret sauce – ridiculously thin and perfect cut skins that are made out of gorgeous, all natural materials.

    The second thing that sets Toast apart is the customizability of their skins. Not only can you choose from an impressively wide range of colors and materials, you can also customize the design on the skin itself. When selecting the skin you want, you can upload a design that you want etched onto the skin, they’ll mock it up and send it back for approval, and you can work with them to get it just how you want it. I didn’t do that with this skin, but I did the last time and they nailed it for me.

    What I also find quite refreshing is the sheer number of devices Toast covers. Many of the other, much larger and more well-known skin-makers, don’t offer all that many options of devices, particularly of “special edition” skins. Toast covers almost all the major laptop and smartphone brands, including gaming ones, even consoles and some smart home devices.

    Price

    This is the more painful part of the Toast skins – they aren’t cheap. They aren’t prohibitively expensive per se, and on the whole aren’t significantly more expensive than what you’d pay for something similar, but they still aren’t cheap.

    The leather skin that I have here, including the top and bottom cover, at the time of this writing is listed at $164 before taxes and shipping. I completely realize that is a fair amount of money, but you also have to keep in mind that these are super high-quality covers that will last you a long time.

    My last Toast skin stayed on my MacBook for nearly 5 years and only came off because I was selling it (the computer, not the skin). Over that time, the corners of my bamboo skin did break off, but it was very tiny pieces and honestly didn’t really bother me.

    So when you break that price down over the course of several years, it becomes much more manageable. Look at it this way, would you rather spend more money up front for one beautiful, environmentally-friendly skin that will last you several years, or buy a cheap plastic case that is bulky and not all that protective every few months?

    You do you but that’s an easy choice for me (I’d pick the skin if you weren’t following).

    Final Thoughts

    It may sound like I’ve been waxing poetic, and to be honest, I probably have. I’m a huge fan of these skins and I almost always recommend them to my friends and family who ask. They aren’t perfect – nothing made by humans is (including robots) - but they’re pretty darn close. They are designed to do something simple and excel at doing it. Really the only thing I have that I could complain about is the price, but in my opinion, while expensive, it’s worth the money in the long run.

    I certainly understand that the wood and leather looks aren’t for everyone, and it that’s you, that’s great. There are plenty of other high-quality skins out there that can almost certainly fill what you’re looking for.

    For those who do go for this kind of look, you absolutely won’t be disappointed with a Toast skin. And whether you got a brand-new device you need to deck out or you need somewhere to spend those gift cards, check out their website to see all their supported devices.

    Note: The product discussed in this article was provided by Toast. They did not pay for the article nor did they receive any copy approval prior to this writing.
    Last edited by Jason Cockerham; 12-31-2022 at 03:09 PM.
    12-31-2022 02:52 PM

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