iSkin/Marware MacBook Unibody Keyboard Protector Review

Today I have something for you that is not iPhone related but is still within the Apple family! Today I have keyboard protectors for your Unibody MacBook!

If you have a MacBook (not the plastic one), MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, then you will know how dirty or dusty the keyboard can get after a few weeks of use. To prevent and protect your keyboard, I have two silicone keyboard protectors; the ProTouch from iSkin and the Keyboard Protector from Marware.

Since both items are solutions for keyboard protection, I thought to do a small one on one with them.

ProTouch by iSkin

The ProTouch is a silicone protector that lays on top of your MacBook keyboard. The silicone is fairly thin and molds nicely in between the key grooves of the keyboard which makes the ProTouch fit very nicely. The silicone also features Microban protection, which inhibits the growth of bacteria and odors.

Once applied, the silicone is very soft and easy to type on. One thing I did notice right away is there is no keystroke sound, which is great for when I use my MacBook Air in places that promote silence such as lecture halls and libraries, as many students will understand.

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After you are finished with your MacBook, the ProTouch comes off the keyboard very easily and because it is a thin silicone, you can roll it up or bend it however you want. Cleaning the ProTouch is as easy as running it under a water tap.

The ProTouch comes in five colors: Arctic (Looks like your MacBook), Sonic (Blue), Blush (Pink), Lava (Orange), Kiwi (Green). Of all the colors, I prefer Arctic as it is exactly the same look as the keyboard on the MacBook now, so you cannot really tell there is even a keyboard protector on the keyboard. However, I do like that iSkin provides a variety of colors.

The iSkin ProTouch is available from the iSkin online store for $29.99.

Keyboard Protector by Marware

The Keyboard Protector from Marware is a silicone protector that lays on top of your MacBook keyboard. This silicone is really thin, much more so than the iSkin one but still molds nicely in between the key grooves of the keyboard.

This silicone does not feature Microban protection, as did the iSkin protector, which can cause issues in the future. However, as long as you keep the keyboard protector clean, there will not be any problems.

Once applied, the silicone is very soft and easy to type on. I prefer the feel of the Marware protector because it is much softer than the iSkin one. As with the iSkin, there is no keystroke sound, which is a great bonus feature for those quiet environments.

MarwareMarware (1)Marware (2)Marware (3)Marware (4)Marware (5)

After you are finished with your MacBook, the Keyboard Protector comes off the keyboard very easily and can be rolled up or bent however you want. Cleaning the Keyboard Protector is done with water and you also get a microfiber cloth that is used to clean your MacBook screen.

The Keyboard Protector comes in three colors: Black, Clear, White. Of the colors, I prefer Black because I can imagine the Clear or White colors becoming very dirty, very fast. Although the Clear color would be neat because it would practically camouflage the silicone protector. However, I like that Marware offers at least a small range of choices.

The Marware Keyboard Protector is available from the Marware online store for $24.99.

The Verdict

So which keyboard protection solution is the better choice.

Marware iSkin

The iSkin ProTouch offers a soft silicone that fits nicely and includes Microban protection for bacteria and odors. The silicone eliminates the keystroke sound and is easy to clean under water. You also get a choice of five different vibrant colors and the price is $29.99.

The iSkin ProTouch is scored a 4.5 out of 5.

The Marware Keyboard Protector offers a very soft silicone, more so than the iSkin one, that also fits very nicely. However, the Marware protector does not include Microban protection, so washing it under water will become extra important. As with the iSkin, the Marware protector also eliminates the keystroke sound. You also get a choice of three colors and a bonus microfiber cloth and the price is $24.99.

The Marware Keyboard Protector is scored a 4 out of 5.

Overall, I found the iSkin ProTouch to be the superior protection solution. I prefer the Microban protection and the larger choice of colors, both which were not present from Marware. Both are comfortable and easy to clean, but I definitely get more variety from iSkin. However, Marware is definitely a worthy contender.

The Give-Away!!!

Today I am going to give away BOTH of the above keyboard protectors. The iSkin ProTouch in Arctic and the Marware Keyboard Protector in Black!

