Posts tagged: apple

SopiGuard Skin for Macbook Pro with Touch Bar

By , December 16, 2016 11:30 pm

I recently got a new 13″  Macbook Pro with TouchBar. This is a 2016 model and the TouchBar is a bit gimmicky, but that’s another story. I wanted to keep it svelte and thin, but also wanted some protection. I looked on Amazon for a skin and finally found a version from a company called SopiGuard. At the time, it had one review and it was not a good one. The reviewer didn’t like anything about it. So I bought it.

Nuts you say? Well, I had a feeling they just didn’t understand how to install it. So, when it arrived I began to transfer my files from one Macbook Pro (i5 2.9 GHz) to my new one (i7 3.3 GHz). The kit has 3 parts rolled up in a nice box. Despite the nice packing, there was a wrinkle in one main piece. More on that later.

Here's my computers transferring files and the SopiGuard kit on top.

Here’s my computers transferring files and the SopiGuard kit on top.

So, a while back I had installed a skin on my Macbook. I learned that the trick was to spray a fine mist of water on the laptop so that you could move the skin around and adjust it. If you do not do this, the large unwieldy self adhesive skin is really hard to position and you’ll be peeling it off to reposition it over and over. The problem is that when you peel it off, odds are food you’ll stretch it and then it doesn’t fit anymore.

So with that in mind, I sprayed a fine mist of water onto my laptop. It’s waterproof and the laptop was turned off. There is little risk of problems from the fine mist.

Spray a fine mist to start.

Spray a fine mist to start.

Next used a knife to pick out the cutouts for the apple logo. I most did OK, but the laser cut wasn’t perfect and I had to tug a little. That left a little imperfection that I’ll show you later. It’s really small. Anyhow, because of the water, I was able to position the skin and then move it around a bit. I started by lining up the Apple logo perfectly. When I got it where I wanted it, I used a credit card as a squeegee and got the water out, keeping a paper towel handy to catch the drips.

You can hardly tell there's a skin on it!

You can hardly tell there’s a skin on it!

The color of the skin was a bit darker than the space gray, but it wasn’t so bad after I got used to it. The skin is also slightly metallic so it enhances the laptop quite well. Now all was not perfect. There was a wrinkle in the skin before I even placed it on the laptop. I am hoping that this small wrinkle will settle over time.

Can you spot the small wrinkles?

Can you spot the small wrinkles?

Also as I mentioned, the area around the Apple logo wasn’t perfect because the cutout left a little piece that I had to tug at. However, I’m being nit picky as you can see here, it’s pretty darn close. Also I guess there’s a tiny shift right. Very tiny.

Small imperfection in upper right of logo.

Small imperfection in upper right of logo.

Well, the last thing was the bottom. It actually ended up being the hardest as it has the most cutouts. I got it applied, but there are many parts that are only ok. I had to pull it up a few times and sure enough, it stretched.

Bottom was the hardest, but it's still pretty good.

Bottom was the hardest, but it’s still pretty good.

There’s holes for the tiny screws and the speaker exit cutouts as well as the notch along the top for the screen. In the end, I stretched it a bit and the upper left cutout for the rubber feet isn’t perfect. If you look really close, you can tell the skin doesn’t sit perfectly.

However, all in all the skin looks great and it does protect the majority of the laptop from scrapes and scratches. For the $16 I paid for it, it’s a pretty good deal. The bad reviews you see are the fact that it’s tricky to install a large self adhesive skin. Use some of the tricks I’ve shared here and you should get good results. I’d recommend this kit!

Here’s a link to the kit on Amazon. SopiGuard Skin.

Good luck to you!

Pros and Cons of Keyboard covers for the MacBook Air

By , February 2, 2014 6:53 pm

The Macbook Air has one of the best keyboards that I have every come across. The keys are perfectly spaced and provide excellent tactile feedback. To top it off, it’s backlit. I’ve noticed that after a lot of use, the keys on my keyboard get slick from wear. Also, the keyboard seems susceptible to dust, dirt and liquids. A lot of different companies provide keyboard covers that can provide great protection.

Recently one caught my eye because it not only protects the keyboard, it makes the computer very unique and look completely different.

It changes the personality completely!

It changes the personality completely!

This was from a company called Kuzy. Its a silicon rubber cover, but it’s also white! I decided to give this a try on my computer and thought I’d share a few pros and cons after having used it for a few weeks.

Of course, this cover changes the personality of the computer quite a lot. Here is a picture side by side for comparison.

Standard Macbook Air KeyboardNew look!

As you can see, it drastically changes the way it looks. The protection afforded is very good as well. However, all is not great in keyboard land. There are several things that take getting used to.

PROS:

  • It does look cool!
  • The keyboard is well protected from dust or liquids
  • It’s super thin and the fit is excellent.

CONS:

  • Typing doesn’t feel the same. The added friction of the silicon keys feels totally different.
  • More effort is needed to press the keys. I don’t type as fast or as error free.
  • The backlight is blocked. I can’t see the letters as well. The painted silicon keys blocks the light.
  • Blocks air circulation? I heard that the Macs draw cooling air through the keyboard. I’m not sure this is entirely true, but if it was the case, this cover would block that air almost completely.

So all in all, this is a balance of style and function. I have a feeling that I will be periodically removing this cover when I get tired of the cons. However during the times that I am drinking or eating something while working on the computer, I’ll keep this installed.

