When in doubt, a skin is the best method of keeping your MacBook's aluminum scratch-free without adding unnecessary bulk. One of the main reasons of going for the MacBook Air is for its ultraportable form factor, but that doesn't mean you should skip on protection. Wrapsol has been around for quite a while now and is one of the popular protective film brands around. I'm a big fan matte textures and can't get enough of how good the aluminum MacBooks look. Wrapsol's skins are designed to keep your MacBook Air looking as original as possible while adding a layer of protection. We last reviewed Wrapsol's matte skin for the iPad 2, and now we're going to find out if the MacBook Air can keep looking beautiful while wearing protection. So be sure to make the jump for the full review!
Wrapsol will fit any 11-inch or 13-inch 2010 and 2011 MacBook Air as well as future generations and it'll run you $49.95 for a full body protection kit. The kit includes both top and bottom skins as well as a palm and trackpad skins. Since this is what's called a wet installation process, Wrapsol gives you two glass spray tubes filled with solution that requires additional water mixed into the tube for application. You also get a large cleaning cloth and a rubber squeegee to help you apply the skins and remove trapped air bubbles during the installation.
The installation can become tricky for some and really depends on how well you apply the Wrapsol. Once you get the hang of it, there's nothing to it. You must work quickly to squeegee out air bubbles as best you can. It takes time and isn't for the faint of heart. Once all is said and done, after 24 hours you should be left with a perfect looking MacBook Air. The Wrapsol skins are very durable and have a grainy, matte texture that also reduces fingerprints and preserves the natural grip of the MacBook Air's aluminum.
Starting out with a clean slate, you can see the MacBook Air above before the Wrapsol installation.
This is what you get 24 hours after applying the Wrapsol on the MacBook Air. Did you notice the difference? That's what I thought. Unless you look carefully up close, there's no knowing whether there is a protective skin or not. Because the Wrapsol has a matte, grainy texture to it, it blends seamlessly with the aluminum of the MacBook Air. If you prefer a glossy finish instead, Clear-Coat will do just as a good job as the Wrapsol but give you that glossy finish instead.
Taking a closer look, you can see that I managed to miss a few air pockets along the way. Again, it all comes down to how well you manage to apply the skin yourself that makes the difference between a terrible finish to a wonderful and seamless application. Your mileage may vary with such protective films so to speak. If you look closely around the edges of the MacBook Air it becomes evident that you've got a skin on. Though the skin does come very close to the edge, enough that you shouldn't be worried about getting it scratched. Although each skin was cut perfectly, Wrapsol leaves a bit of room to reduce user error and make it more easier to apply.
Flipping to the bottom part of the MacBook Air is becomes more apparent that the Wrapsol skin is applied due to more parts of the skin that are cut out to fit the rubber feet. This entire surface areas is mostly covered up and protected. Even the little screws are covered up so you might want to take that into consideration even though there's no reason why you would need to open up the bottom of your MacBook Air. Wrapsol does have fantastic warranty where they will replace your Wrapsol if you need to remove the bottom skin for repairs. In any case, having the entire bottom of my MacBook Air now protecting, I've got my peace of mind not having to worry about how clean the table is before I set the MacBook Air on it.
From past experience, removing the Wrapsol is painless and very easy to do without any residue being left behind.
Onto the inside part of the MacBook Air, the Wrapsol skin piece for the trackpad area is cut very nicely and fits great to keep the entire palm rest area clean and scratch-free. I prefer to to cover up the glass trackpad with any kind of skin, but I did want to see how well the Wrapsol skin works ontop of the glass trackpad. Wrapsol says that the skin doesn't affect the responsiveness of the trackpad, but unfortunately it actually does. Tapping to click is no longer as sensitive with many taps not registering even after perfectly applying the film over the trackpad. I noticed the the feel of my finger gliding across the trackpad isn't as smooth as the bare glass and has a grainy feeling due to the matte texture of the Wrapsol. I would suggest not applying the trackpad film because of that.
Overall I think the Wrapsol method of keeping your MacBook Air as pristine as the day you first unwrapped it from its clear protective wrapping yet not change the way it looks, doesn't get any better than this. It's a great way of keeping away from bulky hardshell covers that change the way your ultraportable feels. However, Wrapsol's matte skins are more expensive that most other offerings out there at $49.95. And let's not forget that a flawless result solely depends on how well you end up applying it. That goes for any similar type of application.