To win yourself one of the keyboard protectors, post a comment below answering the following:

1.) Why you need a keyboard protector for your MacBook?

2.) Which one do you want? (iSkin Arctic or Marware Black)

Enjoy!

———

Winners chosen at random; Contest ends July 29, 2009 at 11:59PM

Reports on iPhone news, reviews apps and accessories. Also an armed ninja with an iPhone 4S.

  • vinceemond

    1- I need a protector for my new 13 inch macbook pro since I drag my new laptop everywhere I go. I've already purchased and applied the Zagg Invisible shield (with the iphoneincanada.ca promo code) and I could really use a protector for the keyboard since the rest is already protected.

    2- I would like iSkin since I like how the keys are black and the surrounding is clear (just like the actual keyboard)

  • pegasus

    1. I would need a keyboard protector because my finger always leave grease stain on the keyboard. I also want to eliminate the trouble of using compress air to clean the keyboard.

    2. I would prefer the iskin keyboard protector because the surrounding area is clear.

  • Dusty

    Great review.
    Would benefit in many ways! Always on the go with the laptop, being outside with all the dust getting in the keyboard, eating food around the laptop lol So much more! Common, its an Apple product and needs to be babied and protected!
    Either one is nice! iSkin as its clear but the Marware is sweet too.

  • ytubdna

    1-I would like a protector because I'm pratically married to my MacBook and as such, I take it all sorts of places – kitchen, washroom (yup!), restaurants, coffee shops, etc.. I also have a 2-year old that has contemplated pouring water on it more than once! The keyboard silencing feature is also useful since I use it at wee hours in the morning and have always wished this keyboard was less noisy.

    2-I would be happy with either one, but iSkin would be my first choice.

    Thanks for this review – I had no idea such products were out there!!

  • thehutch

    1 – I really need a protector for my new macbook pro 13″ as I'm constantly work different people in different environments and it is inevitable that something will be spilled on this workstation. My machine is carried every where with me and is really put to the test (I wish apple would come out with a ruggedized tablet).

    2 – I would really like the Arctic iSkin since I really want to retain the stock look and feel of my workstation. Apple pays careful attention to design detail and I'd like to compliment that with added protection.

  • 1. I give all my Apple products names, and treat them like children. Would you send your child outside in the rain without an umbrella?!! lol – I can't handle seeing my MBP get dusty and dirty!

    2. I would love to have either one! The iSkin would be my first choice though, as I love how it's clear on the edges!

  • tkloppen091

    I am getting a new Mac for my birthday and Friday and I want to keep it looking AMAZING!!

    iSkin for sure, as I hold your opinion with the highest regard!

  • AlexV

    1.) I need a keyboard protector because I keep spilling coffee on my keyboards.

    2.) I would like the Marware protector because I like the color (more so than the transparent iSkin, which seems likely to get discolored over time), and it seems to be more comfortable to use,

  • tokintiki

    1.) Why you need a keyboard protector for your MacBook?

    I need a keyboard protector for my 13inch Macbook to protect against dirt, oil, crumbs, and accidental spills.

    2.) Which one do you want? (iSkin Arctic or Marware Black)

    I would like the iSkin Arctic, as X1Zero is the man! I enjoy reading all the reviews on iphoneincanada Cheers Mate!

  • alimkanani

    1.) I need a keyboard protector because there has been so many cheap ones that i've tried that dont offer any protection or get dirty really easily, i need this because it would make my life so much easier.

    2.) Getting either is ok with me, but i would rather have the arctic one because it is clear around the edges so ti looks cool.

  • I'd love one of these and boy could I use it. As an ICU nurse who drags his Macbook back and forth to work and home so he can scribble away on his Masters thesis when he isn't keeping someone alive, my keyboard is assaulted by unimaginable bacteria and virii. Sounds like this product fits the bill perfectly – especially the iSkin Arctic with its Microban barrier!

    Thanks, as usual, for all the hard work with the site. The reviews are indispensable!

  • wski

    Food and drink are not the keyboard's best friends.

    iSkin.

