What is a Netbook Skin?

Malcolm Tatum

Also known as netbook protectors, netbook skins are accessories for the slim line laptop computers known as netbooks. More compact than most types of laptops, netbooks make it possible to connect to the Internet, conduct searches, read email, and enjoy a select group of computer functions. The netbook skin is a covering that serves two purposes: protecting the shell of the netbook, and providing the opportunity to customize the appearance of the device in accordance with the user's personal taste.

Family photos can be used as the inspiration for a custom netbook skin.
Family photos can be used as the inspiration for a custom netbook skin.

A netbook skin is normally constructed with some type of vinyl that comes with an adhesive backing. Various color combinations, patterns, images, and other designs are printed on the surface of the vinyl, which is then sealed with a solid coating. The adhesive included on most brands of skins is formulated to allow the coverings to be removed without leaving behind any type of residue on the netbook casing. This makes it possible to periodically change the look of the device whenever the user desires.

There are a number of mass-produced netbook skin designs on the market today. Some feature images of popular entertainers or historical figures. Others are designed to include eclectic color combinations, while still others come in basic solid colors that help to provide the user with something other than the standard black, gray or white casings that most netbooks have. While the designs vary, all netbook skin options help to protect the casing from sustaining scratches and other damage that is part of the normal wear and tear.

It is also possible to purchase custom designed skins. For example, a parent may have a netbook skin designed that features images of his or her children, while singles may opt for a skin that sports an image of their current romantic interest. Old family photos, book covers, or even letters written by an ancestor can be used as the inspiration for a custom netbook skin. While costing more than the commercial skins, the custom skin does help to provide the user with something that is unique and personal.

Purchasing a netbook skin or set of skins is a relatively simple process. Many novelty shops that carry products for electronic devices will have at least a few skin designs in stock. Computer shops often carry a wider selection of skins. When local shops do not offer design that is of interest, online retail outlets are excellent sources of many different skin designs. For customized skins, print shops and similar establishments can often help users turn their skin ideas into reality for a reasonable price.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum

After many years in the teleconferencing industry, Michael decided to embrace his passion for trivia, research, and writing by becoming a full-time freelance writer. Since then, he has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including EasyTechJunkie, and his work has also appeared in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and several newspapers. Malcolm’s other interests include collecting vinyl records, minor league baseball, and cycling.

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Discussion Comments


@Markerrag -- Well, some cases are worse than others. I like the case on mine and I bet my netbook cost about the same as yours did. Like all netbooks, the overall feel of the system screams "plastic" as loud as can be, but the matte black case on mine looks pretty darn good. I don't worry about smudges and that case even seems to resist scratches OK.

Will I get a netbook skin? I doubt it. I don't use my netbook much anymore (great system for Linux, by the way), but I have been very happy with the way my case looks since I bought my netbook. In fact, the matte finish is one of the reasons I bought the netbook I did.


I like netbook skins quite a bit. My netbook, like most of them, was inexpensive and looks like it. The case is a glossy and prone to picking up fingerprint smudges like nobody's business.

That problem is solved with a custom netbook skin. Not only does it make my little netbook unique, it covers that truly awful case that seems to be common to all netbooks. Plus, those tend to be very cheap, too. Bonus!

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