Tired of having the same iPhone case that everybody else has? How about making a custom case that is distinctly your own? That's what the customizable Skinit inkFusion Pro cases (US$34.99) are all about. Grab a picture that fits your unique personality and with a few clicks, you're on your way to getting a case that protects your iPhone 5/5s and makes you stand out. Check out the review, then have a chance to win a free Skinit inkFusion Pro case from Skinit and TUAW -- and if you don't win, we have a discount code worth some bucks off on your order. Between now and August 25, 2014, use the code TUAW25 when checking out for 25 percent off your order. That gives you a custom iPhone case for just $26.25, a real bargain!
Skinit describes the inkFusion Pro as a "two-piece thermoplastic polymer fusion case". There's both a hard shell on the outside of the case and an inner liner that absorbs impacts if you drop your iPhone. That inner liner is pretty boring -- it's basic matte black -- but it's the outside of the case that counts.
When ordering your inkFusion Pro case online, you load an image. That image can come from anywhere -- your computer, one of a zillion stock images that Skinit has access to, a picture from a website, photos you have saved on Facebook, Instagram uploads, Flickr, or even Google+. When the image has been uploaded on the Skinit site, you can scale or rotate it, add text, change the color or apply filters, and then preview the image before you send the case off for manufacturing.
About a week later, you'll get a padded envelope in the mail containing your work of art -- otherwise known as your inkFusion Pro case. The printing quality is very good -- I made a case featuring a photograph I took of a Magellenic Penguin at the Valdes Peninsula in Argentina, and other than the case having a bit more of a brown tinge than the original photo, the image was sharp and wrapped around the sides of the case. The fun thing is that I now have a nice iPhone case that will remind me of a day spent walking around tens of thousands of penguins.
The case has the requisite cutouts for the camera and flash, speaker, Lightning port, headphone jack, and mute/orientation lock switch. There are pass-through switches for the volume toggle and wake/sleep button.
The inkFusion Pro case is simple to install and remove as well, so if you decide to get more than one, it's easy to swap 'em out. Just remove the interior liner from the hard shell, put your iPhone into the liner, and then put it into the shell. To swap shells, just pull the liner-enclosed iPhone out of the shell and snap it into another shell.
The entire inkFusion Pro case weighs just 1.2 ounces (34 grams), so you're getting a lot of protection without a lot of weight. My only gripe is that the interior liner is a bit "deep", meaning that there's a significant lip down near the iPhone Home button. Rather than being able to slide my finger right onto the Home button for Touch ID, I found that I had to approach it at an angle. Touch ID still worked, but the entire setup just felt a little awkward at first. That "lip" does provide the iPhone screen with protection from face-down drops, so it's probably a good thing all in all.
The ordering process for making your own Skinit inkFusion Pro iPhone case is fast and easy, the custom cases are reasonably priced, and the resulting case offers protection from accidental drops while reflecting your interests and personality. The inkFusion Pro case adds customizable fun to a market filled with look-alike cases.
Rating: 3-1/2 stars out of 4 stars possible
OK, I got a penguin on a Skinit inkFusion Pro iPhone case, but you could have your girlfriend, kids, dog, cat, or even Justin Bieber (God forbid) on one of these cases. We've teamed up with Skinit for a giveaway of a coupon code good for a free case -- you provide the artwork, we'll supply the code. Here are the rules for the giveaway, and if you don't win, remember that the coupon code I talked about in the first paragraph of this review will give you 25 percent off on one of these great cases.
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before August 11, 2014 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected in a random drawing and will receive a Skinit coupon code valued at $34.99 to create their own inkFusion pro case