Gadget Protection

I’m a gadget freak.  I also take protecting my gadgets very seriously.  For my reference, and yours, I’m going to list some of my favorite gadget protection product sites in this post.

I’m going to try my best to update this site more regularly.  I’ve got so many gadgets, laptops, electronics, etc… that I want to talk about!  Some of it is old, some of it is new, but all of it is interesting to me, and surely interesting to you!  Why else would you be here?

In the interest of full disclosure, this site is NOT advertiser supported, and you’ll note that there are no referrer links on any of these.  This site is funded by me personally, and these links are provided from one gadget lover to another.

Click on More to see the full list.

http://www.bestskinsever.com – Cheap, well crafted, nearly invisible, fully removable protective skins for all of the most popular gadgets.  I love this site, cheap shipping, awesome product.

http://www.shieldzone.com – Overpriced, sells the same thing as Best Skins Ever, but has a better selection of available products.  Best Skins Ever has skins for the most popular products, InvisibleShield gets into more of the obscure stuff.  Note, the ShieldZone (parent company Zagg) warranty is complete garbage.  They make you jump through tons of hoops (especially if you buy their products retail, not through their website), so don’t base your purchase on the warranty.

http://www.sfbags.com – WaterField bags, very nice stuff for gadget and laptop protection.  They also have great prices compared to other sites.  I don’t own any of their products (yet), as I’ve just recently stumbled across them.

http://www.caselogic.com – I probably own more Case Logic cases than any other brand.  They make great stuff, in a whole galaxy of multi-colored shapes and sizes.  Good prices, and very readily available.  They produce a lot of cases from neoprene with foam backing, and that is one of my preferred styles of case.

http://www.targus.com – One of my go-to companies for backpacks.  They make the Gravity Backpack which is my current bag of choice.  I can fit all of my gadgets in this bag, with room to spare, yet it’s small enough to carry every day.  It’s got a padded sleeve for a laptop up to 15.4″ in screen size.  I regularly carry two laptops, and this bag doesn’t even bat an eye.  One laptop in the in-built padded area, one in a separate laptop sleeve.  The build quality of this bag is amazing, I’ve beat the tar out of it, and it keeps coming back for more.  I don’t even think there is 1 stitch out of place.  I’ve owned bags from all different vendors, and NONE have held up as well as this Targus.  If anything happens to it, I’ll definitely be going back to Targus for my next bag.  Their prices are very reasonable, especially compared to other high-quality bag manufacturers.

http://www.tombihn.com – They tend to be VERY overpriced, but cater to a market with higher expectations.  They even offer laptop bags that natively offer storage for two laptops.  They do this with a modular bag insert-system (see the Brain Cell and Brain Bag) that is an incredibly cool concept.  I have yet to purchase any of their bags, or bag systems, but rest-assured I will eventually.

http://www.radtech.com – These guys take precision to a whole new level.  I have NEVER seen products that are this well-fitting.  It’s truly unbelievable.  They tend to cater to Apple, but make products for all manufacturers.  They have the wonderful ScreenSavrz microfiber keyboard protectors which prevent the keytops from marring the screen on your laptop when it’s closed.  They also produce the fitted Sleevz which are amazing microfiber gloves for your laptop.  They offer excellent scratch protection, and add almost NO bulk to the laptop.  I own them for the products that I have where RadTech has them available, and have been continuously amazed as to the build-quality and fitment.  I wish they would let you custom build your own Sleevz, as I would own many more of their products.

I’ll continue updating this post as I find more sites and products! I’m actively looking for a site that offers various-sizes of neoprene sleeves.  I would also settle for a site that has velvet drawstring pouches in a variety of sizes (Think D&D Dice Bags, although I won’t be using them for that!).

Update (11-Dec-2009): I can’t believe I forgot about Skooba Design.  http://www.skoobadesign.com/ They have some really nice bag designs, including some laptop sleeve/skin styles that differ from the competition.  I own quite a few of their products, and have been very happy with every aspect of them.

Matthew mentions Mobile Edge in the comments.  I neglected to link to them in the original article, you can find them at http://www.mobileedge.com .  One of the nice parts about the Mobile Edge product offering are the “Mobile Edge for Her” line, offering a decent selection of bags that are (obviously) designed with women in mind.

7 Responses to “Gadget Protection” »»

  1. Comment by Michelle | 10/19/08 at 2:16 pm

    I wanted to add that Invisible Shield’s products are garbage. Sure they protect your gadgets…I used one on my iPhone…but they start peeling off the first time you put them to the test (carrying the gadget in your pocket, pulling it out of your bag frequently). The same skin, for significantly less money (1/3 of the price + $1.00 shipping) from Best Skins held up much better and protected my iPhone just as well.

    Don’t let the guy running the Invisible Shield stand outside the King of Prussia Mall’s Apple store tell you otherwise!

  2. Comment by Matthew Olivolo | 10/21/08 at 1:22 pm

    I like the fact that you only talk about products you like. I too am a gadget freak and am on the brink of transitioning from PC to Mac. I have an iPhone and an iMac at home. At work I still use a PC…

    Since you like Targus and Case Logic laptop bags, I thought you would be interested in laptop bags from Mobile Edge. I have worked for Mobile Edge for three years. I’ve used other company’s cases before and they were good but always left something to be desired. I currently use the new Mobile Edge ScanFast Backpack which is Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag. I’ve traveled several times and now I don’t have to remove my laptop from my bag when passing through airport security. Its just one less thing I have to worry about. I still have to take off my shoes, belt and cell phone, etc, but at least this is one less thing to worry about. Check it out for yourself and let me know your thoughts.

