Without a doubt, one of the best parts of the Surface Pro 4 is its unique design. While the magnesium chassis offers an unmatched feel, it is absolutely unforgiving when it comes to scratches, nicks and scuffs. A quick Google search for protective covers for the Surface Pro 4 and you'll find a small selection of accessories that only make the 'Pro 4' look atrocious.
For the most part, when I travel with the Pro 4, I usually put the device in the a slip case. Since I'm well aware of the devices ability to attract scratches with ease, I always take extra care to be gentle when setting in a table or other hard surface. For the most part, I have prevented any major scuffs from appearing, but there were times when the magnesium casing would show signs of wear, which was a bit alarming. Luckily, I was able to connect with the good folks at 'Toast' during CES, where I was offered a sample wood cover for my Surface. I know its been ages since January, but I wanted to offer up my thoughts on the installation process and how well the Toast cover has protected my Surface.
While there are literally hundreds of accessory manufacturers in the world, what makes Toast and their products different - is in their attitude. Hailing from Portland Oregon, the company is well aware of the environmental impacts that their products can have and has made it a mantra to be responsible. Toast specializes in offering wood covers / veneers, but also dabbles in leather. The company designs and manufactures all of their products in their home state of Oregon and they source wood from responsibly managed forests within North America. The products are created using 100% renewable energy and are packed in FSC certified paper packaging.
While not the most elegant or complex presentation, the packaging provides enough protection for the contents. Once you remove the wood covers from their packaging, don't be absentminded and throw out the packaging, as it offers instructions on how to apply your newly purchased cover. While it really isn't that hard to apply the wood veneers, if you feel skittish, I would give the instructions a once-over.
For the most part, you'll want to line up all the pieces of the Toast covers to your device and make sure that each piece fits correctly. If everything looks good to go, start removing the adhesive backings and start applying each piece. For the Surface, it was recommended to start with the back panels. After placing each piece and adhering it to the Surface, opening the hinge is a necessary test to make sure that the covers are aligned properly.
Once everything is situated with the back panels, you'll want to apply the sides. The procedure is the same as the back covers, matching up each piece and making sure fitment is correct. While the application is the same, there is a little bit more finesse that is required when wrapping the veneer around the corners of the Surface. Once everything looks good, you'll want to apply the volume and power buttons. One thing to note, once the wood covers are applied, they can be removed, but you will most likely not be able to reapply them.
If you manage to get everything into place, the look and feel of the 'Toast' Surface Pro 4 is amazing. The fitment of the covers is fantastic and the quality of the wood is superb. As for protection, it probably won't prevent your Surface Pro from a ding if dropped, but it will definitely repel all forms of scratches and scuffs that would normally manifest themselves in some way on the exposed magnesium surface. While I like the look and feel of the Toast cover, this will certainly be subjective; but I think it is one of the best options available when it comes to purchasing a cover that will provide some mild protection, while differentiating and accentuating the beauty of the Surface Pro 4.
For those interested, you can find a cover for your products on Toast's website. You can also check out more images in the gallery below. The Surface Pro 4 cover starts $49 USD and is available in walnut, bamboo, ebony and ash.