I previously reviewed a Toast iPhone skin, which remained on my iPhone 4 until last week when I shipped it to my father. It had a long life and properly adhered to my iPhone the whole time. Now, Toast has added the iPad mini to their collection and mastered their technology by creating a skin that will cover a multi-curved corner. The new Toast skins will completely cover the back of your iPad 2, 3, 4, or mini in completely natural real wood veneers.
The combination of technology and natural wood grain is quite special. I do not fancy myself a lover of woods, but the elegance of nature immediately next to one of the most beautifully designed Apple products is truly a sight. Having used the iPad mini skin for a while, I was impressed with its grip, finish, and design…
Using a set of cut lines, the wooden skin curls around the edge of even the chamfered iPad mini. Having used an older Toast mini skin for a longer period of time, I can confirm the edges curl and remain steadfast. The new design looks amazing and elegant, considering its complete edge-to-edge coverage. Many other providers simply use a sticker adhesive with a printed or imitation wood grain for their skins. However, Toast sets themselves apart with their 100% natural wood product, in either bamboo, walnut, or ash.
Once the skin is applied, the mini will not fit in any form fitted cases as the extra thickness prevents installation. To allow for additional protection, the left side has a perforation for a smart cover, allowing the wood to be removed and the magnets attached. Additionally, there is a SIM card perforation.
After using several versions of Toast products, I can attest to the quality of the wooden skin. It most notably adds grip to the back of my mini, preventing it from slipping from my hand. The wood protects against dusty table tops and weathers slightly with age, like the oil on a vintage wallet.
The complex corners do not immediately hold tight. It does take some pressure over a little bit of time to get them to hold. I recommend bending all of the curves prior to applying, which helps make the installation a little easier. Once placing the skin in the wrong spot or slightly askew, it is not easy to pick up and move.
I did notice, because the wood is precision cut for the volume buttons and mute switch, they are not activated easily. The wood is just thick enough the buttons recess below them, which is good for accidental taps, but can be a little frustrating. When fumbling in the dark, I had a hard time telling which of the two buttons I was pressing and often tapped the wrong one.
It is important to note, however, these wooden skins are suggested as a semi permanent application. If you pull one of these off your device, chances are, it’s never going back on. Testing this suspicion, I pulled my test skin off to give you an accurate warning. To get the skin off, I used a hair dryer to warm the adhesive, which made the removal process easier. Much to my surprise, when the skin was removed, there was no adhesive remaining on the mini, which is a big positive. Many companies use adhesives that leave terrible residue, which I can confirm from previous reviews.
Predetermined designs are available for the mini starting at $35 and customized text can be added for an additional $5 charge. If you ask nicely and pay a little extra, the company will provide a customized laser etched design for you. From my experience, the customized products are very well done and the iDB logo came out excellently.
What do you think? Would you be interested in adding a real wood skin to your iPad?