Product: GelaSkins removable cover for Nintendo DSi XL
Rating: Two thumbs up; 93/100; A-; **** out of five.
Pros: Solid scratch protection, no fingerprints, numerous designs, easily removed/realigned, complete coverage if desired.
Cons: Difficult to apply.
Overall: Although few of the designs are specific to gaming, the ridiculous number of options will please most gamers. The precise fit and total coverage will keep your DSi XL looking great throughout its years.
The Nintendo DSi XL is a pretty attractive gaming device, I think. I like the color (mine is bronze), I like the build and I like the duo tone finish.
What I don’t like is the glossy top. This is basically a frame for fingerprints and that’s unfortunate as it mars an otherwise classy design. Your options here are either to clean it constantly, wear gloves or cover it with something that won’t make you want to wash your hands before every gaming session. If you prefer the latter, a great place to look is GelaSkins.
GelaSkins are patented 3M adhesives that are easy to put on and take off your DSi XL. The kit comes in a ridiculous number of design options, most of which are created by modern artists such as Philip Straub, Frank Miller and Camilla d’Errico. However, more classic artist such as Giger, Escher and Monet are also represented. GelaSkins also collaborates with Marvel and Dark Horse Comics, BustedTees, TOKIDOKI, and others. If its game licensing you want, though, you’re mostly out of luck.
GelaSkins also offers you the option of uploading your own photos or art to create a custom design but this is tricky with the DSi XL. There’s so much to cover with so many intricacies that it’s difficult to create a design that works around the whole system. You’re likely better off sticking with their artists and there are so many designs from which to chose that it’s quite easy to find numerous options from which to pick. I went with The Enamored Owl by Alberto Cerriteño because I dig the texture of his work, and because the colors are a fantastic match for my bronze DSi XL.
I mentioned before that you can put on and take off the skin multiple times. This is important, because you’ll need to do this when trying to get proper placement. Working with a DSi XL is not the same as working with an iPhone, as you’ve got four very large pieces of adhesive to lay down. They’ll bend and fold while you’re doing it, so I actually recommend getting someone to help by holding one end while you line up another.
Another problem comes with the tiny holes you need to pop out for the DSi XL’s speakers, buttons, etc. These will peel up with the skin, so you’ll want to punch them out first. Otherwise, they can flip back onto the main skin, and you’ll need tweezers to get them off. Each speaker has seven holes that’ll need to be punched out, so be prepared to take some time with this.
Once you do have everything in place, the GelaSkin is a nearly perfect fit. All openings are accounted for with impressive precision. The adhesive doesn’t stretch all the way to the end of the various components but, depending upon your design choice, this may look fine.
The one thing I’m unsure of is whether I want to keep the skin on the bottom of the DSi XL. It covers the padded feet, for one thing, which isn’t a huge issue because I’m always holding the device when playing games. It also covers the battery opening, which again isn’t a major concern. However, I think I just like the look of DSi XL’s backing better than that of the GelaSkin.
Of course, in addition to a more personal, fingerprint free design, the GelaSkin offers protection from everyday scuffs and scratches. Everything aside from the corners will be kept in pristine condition, provided you’re not going at your device with a knife or electric sander.
At only $20 for such complete protection, it’s easy to recommend GelaSkins. In fact, it’s easy to recommend a couple. The time you save by going directly from fried chicken to Etrian Odyssey III is surely worth the cost.