MacBook Sleeve: Snugg as a bugg in a rugg
OK, you’ve just spent £1,200 or £1,300 on a shiny new MacBook, whether in traditional silver, discreet slate grey or blingy gold. It’s gorgeous, but how to protect it? I found the answer on Amazon.
The Snugg MacBook Sleeve is made from a material that looks and feels like leather but doesn’t smell like leather. It is billed as leather but if you read the small print you will see it is made from “PU leather”, a synthetic. It's a very clever synthetic, though. The main thing is that it looks good and feels like a quality product. The interior is lined with “Nubuck” fibre, another synthetic material that is soft and felt-like.
Snugg by name….
The sleeve has a footprint just slightly larger than a sheet of A4 paper (the MacBook is actually smaller than A4) and fits the computer closely.
The main compartment forms a single sheath for the computer and is secured by a long flap which snaps closed magnetically. Under the flap, to the left, is a single card holder. I’ve taken to using this for a business card which could help in the event of loss. Hope springs eternal, but Find My Mac is probably more likely to produce results.
On the back is a full-width compartment that will hold a few papers (it takes A4 easily, with about one inch of paper showing but not protruding above the top of the case). To the top left, next to the card slot, is a cutout for the USB-C cable, thus permitting the computer to remain connected while in the case. This is useful for boost charging, perhaps from an external battery while the MacBook is being carried around in a bag (lacking the proprietary MagSafe connector, the new MacBook is the only current Mac laptop that can be recharged easily from a third-party battery).
Overall, the case is compact and hardly seems to add to the bulk of the computer. It is perfect for carrying in the hand and allows the computer to be slipped into a carry-on bag, briefcase or backpack without danger of damage. It might even pass muster at airport security. Yesterday I passed through two European airports. London, allowed the MacBook to stay in the case while pernickety old Athens wanted it removed.
(Surprisingly, incidentally, Athens also made me unpack all my camera equipment, something that has never happened before. The unnecessarily aggressive Mr. Jobsworthopoulou in charge of the conveyor claimed this requirement to unpack cameras had been in force for four years. Since I've passed through the airport maybe 30 times in that time I have been lucky, or he is making it up as he goes along)
Hard shell option
I have also found that the case acts as a sort of tray for the MacBook, either when on the knee or on a flat surface. If the flap of the case is placed to the rear of the computer it raises the height of the back very slightly and helps create a minimal slope to improve typing.
Why not a Snugg hard-shell plastic case for the MacBook? I have used these clip-on cases successfully on several previous Mac portables, including the MacBook Air, and found them to be extremely good at what they do—protecting the body from scratches and dents. They can be awkward to install and remove and, for that reason, have to be seen as a permanent fixture. For the moment, though, there isn’t a version for the MacBook.
In any event, the little MacBook is just so gorgeous and slim that it is sacrilege of the first order to fit a permanent hard-plastic skin. I much prefer the Snugg Sleeve as a protective solution and I have to say that I have been very pleasantly surprised. The MacBook itself is a joy to behold, but so is the Snugg case when the computer is safely stored away.
There’s a bonus—a very modest £30 price tag. If you want a close-fitting, slim protective case for the MacBook I can highly recommend the Snugg Sleeve. It comes in a bewildering range of colours, orange, candy pink, electric blue, red, green, purple, hot pink and grey. Beware, though: These flighty versions are all £5 more than the pedestrian black. In my view the black looks best and it is cheapest. It is a mystery how a coloured synthetic can be more expensive to make than plain old black.
I bought this folio sleeve with few expectations. It was reasonably priced, whether leather or not, and was worth a punt. I thought it would serve as good temporary accommodation while I looked around for something better. As it turns out, I couldn’t have been more pleased. If I had handled this in a shop and seen a price tag of £40, I would have thought it good value. It really is a sleeve of desire, just as the MacBook is a computer of desire.