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Release Date: September 29, 2009
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  • Wolfmother

    • 8 out of 10
    • Wolfmother
    • Black Sabbath, The White Stripes, The Stooges. There aren't many bands worth their salt that want to be compared to other bands, but when I listen to Wolfmother's self-titled American debut, I can

  • Mezzanine

    • 6 out of 10
    • Massive Attack
    • "Black Milk" knocks me off my feet in this collection of moody and eclectic songs. Massive Attack uses samples and keyboards in a very unique way, but not all the songs pack the same punch.

  • Go Away White

    • 10 out of 10
    • Bauhaus
    • Go Away White is an album I've been waiting more than 20 years to hear, and the good news is that it was worth the wait.  The latest -- and last, no...for real this time -- album from

  • Spanks for the Memories

    • 8 out of 10
    • Asylum Street Spankers
    • The Asylum Street Spankers are...well...The Spankers. Hailing from Austin, where I saw them live dozens of times, the band played entirely acousti

  • King James Version

    • 4 out of 10
    • Harvey Danger
    • The sophomore effort from Harvey Danger, I was really looking forward to this followup to "Where Have All the Merrymakers Gone?" Unfortunately, "King James Version" failed to deliver any of the bri

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In-Depth Review


According to the GelaSkins Web site, GelaSkins are: "Removable art prints for laptops and iPods that offer protection with style, not bulk." That pretty much sums them up if you don't take the protection part too seriously.

More specifically, GelaSkins are custom-sized pieces of very thin vinyl film (premium grade 3M vinyl and adhesive) that you affix to your iPhone, iPod, or laptop. Each GelaSkin features unique full-color artwork, a clear, scratch resistant coating, and patented micro-channels within the adhesive allow for a bubble-free application.

This is a case where some pictures are worth thousands of words, so here are pictures of the GelaSkins my iPhone, iPod Classic, and MacBook Pro are currently wearing.

My iPhone is currently sporting this design, called, "Music Castle" by artist Colin Thompson.

My iPod Classic features another Colin Thompson design, "Steampunk."

And the lid of my MacBook Pro is covered with this classic from the 15th or 16th century, namely "Garden of Earthly Delights" by Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch.

There are hundreds of different designs by dozens of artists, and most of the designs are available for all three devices -- iPods, iPhones, and laptops. iPod GelaSkins are available for most iPod models and include five precision-cut pieces. The click wheel, button, front, and back have coordinated artwork as shown in the picture, and you also receive a clear screen protector. Not bad for $14.95. iPhone GelaSkins, also priced at $14.95, cover just the back of your phone but they also include one or more matching downloadable desktop pictures, as shown in the picture. There's also an optional clear display protector for an additional $7.75 if you buy it with your iPhone GelaSkin or $12.95 if you buy it a la carte. Finally, laptop GelaSkins are one big piece of artwork, custom fitted to the topside of your notebook.

All of the GelaSkins I tested were easy to apply and have remained firmly affixed for more than a month so far. Furthermore, all three still look as good as the day I applied them. For what it's worth, they're made with a residue-free adhesive so they're fairly easy to remove and don't leave a mess on your device if you do remove them. Although they're not really designed to be reusable, if you're really careful I'd bet you could remove and reuse a GelaSkin at least once (hint: save the backing sheet they came on).

At the beginning of this review I said, "don't take the protection part too seriously." That's because unlike less-artistic film products like InvisibleSHIELD (which I love and reviewed here), GelaSkins don't cover your whole device. So all four sides of iPods, some or all of the front as well as all four sides of iPhones, and the sides and bottom of laptops, are completely unprotected by GelaSkins. So if you're looking for a product that will protect your entire device from scratches and nicks, GelaSkins may not be appropriate.

For what it's worth, you could purchase an InvisibleSHIELD for your device and apply the GelaSkin over it. That would give you all-over protection and a cool-looking device, but it'll cost roughly as much as or more than a good protective case.

Still, that's what I'm going to do. I am not a big fan of cases for my iPhone or iPod. While I like the additional protection a case provides against bumps and droppage, I hate the whole in and out dance I have to do to dock it or use it with docking speakers, and I don't care for the additional bulk that makes my pockets bulge. So the combination of InvisibleSHIELD and GelaSkins works for me.

One last thing: I just noticed on the GelaSkins Web site that, at least at present, if you buy three GelaSkins the fourth is free. So if you're considering buying more than one, it might behoove you to do it sooner rather than later.

The Bottom Line

I think GelaSkins are cool. And everywhere I've gone lately with my iPhone, iPod, or MacBook Pro, people have noticed my GelaSkins, commented on them, and asked where they could get them. While GelaSkins don't offer a ton of protection, they do offer some while giving your device a look that's uniquely yours.

And on that note, let me conclude with four more GelaSkin designs that tickle my fancy:

Just The Facts

GelaSkins from GelaSkins

MSRP US $14.95-29.95

Pros:Unique, colorful, durable, and pretty.

Cons:Don't provide as much protection from dropping or scratching as other film products or a conventional carrying case.

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