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The Nintendo DS Lite is a portable gaming machine, so it’s understandable that it will go through a series of bumps and bruises as you play some Ninja Gaiden or Mario Kart on the go. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways to protect your shiny touchscreen handheld from the elements. You could opt for one of those hard plastic cases, for example. Alternatively, you might want to look into a silicon sleeve. Speaking for myself, I invested in a $10 airform case from eBay. However, in most cases, you effectively add a fair bit of bulk to your otherwise compact video game machine. And what about personality? That silicon sleeve is pretty bland, wouldn’t you say? Gelaskins has come to rescue with a wide range of colorful skins for the Nintendo DS Lite. They not only protect your DS from scratches and abuse, but they also add a huge touch of style as well.

Gelaskins in a Nutshell

If you’re not already familiar with Gelaskins, they already produce a series of protective skins for a number of different portable devices. Hopping on over to their official website, you’ll find that their library includes protective skins for everything from the iPod to the Macbook in over 50 designs ranging from the stars and stripes to anime. They’ve only recently expanded this selection to the Nintendo DS Lite and Mario fanboys couldn’t be happier.

Four Pieces for the DS

When it comes to an iPod, Gelaskins provide you with two skins: One for the front and one for the back. Given the clamshell form factor of the DS Lite, the accompanying skins are comprised of four pieces. Two for the inside and two for the outside. The skin quality is very good, considering that the designs are printed onto 3M stickers using the 3M Controltac Graphic Marking System.

Gelaskins claims that these skins are “easy on” and “easy off”, meaning that the adhesive can be used multiple times. I don’t know how many times you’d want to remove the skin and put it back on, but it’s nice to know that the option is there for you. After a few applications, I’m thinking that the adhesive would start to lose the “easy on” part of the equation.

As it stands, it seems that you can get your fingers all over the sticky side of the skin and it has next to no effect on how well the protective skin will be able to stick to your portable gaming machine. The application process doesn’t need to be all that delicate.

Application and Installation

The two back pieces are pretty straight-forward, especially the top cover. Just line it up and stick it on. The bottom piece has holes cut out for the stylus port, power switch, volume slider, and GBA slot.I was impressed by the attention to detail, particularly for the two inner pieces. In the top cover, you’ll find that Gelaskins not only cut out a hole for the top display, but there are even six tiny holes on either side for the speakers. The scary thing is that these itsy-bitsy holes actually line up perfectly with the speaker holes on the DS Lite.

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