You are reading iDownloadBlog. We are a community of Apple lovers. More importantly, we are a group of hacker, modders, and jailbreakers. We don’t accept the status quo. We want things our way.
That means, it’s got to be custom, tweaked, or different. This same passion caused me to reach out to ColorWare. The folks over at ColorWare agree—stock is boring. Their online mod shop allows you to order hardware that they customize in their own facility. They sent me some of their work and it’s stunning.
In a highly detailed process, ColorWare disassembles as many pieces of the products as possible and, using a closed studio, paints the devices to order. While they no longer offer MacBook customizations, you can see from the process in the video above, they know how to pay attention to the details.
ColorWare has been around for a while, but are just starting to hit the mainstream. The company has started to work with YouTube influencers like @MKBHD, whose own ColorWare custom AirPods we helped announce last year with a coordinated set of wallpapers.
You can select from a myriad of tech devices, our interest here is the Apple Magic Trackpad 2, Magic Keyboard and second generation AirPods.
Currently the only way to get an official Apple OEM Trackpad and Keyboard in a color other than Silver, you have to purchase the Space Grey versions for $150 each, via the Apple Store. These originally launched with the iMac Pro, but have since become available to order directly as standalone accessories. The second generation AirPods just released and they still only come in classic Apple White.
Space Grey and white are cool, but ColorWare has a complete library of 32 color combinations to choose from, including both matte and gloss finishes. I would be really interested in just having black AirPods or one color for right, one for left. I’m really tired of guessing which one goes in which ear.
I have often looked for ways to customize my tech gear and hate to use stock products when I can prevent it. The ability to colorize Apple gear this way ensures no one else is going to have the same hardware. In a sea of silver and Space Grey, the ability to add my own color pop is super intriguing.
ColorWare Nintendo Switch Pro Controller and Joy-Con
To get a glimpse of ColorWare’s craftmanship, they were kind enough to send me a red and white Pro Controller, which was a color scheme of my preference. I built the color theme using their online color picker. Additionally, they sent me their Super Nintendo Entertainment System themed Joy-Con. These SNES Joy-Con match the controller color scheme of the original SNES controllers as shown below with my SNES and SNES Classic Edition.
I was watching the shipment tracking information like a kid checking Santa Tracker on Christmas Eve. The controllers came in their original package, which had been repacked, just like they came from Nintendo, little plastic sleeves and all. I pulled these controllers out of the pack and simply admired them. They really are incredibly done.
I am really impressed with the quality of work here. These controllers look like stock OEM products, that Nintendo could have sold directly. The only noticeable change is where the Nintendo logo is depressed in the back of the controller—you can tell the impression isn’t as crisp because its been painted over.
I really like the matte finish on the Pro Controller and worry that a gloss finish might cause fingerprints. However, the purple buttons on the SNES Joy-Cons are gloss, and do not show signs of contact.
Take a look at a fully customized ColorWare Switch setup by iJustine, above. Pink camouflage isn’t really my thing, but it does give you a great look at their impressive work, which can extend to the entire console.
Naturally, getting something this custom is going to cost more than the stock product. You purchase the product and the customization is completed directly by ColorWare. Therefore, the cost is inclusive of a new factory product.
All of their products vary in price, driven primarily by the MSRP of the product, plus the cost of customization, which is more intricate on different products.
For example, if you wanted to order the Apple Trackpad, the total is $199, $50 more than the Space Grey version from Apple. This is the same pricing scheme with the Apple Magic Keyboard for $199. Second generation wireless charging AirPods are $389, which is $189 more than the stock pair from Apple. But, before you think that’s crazy, stop for a minute and think about how intricate the process must be for custom painting AirPods. iFixit could barely take them apart to study them.
If you are looking for a less expensive solution, then check out their broad collection of custom cut and designed skins, including those for MacBook, iPad and iPhone. But, if you are looking for a completely customized, made-from-scratch-for-you-tech gadget, look no further than ColorWare. Chances are, if you are used to buying or paying for extremely customized tech gear, the price point is in your wheelhouse.
My thanks to ColorWare for providing the two controllers as examples of their work!