Slideshow

Pimp your laptop

Skin it, stick it, etch it, paint it--check out these ways to make your laptop PC look unique without breaking it (or your bank account).

  • Change the Cover



    If you want a quick, artsy way to update your computer, consider [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/157714/give_your_mobile_device_a_new_look.html|skinning it|Give Your Mobile Device a New Look]]. Skins usually cost between US$15 and $30, and some companies have already done the searching for you--[[xref:http://www.gelaskins.com/gallery|GelaSkins|GelaSkins]] has assembled an array of visually intriguing designs that are just waiting to adorn your laptop.

    (Image from [[xref:http://www.gelaskins.com|GelaSkins|GelaSkins]].)
  • Pimp Your Laptop



    Are you tired of looking at the same old black laptop? Do you wish you could stand out in your local Starbucks? (After all, nothing goes with your Frappucino like a blinged-out [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/194443/benchmarks_15inch_24ghz_core_i5_macbook_pro.html|15-inch Macbook Pro|Benchmarks: 15-inch 2.4GHz Core I5 MacBook Pro]].) Here are a few ways to [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/194178/how_to_mod_your_laptop.html|make your laptop look unique|How to Mod Your Laptop]]--via skins, stickers, or laser etching--without compromising its ability to do work.
  • Add Your Mark



    If nothing on GelaSkins catches your fancy--or if you want to personalize your laptop with a huge photo of your puppy, for example--try a custom skin. [[xref:http://www.schtickers.com/|Schtickers|Schtickers]] will let you upload a photo, add text, add backgrounds, change colors, and create a skin that fits your laptop for US$25.

    (Image from [[xref:http://swallowfield.typepad.com/|Jennifer Judd-McGee|Jennifer Judd-McGee]].)
  • Bling It



    Calling [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/174394/pink_tech_for_the_cure.html|all girly girls|Pink Tech for the Cure]]! Who among you doesn't want a laptop that shines and sparkles in the sun? There are several ways to add glimmer glamour to your tech: You can attach glitter and sequins yourself; you can grab a sparkly laptop skin (like this US$53 [[xref:http://www.skynmobile.com/laptop-skins/crystal/personalized-heart.html|Personalized Crystal Laptop Skin|Personalized Crystal Laptop Skin]] from Skyn Mobile), or you can send your notebook to Crystal Icing to have it [[xref:http://www.crystalicing.com/proddetail.asp?prod=9000|dipped in Swarovski crystals|crystalicing.com]] for $2000+.

    (Image from [[xref:http://www.edhardycases.com/|Ed Hardy|Ed Hardy]].)
  • Vinyl Decals



    Vinyl decals offer a great way to get a custom look without the premeditated effect of a full skin, and without the haphazard look of random stickers. Etsy has a number of cool decals for sale, including the US$15 [[xref:http://www.etsy.com/listing/49613668/full-color-snow-white-macbook-decal-for?ref=sr_gallery_9&ga_search_query=snow+white+decal&ga_search_type=all&ga_page=&includes%5b%5d=tags&includes%5b%5d=title|Snow White Macbook decal|Snow White Macbook decal]], shown here, and a $12 [[xref:http://www.etsy.com/listing/49620999/zebra-laptop-macbook-notebook-computer|zebra Macbook decal|zebra Macbook decal]].

    (Image from [[xref:http://www.etsy.com/shop/moviemagicman|moviemagicman|moviemagicman at esty]] at Etsy.)
  • For Those Who Aren't Afraid of Permanence



    Skins and stickers can make a laptop look cheap. If you have a design in mind--and no issues with voiding your warranty--you can achieve a pretty cool look with laser engraving. [[xref:http://www.adafruit.com/laser/|Adafruit Industries|Adafruit Industries]], an etching service in New York City, charges just US$100 to burn a permanent image onto a laptop case.

    (Image from [[xref:http://www.zedomax.com/|Zedomax|Zedomax]].)
  • Get A Paint Job



    If your passion-pink laptop has faded over the years from pizzazzy to pallid, why not slap on a new coat of paint? For about US$500, [[xref:http://www.colorwarepc.com/default.aspx|ColorWare PC|ColorWare PC]] will recolor your laptop (complete with scratch-resistant plastic coating).

    (Image from ColorWare PC.)
  • Graffiti Your Laptop



    Looking for more than just a new coat of paint? A professionally airbrushed design may be a better match to your style. [[xref:http://www.smoothcreations.com/|Smooth Creations|Smooth Creations]] has some pretty great looking [[xref:http://www.smoothcreations.com/pilot.asp?pg=proddetail_notebooks|airbrushed gamer designs|smoothcreations.com]] (including Call of Duty). The company isn't currently taking custom orders, but it plans to start doing so soon. Meanwhile, your local body shop might be willing to step up.

    (Image from Smooth Creations.)
  • Carbon Fiber...Laptop Case?



    You may not have a fast computer, but at least you can [[xref:http://www.pcworld.com/article/172749/10_seriously_ridiculous_hacks.html|look like you do|10 seriously ridiculous hacks]]. At far left we see how a guy who wanted the look of a carbon fiber laptop case--but not the price tag--managed to cope: He used some carbon fiber vinyl to replicate the sexiness of an Acer Ferrari 4000 Carbon-Fiber notebook (at near left).

    (Image from [[xref:http://theboxerblog.com/my-riced-out-fake-carbon-fiber-acer|The Boxer Blog|The Boxer Blog]].)
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