|Min OS X: Any Version|
“The thing that a lot of people cannot comprehend is that Mother Nature doesn't have a bullet with your name on it, rather, she has millions of bullets inscribed with 'to whom it may concern.’”
Scratches are the bane of the typical Mac user's existence. While the iPod has traditionally been the focus of media attention for its tendency to scratch at the slightest provocation, Apple's other products are also significantly more vulnerable to abuse than their PC counterparts. Although the objects dishing out this damage vary between product families--you're much more likely to damage your MacBook Pro with your watch and your iPod with your keys, for instance--the end result is the same: lower resale value, and more importantly, a diminished user experience. For those MacBook and MacBook Pro users concerned by the possibility of that they may inadvertently damage the palm rests of their valuable Macs, our creative friends at Moshi have developed the PalmGuard, a solution reminiscent of the "invisible shields" popular in the iPod accessory market.
Raising The ShieldThe concept is simple: if you want to to protect an object from the ravages of the outside world, one of the cheapest and most effective solutions is to wrap the device in a material that possesses an extremely high level of durability. Of course, that's not the end of the story--if it were, we'd be dumping our precious electronics into buckets of Lexan instead of pouring money into cases and extended warranties. As it stands, the reality is that protecting today's fragile electronics without making them an eyesore or a hassle to use is still something of an art.
Fortunately, Moshi is a company that does very well in the art department. Its products, while simple and unassuming, tend to be efficiently designed; doing just what they were intended to do without drawing attention to themselves. When it comes to protecting a computer as stylish and minimalistic as a MacBook Pro, that's exactly what you want. Moshi's offering, the PalmGuard, is a set of three tough, adhesive strips that are intended to be applied to your MacBook or MacBook Pro's palm rest, trackpad, and trackpad button. Once applied, the PalmGuard is designed to be nearly invisible, and stick (no pun intended) with your Mac for the rest of its life. As such, we decided upon three likely criterion for reviewing the PalmGuard: ease of use, durability, and aesthetic appeal.
From the Eyes of the BeholderI might not be the ideal person to make an accurate judgment regarding the ease of use of the PalmGuard. In my earlier days, I had an unusually strong fascination with aviation, hence, I built many more models and flew many more paper airplanes than the average boy of my age. As a result, I have fairly steady hands, a knack for lining things up, and after inadvertently cementing various parts of my body to many different objects, an iota of caution around anything sticky.
Despite (or perhaps, because of) my earlier training, I was taken aback by how easy the PalmGuard was to apply. Once you align a piece of the PalmGuard with the business end of the area for which it was intended, application is a smooth, easy process that requires only a few moments of concentration as you lay down the material with one hand and flatten it with the other. You can almost do it with your eyes closed. Normally, this process tends to be fairly tricky: thin adhesive strips typically like to bend and flex in every thinkable direction, and the process of hammering out air bubbles can be more frustrating than playing Whack-A-Mole with one hand tied behind your back. Thankfully, however, each piece of the PalmGuard is surprisingly thick and rigid, which not only keeps it out of the way as you apply it, it whittles away the chance of inadvertently creating air bubbles to almost nothing. That's great, because the adhesive on the PalmGuard is quite strong. As I found out later (when I went to remove the PalmGuard), you can remove and reapply the PalmGuard over and over without hurting your MacBook Pro or the adhesive, but the process of bending the PalmGuard's surface tends to leave indelible creases in it. As such, don't expect to transfer the PalmGuard from machine to machine.