  • sealmmo

    1.) Why you need a keyboard protector for your MacBook? – I used to be an avid PC/Windows user. To me, nothing was more simple than the toolbar with its windows. But starting with the iPhone, I am today the owner of a 1 month old MacPro and loving the innovation and beauty of Apple. Why not shoot me that keyboard protector, and help me keep that beauty up? πŸ˜‰

    2.) iSkin Arctic

  • I would like a keyboard protector because I just bought a new MBP and I can already see how dusty this keyboard can get! I travel all across the world to compete (Alpine Skiing) and I need all the protection I can get for my most valued possession and I don't have a lot of spare cash flow to pay for it!

    The iSkin would be my choice because I've had iSkin iPhone cases before and they are quality made with a lot of attention to detail. The clear part of the keyboard protector is further evidence of that.

  • egwk

    Nice review man,

    1) I need a keyboard protector cuz i spilled milk on my keyboard the other day… lucky for me i was able to get it all out without damage anything… and i hate my hair and dandruff getting in between the keys and stuff… man when it goes into Apple for repairs or maintenance a lot of crap is gonna come out of my macbook if they open it up.

    2) I'd like the iSkin please thank you very much ^__^

  • andrewboarder

    1 – I defiantly need one because i've already spilled water on my mac once and almost cried! Luckly it didn't die and with this I can keep it safe. To keep my mac safe it should always have a rubber. πŸ˜›

    2 – iSkin Arctic!!!!

  • hfk

    1) I seldom turn off and close my 13″ macbook pro. As such, it is highly prone to dust. Cleaning the keyboard area can be demanding sometimes. In addition, I have sweaty hands which often leaves oily marks on the black colored keyboard.

    2) iSkin Arctic, please. Thanks.

  • I would like the iSkin one. I would give it to my brother as a gift for his new MacBook. He's so dirty, he needs it bad!!!

  • edge777

    I would love the Arctic, simply because I'm always in dusty locations, and those keys attract dust like crazy, and nearly impossible to clean!!! πŸ™‚

  • hin

    1. I need it because my friends around me pull over coffee/cup noodle soup/milk and even spit too much on their macbook keyboard already, and I'm starting to scare mine will be next.
    2. iSkin looks good! ^^

  • Mark

    1- I need a keyboard protector because I'm a student who (a) needs to work lots in the library and have received comments before that I'm a “loud typer”, and (b) lives in a bachelor apartment and, with a hectic school schedule, I don't have time to keep the place as clean as maybe I should. I need the keyboard protector to keep dust, dirt, and potentially bodily fluids from marring my lovely Macbook Pro. It's such a lovely laptop, like a work of art really, it deserves the best protection it can get.

    2 – iSkin please!!

  • Mark

    1- I need a keyboard protector because I'm a student who (a) needs to work lots in the library and have received comments before that I'm a “loud typer”, and (b) lives in a bachelor apartment and, with a hectic school schedule, I don't have time to keep the place as clean as maybe I should. I need the keyboard protector to keep dust, dirt, and potentially bodily fluids from marring my lovely Macbook Pro. It's such a lovely laptop, like a work of art really, it deserves the best protection it can get.

    2 – iSkin please!!

  • rorypiper

    Damn, I guess I'm a bit late, but the iSkin protector looks awesome. I use my MacBook for work, and work can get dirty. I work for my local cable provide; one minute I could be exchanging an internet modem, and the next minute I could be climbing a telephone pole. I really should already have a protector, but I don't.

  • Its not too late! The contest is still live for another 5 hours!

  • rorypiper

    Woo hoo! Well I hope I win the iSkin.

  • Marcussis

    1.) Why you need a keyboard protector for your MacBook?
    I just purchased a new 15″ Macbook Pro tonight! If this thing becomes as much a part of my life as my iPhone 3G (goning on one year old), I'm gonna end up spilling something on it for sure! I don't think that the AppleCare plan that I purchased covers users spilling things in the keyboard…

    2.) Which one do you want? (iSkin Arctic or Marware Black)
    iSkin Arctic please. The color suits the natural beauty of the Macbook!

