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View Full Version : Instant Zune Makeover From Decalgirl

Jason Dunn
06-14-2007, 03:00 PM
As nice as it is that Microsoft offers the Zune in several colours (currently that count is black, white, brown, red, and pink) you might want a different colour. Or, better yet, you might want your Zune to be adorned with an image or pattern. What do you do? You check out the Zune decals from <a href="http://www.decalgirl.com" target="_blank">Decalgirl</a>. Long known for Xbox, iPod, and laptop skins, Decalgirl jumped on the Zune bandwagon quite quickly after launch, offering a large variety of Zune-sized decals. They sent me a couple to review &ndash; here's what I thought of them. <br /><br />Ordering a Zune decal is easy enough &ndash; they have a <a href="http://www.decalgirl.com/browse.cfm/2,230.htm" target="_blank">Zune section for their decals</a>, and there are over 90 different designs. The price is the same regardless of design - only $6.99 USD per decal &ndash; and shipping is reasonable at $2.25 USD to a US-based address for one label, and a not-quite-so-reasonable $9.25 USD to Canada. I'm not sure about the rest of the world, but they do ship to a large number of countries. The breadth of designs is impressive &ndash; regardless of your own sense of personal style, odds are good that you can find a decal that matches your mood and style. They have all manner of designs, all with creative names: <a href="http://www.decalgirl.com/browse.cfm/4,5409.htm" target="_blank">Demonic Mitosis</a>, <a href="http://www.decalgirl.com/browse.cfm/4,5411.htm" target="_blank">Envy</a>, and <a href="http://www.decalgirl.com/browse.cfm/4,5124.htm" target="_blank">Woodland Camo</a> just to name a few. You can even fulfil your <a href="http://www.decalgirl.com/browse.cfm/4,5410.htm" target="_blank">Cuella De Vil fantasy</a> if that's your fancy.<br /><br /><img border="1" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/zt/2007/jasondunn-zune-decalgirl-1.gif" alt="" /><br /><em>Figure 1: Nine of their 90+ designs.</em><br /><br /><div style="page-break-after: always;"><span style="display: none;">&nbsp;</span></div><br />&nbsp;<img border="1" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/zt/2007/jasondunn-zune-decalgirl-2.jpg" alt="" /> <em><br />Figure 2: The front of the Zune decal &ndash; notice how there's extra space in the bottom left area near the control pad.</em> <br /><br />The quality is the decals themselves is impressive &ndash; the colours are rich, the level of detail in the print is impressive, and the material the decals of made of feels durable. My only real complaint is that applying the decal on the front of the Zune was frustrating because no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it to line up properly. Either I stretched it slightly by pulling it off and re-applying it several times, or it wasn't cut quite right. Regardless, it didn't look quite right on the front of the Zune &ndash; close, but not quite perfect. The back was easy to apply and looked excellent &ndash; no problems at all.<br /><br /><img border="1" src="http://images.thoughtsmedia.com/zt/2007/jasondunn-zune-decalgirl-3.jpg" alt="" /> <em><br />Figure 3: The back of the Zune. The design looks great, and there's a cut-away for the serial number.</em> <br /><br />Overall, I think Decalgirl decals are a fast, easy, and affordable way to make your Zune look different from anyone else's. They also offer an option to create a customized decal based on a graphic you submit, so if you want to have a truly unique Zune you can go that route. <br /><br /><em>Jason Dunn owns and operates <a href="http://www.thoughtsmedia.com" target="_blank">Thoughts Media Inc.</a>, a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys mobile devices, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, and his sometimes obedient dog. He remains steadfast in his belief that the Zune has great long-term potential, even if this current version makes him want to rip out his hair sometimes.</em>

06-14-2007, 06:36 PM
How about removability*? Any goo/sticky stuff left on my Zune?

*yes i know that's not a real world, but I'm sticking to it!

Damion Chaplin
06-14-2007, 07:24 PM
My only comment is that at first I had no idea what the design was supposed to be. Only when I went online and saw it was called 'balance' did I figure out it was the two halves of a yin-yang. Looked kind of like a billiard ball... Thankfully, not all of the designs require both halves to put together a picture.

I want to check out the custom decal, but the template's in Photoshop-native format. Anyone want to translate that for me to a file that I (or anyone) can read? You know, like PDF? ;)

Not everyone uses Photoshop. :(

Jason Dunn
06-14-2007, 09:00 PM
How about removability*? Any goo/sticky stuff left on my Zune?

Good question - it was perfect, no sticky stuff left behind when I took it off. That might have changed of course if I had left it on for six months, but they say it's designed to be removed and re-applied.

06-15-2007, 03:30 AM
I bought a couple of these for my zune and for 3 DS's and was not impressed with that muchl. One of my decals is already showing wear! And it is as if the clear protective layer is peeling off in the corner.

The Zune decal went on alright considering that the skinny top part kept on stretching, To me it seems that the sticker should not of been designed to follow the curve, if even ever so slightly (possible wear increased?) I would argue with any documentation that you could reapply this after removing from a device because the material is way to thin. A thicker product would make it much better qualitywise and an easier application .Be very careful if you want a perfect set though, and be patient.

My ds skin that I put on turned out like ****. The little dots for the speaker were not properly cut in the die and became stuck to the material. I went and removed the dots but I can still see where it was, probably because it kept the extra glue. Next I have to comment on the thickness again because the thin parts on the sticker kept stretching. The ds has two thick sides with a thin centre and was more problematic then the zune skin.

All in all a decent product for what it is but I deem it too cheap due to the lame thickness of the decal itself. I don't feel that the price is right due to the problems I listed, but maybe at half the price. I caution that these shiny new covers will probably turn to **** faster then a new ipod case would....

06-15-2007, 06:16 PM
Hello all! I just wanted to clarify that the skins are NOT reusable. They are repositionalble when you are first appling them. The vinyl tends to stretch when removed. They will not even after months and months leave any residue.

As for the application the zune is a bit tricky being that the sides around the screen are so thin. I generally apply them from the bottom making sure all the straight angles are correct and even. You had a bit of an irregular fit due to this fact. I can see from the picture that the lower portion is not straight in the middle it dips a bit. :)

Thinner is actually better when it comes to skins. Decalgirl uses a high quality cast vinyl with a extra protective laminate overlay. Calendered vinyl is thicker but also cheaper and wont protect your device as well. It also tends to make any touch sensitive buttons less responsive.

Even if you are not a photoshop pro you can use the templates! They can work with most photo editing software.

Jason Dunn
06-18-2007, 05:50 PM
A comment here reminded me of something I didn't like about the decal: it made the buttons harder to press. It wasn't much, but it did made the buttons ever so slightly harder to press. I didn't like that much.