Quick Review: KB Covers

I have never been a fan of keyboard covers but they are one of the best selling MacBook and MacBook Pro accessories at the UCI Computerstore. We just got in a new keyboard cover from a company called KB Covers and I thought I would take one for a spin and see if KB Covers could change my mind. I took one home for the night and here are my impressions:

The KB Covers seems a little thinner than the covers from iSkin. The thinness helps with creating more feedback for the keys but that’s not saying much. Every keyboard cover I’ve ever used has had a squishy, ambiguous feel that I really dislike. It drops my accuracy tremendously and that is just unacceptable. I spend much of my time on my computer typing and I need to be accurate. I type fast. 80-90 words per minute fast and this keyboard cover drops it to 60 word per minute, if I’m lucky.

One thing I noticed is that the while the thinness of the KB Cover is a boon in keeping it low profile and as flush to the keys as possible, it also hinders its ability to hug the keys properly. Sometimes I would be typing and I would accidentally move my hand up and the edges of the keyboard cover would stick to my skin and be lifted up off the keyboard. It reseats itself easily enough but it is quite annoying and just creates the impression that the keyboard cover is going to come off any minute. I do not want to type in a way that I have to avoid dislodging the keyboard cover

I also noticed that the KB Cover is so thin that it gets easily warped, creating some awkward looking elevations on the silicone as seen in the pictures.

If keyboard covers are such a burden to type with and work with every day, then why are they such popular sellers? One factor, I believe, lies in the fact that people are dirty. They eat while they type and get their computer greasy and dirty. Keyboard covers definitely prevent this from happening. You can just remove the keyboard cover and run it under the sink and everything is clean again. Silicon keyboard covers can even act as deterrent for water damage.

There are definitely things to like about the KB Cover like its low profile, printed keys for both older MacBooks like mine and the newer ones as well, and the availability of keyboard covers that provide commonly used shortcuts for Photoshop, Final Cut, and ProTools.

If you are a klutz and like to eat around your MacBook or MacBook Pro, by all means, buy yourself a keyboard cover. If you type a lot, don’t bother. There is no substitution for the tactile feedback of pressing directly on the keys. KB Covers myriad of keyboard covers can be found here for anywhere from $24.95 to $39.95.

UPDATE: I just found another flaw in the KB Covers. There is no way to know when the caps lock or num lock buttons are turned on because the dark cover blocks the green light from shining through. I’m sure the clear ones will not have a problem but they should have created a clear part for the caps and num lock keys.

[Flickr gallery]

2 thoughts on “Quick Review: KB Covers”

  1. The Mac Book Pro becomes a paperweight after you spill a few drops of water into its keyboard. Having experienced that kind of loss a few days after purchase, I think keyboard covers ought to be a standard recommendation.

  2. @ Anonymous: It is true that water will probably turn a MacBook or MacBook Pro into a paperweight but then again that can be said for all computers. Again, it's a personal preference. If you value protecting your investment and don't mind an ambiguous typing experience, then by all means get a keyboard cover. I have friends who have spilled plenty of differing types of liquids on their machines multiple times. I would highly recommend them get a keyboard cover. On the other hand, I know plenty of people who have never spilled anything on their computers, myself included. For me, the ability to type fast and accurately outweigh the chance that I might spill something on my computer.

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