Perk up the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio with Slickwraps [Review]

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Slickwraps for Apple Smart Keyboard Folio review
This is an iPad Pro, believe it or not.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Apple Smart Keyboard Folio for the 2018 iPad Pro is slim, lightweight and very useful. It’s also ugly as a mud fence. Slickwraps makes an array of “skins” designed to improve the appearance with bright colors, simulated wood grain or other options.

We tested this device cover to see whether it really enhances this iPad Pro add-on. Read on to find out how it did.

Slickwraps for Apple Smart Keyboard Folio review

Slickwraps have been around for a long time and are available for every Apple phone and tablet. But the version for the Smart Keyboard Folio is new. Apple only makes its accessory in charcoal gray, and Slickwraps must have seen an opportunity.

There are literally dozens of colors and styles to choose from. These range from hot pink to plain black and just about everything in between. Many of these simulate materials, with options for wood grain, metal and even stone. Or you can have your pictures printed on a wrap.

There are Slickwraps for Apple’s keyboard made of actual leather or wood, but we didn’t try them out for this review.

Feeling whimsical, we decided to test a skin from the Study Series that that simulates a composition notebook like the ones we carried in school. It looks great. The illusion is realistic enough that many people who see this tablet and case probably think it’s made of paper.

Not a case, per se

Slickwraps cover the front and back of the Smart Keyboard Folio, but not the edges. There are also openings everywhere the folio needs to bend. There’s a large piece for the front of the case and two smaller ones for the back, one for each side of the fold in the middle. The two pieces for the inside of the case don’t really add anything to the illusion that this is a Composition Notebook, and can’t even be seen most of the time.

These skins are about as thin as a piece of paper. They do help protect the exterior of the case from scratches, but not much else. Don’t expect this product to defend the Smart Keyboard Folio and the iPad Pro inside from bumps or blows. For that, you need a real case that wraps around both.

Instead, Slickwraps are more about improving the appearance of Apple’s keyboard. And, boy, does it need improving.

But there is one drawback. These are called Slickwraps for a reason: adding one of these skins makes the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio slightly more slippery. The exterior of this case doesn’t have much texture to begin with, and a wrap makes it even slicker.

Slickwraps for Apple Smart Keyboard Folio review
The Slickwraps skin for the 2018 iPad Pro fits exactly.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Attaching a Slickwraps skin

This add-on is thin and flexible, and feels like it might be made of some type of vinyl. It’s been laser cut to exactly fit the device it wraps around. Every corner, edge and opening in our test wrap is exactly the right shape.

Application begins with rigorously cleaning the Smart Keyboard Folio; the cleaner it is, the better the wrap will adhere. (That’s true of any version of this product.)

Next, carefully, carefully apply the skin, being sure it’s aligned correctly on every edge and opening. Don’t be afraid to start over if it’s off even slightly, as the adhesive is very forgiving. This glue doesn’t set until heat is applied, so the final step is running a hair dryer over the Slickwrap skin.

We spent almost 45 minutes applying the five different pieces of the Study Series wrap. At the end, it conforms perfectly to the Apple Smart Folio Keyboard.

Slickwraps durability

After a week of use, our skin for this keyboard case still looks looks brand new. It’s not coming loose from any corner or edge. But what about king term?

Back in 2014, we put a Slickwraps skin on an iPad Air. That tablet is still going strong today, and the wrap is too. It’s slightly beat up after five years of continuous use, but that’s to be expected.

Slickwraps for Apple Smart Keyboard Folio final thoughts

The flat plastic grey/black exterior of the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio looks cheap. Which is ironic considering it costs $199. You can add some flair with a Slickwraps skin, or put on one to make the accessory appear more professional.

These are practically weightless and paper thin. The only downside is the slightly slick surface.

A Slickwraps skin for Apple’s iPad Pro keyboard case is $49.95. The versions made of natural materials go for $80.

Buy from: Slickwraps

You’ll be using the Smart Keyboard Folio for years, and $50 might seem a bargain to not have to look at its ugly exterior for that whole time.

Slickwraps did not provide Cult of Mac with a review unit for this article. See our reviews policy, and check out more stuff we recommend.