Time and time again we, at Run Around Tech, have professed our love for TwelveSouth. The little company that makes products and accessories only for Apple made hardware continues to offer up unique and functional add on items. TwelveSouth’s newest offering, the SurfacePad for the MacBook Air (Late 2010 – Mid 2012), is a ultra thin layer of premium Napa leather that serves two purposes. First, it’s meant to protect the surface in around the trackpad of your MacBook Air. Second, and perhaps even more importantly, the SurfacePad offers up a comfortable cushioned area for you to rest your wrist while enduring marathon typing sessions on your Air.
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The SurfacePad is available in two color options. ”Pop Red” as we’ve reviewed or “Jet Black.” The SurfacePad comes folded in half in a simple box stuck to a large backing piece. The thin form factor of the SurfacePad allows it to be shipped in smaller packing resulting in lower shipping costs to you. At the time of this review shipping was free in the U.S. It doesn’t get much “lower” than that.
I was concerned that the folding of the SurfacePad would result in some sort of visible crease to appear in the leather but my fears were unwarranted. Once unfolded the SurfacePad appeared perfect.
On the back of the larger backing piece you’ll find a simple set of instructions for how to go about installing the SurfacePad onto your MacBook Air. When you order one, in addition to choosing a color, you’l also need to specify whether you have the 11″ or the 13″ as each SurfacePad is sized accordingly.
The back of the SurfacePad is lined with two sectioned but clear backing pieces. The instructions explain that you are first to remove the lower portion of the backing (labeled 1 and featuring a red tab.) Then you align the bottom portion of the SurfacePad around the trackpad of your Air smoothing it out and pushing out any air bubbles that may have formed (in my case none did.)
Once that’s complete you remove the upper portion of the backing (labeled 2 with a blue tab) and repeat the process for the upper portion of your Air.
Before sticking on the SurfacePad I took care to make sure that the wrist area of my Air was cleaned of any debris. I then proceeded to follow the installation instructions. It took me several attempts before I was confident that I had the bottom portion of the SurfacePad aligned evenly around my Air’s trackpad. Thankfully the adhesive is light enough that I could easily lift up the SurfacePad and adjust it until I was fully satisfied. Then I proceeded to press it down permanently.
Once I had the top portion of the SurfacePad installed the finished look was flawless. I was left with no air bubbles, no creases or blemishes, just a perfectly aligned and installed area for my wrists on my Air.
The red color of the SurfacePad just as the name suggests – pops! It’s bright and whimsical and adds a nice amount of flair to the black and silver body of the MacBook Air. Of course if you’d rather stay conservative the Jet Black color looks equally sharp as well.
With the SurfacePad installed you’ve thoroughly protected the wrist area of your MacBook Air from foreign objects such as the clasp of your watch or other jewelry. You’ve also created a comfortable area to rest your wrists while typing. The SurfacePad adds virtually no bulk and zero weight to the Air either. If you ever tire of the SurfacePad it can be easily removed leaving no residue or adhesive behind. If you’ve got a MacBook Air give the SurfacePad a try. You’re wrists will be forever thankful you did and if your Air should find its way to another user someday the mint condition of the area around the trackpad will be surely be appreciated as well.
You can learn more about the TwelveSouth SurfacePad for the MacBook Air by visiting this page on the company’s web site.
PROS: Authentic leather, comfy, inexpensive, perfect fit, two color options.
CONS: A little tough to install perfectly.