  • marrrrta

    1 – I literally LIVE on my laptop, I'm a student and a gadget enthusiast who LOVES her aluminum Macbook but can't really afford to buy all of the extras for it! And since it's so incredibly amazing, I'd love to have it around for a long time! (It encouraged me to buy the iPhone, which is basically the Holy Grail of gadgets. If G-d had a phone, this would be it!)
    2 – the iSkin because of the Microban protection, microbial protection is always ftw!

  • Harry

    weird, I just got a new macbook pro (13ins) and I find that the keys are hard to get used to.
    It seems that any oil from ur fingers makes it harder to type….making it slippery.
    Is it me or did the pervious macbook have a sort of texture to the keys?

  • rorypiper

    The suspense is killing me….WHO WON!!

  • rorypiper

    Looks like everyone wanted the iSkin, eh? Well, if no one wants the other one, I guess I'll take it. πŸ˜‰

  • toocoo4skoo

    I would like a keyboard protector for my 15 inch Unibody MacBook Pro because I hate having to blow on my keyboard to get rid of dust, hair and any other particle that seems to make its way between the key crevices. I love my MacBook Pro and just want to protect it. I actually bought it 5 months after buying my iPhone 3G because my iPhone 3G was definitely the “Gateway Drug” to all things Apple. I would recommend the iSkin because of the Microban protection but I would be happy with either one.

    Great job on this site everyone! Can't stop visiting this site every few hours…Great reviews!

    PEACE!

  • sealmmo

    1.) Why you need a keyboard protector for your MacBook? – I used to be an avid PC/Windows user. To me, nothing was more simple than the toolbar with its windows. But starting with the iPhone, I am today the owner of a 1 month old MacPro and loving the innovation and beauty of Apple. Why not shoot me that keyboard protector, and help me keep that beauty up? πŸ˜‰

    2.) iSkin Arctic

  • Congrats to our winners Marrrrta (iSkin) and Dusty (Marware)!

    You have been notified.

    Thanks to all who participated. Stay tuned for more upcoming contests!

  • adriaanmulder

    1- The black keys on the mbps always get dirty and smudgy.

    2- Marware black

  • Chris

    I have found that my Marware cover does not fit over my keyboard very well at all. I am very dissapointed with this cover, but can't return it because problems arose after apples 14 day return policy. Oh well…

  • Chris

    I have found that my Marware cover does not fit over my keyboard very well at all. I am very dissapointed with this cover, but can't return it because problems arose after apples 14 day return policy. Oh well…

  • 1. I use my 13″ MacBook Pro a lot. I have a cat and three dogs and believe it or not, the cat loves to sit on my desk with my laptop. When you have pets, you have hair – everywhere. Before the 13″ MacBook Pro, I had the 13″ Unibody MacBook and saw how the hair particles and wierd crumbs of dirt found their way into the crevices around the keys. When I got my 13″ MBP, I decided to throw the extra 29.99 at the Apple Store and get the Marware clear cover. Great thing is that it lets the keyboard backlight come through well, and the skin is so thin, it is almost inexistent. Took me a while to get used to typing with the skin on though, due to lack of the feedback that you get used to, without. Nevertheless, it has been a good investment along with the Speck clear case for the body.

    2. To be honest, the Apple Store only had the Marware skin in Black and Transparent options when I was purchasing my MBP. So I dont know what the iSkin looks like. I would have preferred to buy the black Marware cover instead of the clear one for sheer aesthetics, but its just a keyboard cover. To be more honest, I dont see how the iSkin product (being thicker, from your description) has an advantage over the Marware product which is pretty thin. However, I’ve only had this for a little over a couple months, so it remains to be seen how the microbial protection is an advantage. My keyboard is pretty clean – I’m sure there are microbes, but they are everywhere! πŸ™‚

  • Choose one that is durable and easy to clean. DonÒ€ℒt pick covers that are sensitive or can crack from detergents, bleaches and other cleaning substances.

  • Plainly making use of your notebook , and without knowing its specific feature, trouble shooting methods and other factors is simply and abuse. Laptops are considered sensitive to a lot of outside forces that will lead to its destruction.