    Matthew Olivolo
    Mobile Edge
    http://www.mobileedge.com

  3. Comment by tgeorge | 10/24/08 at 1:45 pm

    @Matthew:

    I’ve not yet tried the Mobile Edge product line. A co-worker has one, and loves it. He’s been pushing me to try them out.

    I definitely will give Mobile Edge consideration next time I’m looking for a bag.

    I am planning on splitting the above list into products that I’ve used and like, products that I’ve used and didn’t like, and products I’ve heard about but haven’t tried yet. When I make this update, I will add Mobile Edge to the list of vendors.

  4. Comment by Kevin | 10/24/08 at 11:51 pm

    ShieldZone was the only one I had heard of 5 or so years ago so have just used them. I will checkout Best Skins for my next toy if the stuff is the same and cheaper.

    Haven’t had any problems with the SheildZone material falling off. I made use of their warranty once… for my handheld hiking GPS… and don’t recall having any problems or BS from them… altho that was around 3 years ago.

  5. Comment by Chris ZAGG Rep | 11/03/08 at 6:56 pm

    ZAGG actually stands behind the LIFETIME GUARANTEE and if your invisibleSHIELD ever does peel up or fails in some other way, we’ll replace it. It’s pretty easy. The invisibleSHIELD is also a unique film that is exclusive to ZAGG. Nobody uses the same film that we do and that is a verifiable fact. If you should have any further questions about ZAGG or the invisibleSHIELD itself, please don’t hesitate to contact the customer service department or even visit ZAGG.com.

  6. Comment by tgeorge | 11/03/08 at 9:51 pm

    @Chris:

    The product I had was the iPhone version, and the Best Skins Ever replacement I purchased (for significantly less money than the InvisibleShield) was of a much higher quality design. The InvisibleShield used 6 small pieces to fill in areas of the iPhone. There were 4 teardrop-shaped corner covers (which were the first parts that the edges began to lift on), and two U-shaped areas that covered the top and bottom of the chrome. These also showed wear extremely quickly and became the first parts to fall off. Overall, I was very dissatisfied with how many small pieces were involved. The Best Skins Ever was simply better designed with fewer small parts. I also thought the Best Skins Ever had a superior smoothness, as the InvisibleShield was far more textured.

    I believe the issues I had with Zagg/InvisibleShield warranty process related to the fact that I had purchased the InvisibleShield at retail. I had not registered the shield with Zagg at the time of purchase (admittedly my mistake). When I attempted to register later (once the shield had failed), I no longer had the receipt for the item. Looking at the InvisibleShield website now, it looks like the info from the receipt is no longer required. However, without filling out the form, I can only get to Step 2 of a 3 step process. I remember needing original purchase dates, etc. The fact that I had the original InvisibleShield should have been enough for the warranty replacement, not to mention that I had kept the original box (assuming it was a proof of purchase). I had not contacted Zagg Customer Support on this issue, as it appeared easier to just order a competing product. At the point the Best Skins Ever product showed up and I installed it, I was so pleased that I pitched the InvisibleShield in the trash. I really figured I’d never look back. I honestly didn’t expect a couple of sentences (almost a year later) on my quick post to generate any response, and almost wish I still had the shield so I could give Zagg another chance.

    I was also underwhelmed by the Zagg Customer Support process on a separate issue. I purchased (again at retail) what I thought was the MacBook full body shield. I found out that the product I purchased did not contain the bottom coverage for the MacBook. (It now looks like InvisibleShield only offers the full-body coverage version.) I had e-mailed what I thought was a simple request. Can I purchase the bottom section of the cover alone, or exchange what I had for the full-body version? Seemed easy enough, and I received an automated response to my message stating that someone would get back to me shortly. After waiting about a month for a reply, I re-sent my original e-mail. Again, I received an automated response stating that my message was received. This time, after a few days I did receive an e-mail back from Zagg. The response from Zagg to my second e-mail did not make any sense considering the situation. They were offering a warranty replacement full-body shield for the cost of shipping, however I was not inquiring about a warranty replacement. At this point, I simply gave up, as no progress was being made. I called in to the customer support phone line, I thought I’d have better luck at explaining the situation, but was again frustrated.

    I really wanted to like InvisibleShield (the Zagg company, and the InvisibleShield product) more than I did. I’m a gadget addict, and like all of my gadgets to be properly protected. I am not a fan of bulky cases, so the skin-style protection offered by both InvisibleShield and Best Skins Ever is the perfect answer. InvisibleShield seems to be trying to cater to a higher-end market, and I expected far better customer service than what I feel I received (both from the automated/self-service portions of the website, and from the e-mail interactions with customer support). Especially considering that I am directly in the demographic/target market for these types of products. None of this is saying that I won’t use them again, but I’ll definitely proceed with caution. I currently strongly favor the experiences I’ve had with the Best Skins Ever company and product offerings.

    I know there are plenty of people out there who have been very pleased with InvisibleShields, I see posts from them all the time in various tech forums I frequent. I had different experiences which definitely left me with a sour taste for the InvisibleShield product and Zagg as a company.

  7. Comment by Michelle | 11/04/08 at 10:15 am

    @ Chris

    Whether or not another company uses the exact same material that Invisible Shield uses is not the issue here. Best Skins uses a material that protects JUST AS WELL for 1/3 of the price!! And as Todd mentioned, there are fewer pieces that are at risk for peeling off and the Best Skins product is much less frustrating to put on the gadget and KEEP ON. I think Invisible Shield is simply missing the boat here..charging too much for an inferior product.

    I had to remove my Best Skins protector due to the fact that I had to return my iPhone for replacement. I have a brand new Best Skins protector ready for my new phone. Ya know what Chris, for the 2 skins I bought from Best Skins, I still haven’t paid as much as I did for ONE Invisible Shield. Your company really needs to reassess its quality and pricing. In the meantime, I strongly advise people to go with Best Skins.

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