Sometimes we like to personalize our gadgets a little bit to stand out from the crowd or just put our stamp on them.
Sony and Apple in particular have been on top of this trend for years. Sony offers multiple color options for its Reader Touch and Reader Pocket line of e-readers in addition to the option of engraving the back of the device (if it's ordered online through their web store). Apple sets the bar with color options on many of its portable electronic devices and it also offers engraving. There are also hundreds of different cases and covers out there that serve the dual purpose of adding a dash of flair while providing some protection from unexpected drops and spills.
What if you want to take it a step further, though, and really mod your e-reader so it says "you." For the truly brave and those who have no fear of warranty voiding, you could always take your e-reader apart and spray paint it. Or send it in to Colorware and pay the premium to have them do the painting for you.
What's a GelaSkin?
I chose to try out the GelaSkins route instead. What is a GelaSkin? It's a removable, flexible sticker (using 3M adhesive), precision cut to exactly fit your device. The sticker -or skin- isn't going to do much more than keep the broken fragments from flying apart if you drop your e-reader, but it does provide some protection from scratches and UV fading. While you can upload your own design, there are hundreds of different versions available online, including collections from Marvel and National Geographic. GelaSkins are available for Kindle 2, Kindle 3, Kindle DX, NOOK, NOOK Color and Kobo (sorry but no Sony love at the moment), as well as most tablets. Pricing for most e-readers is $19.95.
Easy To Apply, Lots of Designs
I tested GelaSkins for Wired a few years ago and I was so impressed with them that I've subsequently bought many more, including for my daughter's Kobo e-reader. They're also slapped on a MacBook Pro, several iPods, an iPad and a Rock Band guitar controller. It can take a steady hand to apply a GelaSkin, especially on a device that has multiple buttons, but the cutouts are pretty spot on and the adhesive is very forgiving. It's not a "one shot better get it right" kind of experience; you can pull it off and try again if you're off slightly and not happy with the positioning. The material is stretchy enough that it can be adjusted slightly if you're just off by a smudge. Some of my devices have been adorned by GelaSkins for two years now and the skins are not fading or peeling and they wipe off easily with water for cleaning, looking good as new. I removed one from an iPod after a year and a half and it peeled right off, no struggle, no residue and no discoloration of the device. As an aded bonus, these things are so thin that they don't affect the use of cases or covers if you want to cover up your masterpiece in the name of safety (the thinness also eliminates issues with dock connectors).
The Best Way to Personalize Your E-Reader for Twenty Bucks
If you want a way to personalize your e-reader (or virtually any other electronic device), I highly recommend GelaSkins. If you get tired of the look after a year, you're only out twenty bucks and you can easily replace the skin with a completely different one. These are also great for dressing up a device that's seen a bit of wear and tear, by the way -it's almost like having everything except the screen and buttons replaced by a fresh, unmarred surface.
Order online at Gelaskins.com.