I want a clean computer for once.
April 4, 2010 6:47 PM   Subscribe

I'm buying a new MacBook soon. Help me keep this one clean.

I've had MacBooks (or iBooks, I guess) forever. My current one is about to turn 4, and it's time to get another one. The biggest problem I've always had with all of them is how gross I end up getting them after years of abuse. This time around, I'd really like to make sure to keep it tidy.

I'm less concerned about a shell or cover for the entire laptop; what I'm really looking for is a cover for the keyboard, palm rests and maybe even the track pad.

Any recommendations? Bonus points for a pack that has all of the above. I've found some close-but-no-cigars at the Apple website, but they're not really what I'm looking for. Ebay and Amazon have been somewhat useful, but it's hard to find anything for the new polycarbonate unibody MacBook. Will covers that worked for older models work for the newer model, too?

Thanks in advance for your help!
posted by timory to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Just a consideration: The 13" MBP will cost you a bit more obviously, but I find the finish on the Pro line quite resistant to getting grossified.
posted by drpynchon at 6:57 PM on April 4, 2010

Response by poster: as a broke member of the future unemployed lawyers of america, i just can't justify the MBP. the macbook will do me just fine... if i can encase it in a bubble.
posted by timory at 7:08 PM on April 4, 2010

For my keyboard, I've got an Iskin protouch. In addition to protection the keyboard from stuff (including liquid), it does a great job of making typing really quiet.

For the palmrest and trackpad, I've got this. The skin does a great job of providing some traction on the glass trackpad (which is otherwise smooth and quickly gets covered in oil from your skin).

I totally recommend both.
posted by special-k at 7:18 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Hold off a bit, and when new MacBook Pros are finally announced the old ones should become available for non-Pro prices.
posted by nicwolff at 7:39 PM on April 4, 2010 [1 favorite]

Speck really saved my prior 15" and is on my current one. I only have great things to say about their products.
posted by filmgeek at 8:13 PM on April 4, 2010

If you get a keyboard cover, be careful which one--if possible, try it first in a store so you know what it's like to type with it on. The first one I tried was (I think) from zCover; it didn't quite fit and was so stiff that typing was impossible. Right now I'm using one from iSkin, which is much better. It makes typing just a little harder, but I don't mind because it fits well and keeps the keys from getting oily-gross over time.
posted by k. at 8:41 PM on April 4, 2010

I've got the iSkin, but mind-- you'll end up replacing it about once a year or so if you're tough on it like I am (I type fast), and the last one I had lasted a bit longer but started degrading and emitting weirdness on the keys. Nothing fatal, just unnerving.

In my case, it's "iSkin or blank keycaps inside of six months and a keyboard failure sometime inside of two years;" your mileage may vary, but it's been really great.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 8:58 PM on April 4, 2010

Also, just as a heads up, I know that from my circa 2007 MacBook wrist grossness (which seriously looked gross like two weeks in) compared to my circa 2010 MacBook, the plastic is completely different - it doesn't allow itself to get as shiny and gray so quickly, as well as not having that pesky problem of having parts of the plastic snap off like the older MacBooks.
posted by banannafish at 9:41 PM on April 4, 2010

I just purchased a new macbook pro, I also purchased a wireless mouse and a wireless keyboard for it. I seldom touch the macbook, it stays very clean..

AND...yes, wait for the "AND"...!!!! The apple magic mouse is a great tool, makes everything I do easier and is SO much better than a trackpad! The keyboard is also more comfortable for me compared to the macbook keyboard.. You'll spend about $150 for the two, but you'll love the result!
posted by HuronBob at 3:32 AM on April 5, 2010

I've heard of some keyboard covers now allowing the computer to vent and thus overheating quicker, not sure how true, maybe someone can chime in.
posted by Brian Puccio at 5:50 AM on April 5, 2010

Get a Moshi iVisor for the screen. They retail for something $30 but you can get them for half that on eBay. It makes sure that you don't scratch up the screen and gets rid of glare. I love it. I had problems with my old PowerBook where the screen would get little dents from the keyboard if I closed it and something happened to press down upon the top. This totally prevents that!
posted by autoclavicle at 7:54 AM on April 5, 2010

If you are concerned about existing dirt marks / grime, try using a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on it. After a few months of grime build up on my white MacBook, I give it a quick scrub with the Magic Eraser, and it looks like new again.
posted by dgc at 9:05 AM on April 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

I was thinking about trying this cleaning putty:

If only they made the keyboard removable, so you could give it a good dusting every once in a while.
posted by at at 12:04 PM on April 10, 2010

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