All the Gory Details

By , May 19, 2011 7:11 pm

I recently changed my black iPhone to white. I found a vendor on eBay that sold all the pieces as a kit for $75. That was a lot better then $199 at the Apple store with another 2 year contract! It was a bit of a commitment getting this done, but with the right tools and patience it can be done by a “regular” tinkerer like me. My process took about 1.5 hours in all, but I was going really slow and cataloging everything with pictures. Here’s the process in a few pics.

The paper with screw guides on a magnetic tray

All the parts can be seen above. I have already taken off the back as that’s super easy. Two screws on the bottom and you just slide it up and pop it off. The magnetic tray I got from an auto parts store. It was invaluable to keep the tiny screws from disappearing.

Power connector unfastened and battery is coming out

I heard that the battery was easy to take out…NOT! It was secured with adhesive and I had to pull very hard and firmly to get it to finally lift out. The picture above shows the battery being lifted out.

There are 5 connectors at the top near the camera.

You can see the little screws are  in their respective circles. Also in this picture you can see the vibrating device just outside the top edge of the phone. It’s pretty cool how it’s contacts are connected. There’s basically a copper plated spring steel “prong” coming off of it. Screwing it in place forces the prongs to contact the power source. I thought it was a nice way to accomplish a connection with no wires.

Main board is being removed. Speaker box at right.

After all the connectors are out, you can lift the main board out of the phone. In this picture you can also see at the far right, the plastic box that holds the speaker and causes it to amplify the volume. The audio cable is a teeny tiny black wire with a unique circular connector. I was really fascinated by the various fasteners.

The touchscreen and LCD assembly is held by these 10 screws.

It’s hard to understand the scale of those top screws without actually trying to handle them. I had to break out tweezers for this step. Those 10 screws hold the touchscreen and LDC assembly to the phone frame.

Separating the screen was the most nerve wracking part.

I had to pry quite a bit to get the glass separated from the frame. You see, there’s an adhesive involved. I ended up using a swiss army knife blade to cut and pry until it came loose. I was afraid I was going to crack the glass, but I didn’t.

The button was a PAIN to replace as well

Again they don’t tell you that there’s adhesive securing the plastic button to a rather delicate mylar film with contact stripes on it! So once again I broke out the swiss army knife and ever so carefully pried the button away from the mylar, all the while hoping that I didn’t damage the contact stripes. It proceeded VERY carefully as there was no replacement for this. If this button didn’t work, I would be royally screwed. Luckily it all went well.

So that was the last major setback. After that, I just had to re-assembly everything in the right order. The tolerances are extremely tight in the phone. They did not waste an lot of space.

So a few tips, get really really small screwdrivers. I just needed a Philips and a flathead. The magnetic tray was key! It kept all those tiny screws from getting lost. It also kept them pretty close to the circles on the paper I was working on . The circles are roughly equal to the locations on the phone interior.

Finally, if something doesn’t fit just perfect, stop and check clearances and how the parts are seated. Everything fits in a very precise manner. If something looks bents or is not flush to the surface next to it, it’s probably not right. Take it apart and check it again.

OK, that’s my experience that I wanted to share with you. If you decide to go for it, good luck and take your time!

Best iPad case EVER!

By , May 19, 2010 10:25 am

Like you (?) I have been looking for a way to protect my iPad that won’t defeat its beautiful design and form factor. After doing a bit of research and lots of purchasing, I have come across the best case EVER! It’s made of TPU (Thermo Plastic Urethane). OK, pictures will be all you need to see. I can’t explain it any better.

The case as it came from LuxMo = Luxury mobile

The case as it came from LuxMo = Luxury mobile

Extremely thin and not sticky like silicon cases

Extremely thin and not sticky like silicon cases

The fit is amazing. Tight with no slop at all.

The fit is amazing. Tight with no slop at all.

Cutout is perfect and only as big as needed.

Cutout is perfect and only as big as needed.

You can get this case for only $16 at http://stores.ebay.com/PawAvenue. If you have an iPad, you need this case.

So what else have I tried? Here’s a quick rundown and why they don’t work so great.

1) InCase Silicon skin – this silicon rubber case fits loosely and never felt too secure. It’s got extra girth on the edges to make it easier to grip, but it also makes the iPad fat. Fail.

2) Apple iPad case – this OEM case is made of a synthetic suede like material. It fits well and fold in half like a portfolio. Problems? It’s got this heat sealed edge around it that look cheap. Also, the synthetic material picks up all kinds of dust and ends up looking dirty. Fail.

3) Crazy Digital Leather case – this one came close. It’s got great protection, a nice price ($20 on Amazon) and it also acts as a stand. The one thing I didn’t like is that it once again messes with the sleek design on the iPad. It affords great protection and is a good way to carry your pad “incognito” though. Here’s a quick picture of it.

Crazy Digital case is a nice tan leather and at a great price.

Crazy Digital case is a nice tan leather and at a great price.

So there you have have it. My search for the perfect iPad case is over. Now I just have to figure out if I would ever carry only the iPad over my laptop. I have a very nice portable laptop at only 3.1lbs. I take it everywhere I go. Although not as “wow” inducing as an iPad, I can do a lot more on it.

The best thing about the iPad is the instant on, picture viewing and also the applications made for it. For those things it rocks. Everything else is different, but not hugely better than my laptop.

At least my case problems are over.

Panorama Theme by Themocracy