MacBook sleeves and bags are practically a commodity today, with a wide variety of options and styles available for purchase at almost all online and offline retailers, and for good reason. Even as Apple’s portable computers trend towards lighter and more durable designs, a practical carrying case is still essential for any kind of travel. I’ve been using Inateck’s felt sleeve style MacBook cover for the past several weeks- a durable, unobtrusive, and light way to protect a 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro or 11-inch MacBook Air. Let’s take a closer look at the product.
There are few MacBook sleeves I’ve seen more basic than Inateck’s offering. The model I’ve been testing, MP1301, uses a simple flip cover and elastic strap to securely hold your MacBook in place. Although this particular style is only available in an olive green color, Inateck makes several variations on this design in a gray tone.
The sleeve is fashioned out of what I found to be a durable, heavy felt, with a comfy, flannel lined interior, which is neither too slippery nor too clingy to hold your MacBook in place. The main compartment in the sleeve is a spacious pocket for your MacBook, and in my case, using an 11-inch MacBook Air, held the laptop well. I can’t speak for how well the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro fits, but I assume the situation is quite similar. Directly to the front of this main compartment is a smaller, slightly more shallow pocket for smaller devices, such as the likes of an iPad. On the back of the case lie two additional pockets for accessories, although these don’t afford the protection of the front cover. While one could easily fit a considerable number of devices into this sleeve, I chose to use it only to hold my MacBook, keeping its size down for travel purposes. As a bonus, Inateck includes a detached small felt bag which they suggest would hold a power adapter or mouse well. This was a welcome addition.
It’s easy to dismiss this sleeve as too small to carry all of your gadgets you may need for a long road trip, but doing so ignores the key benefit of this sleeve: portability. Prior to testing this sleeve, I was using a standard laptop bag for my MacBook, complete with a handle and more space than I knew what to do with. In fact, the bag was so large, I ended up storing my laptop in the extra compartment at the front of the bag, rather than the cavernous main compartment. After switching to the Inateck sleeve, I was refreshed at how easy it was to carry around my MacBook. The experience was more like carrying the laptop bare, and less like hauling around carry on luggage.
With a case this small, I was immediately concerned if it would be a safe and secure way to transport my MacBook. The sleeve has very minimal padding, and no zipper or velcro holding the sleeve shut. However, I’ve had no problems with the sleeve slipping open, and no damage done to my laptop while in the case. I’m not sure I’d trust the sleeve with a long fall, but for every day travel, it’s a great solution.
The Inateck Felt Sleeve for the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro and 11-inch MacBook Air is available on sale right now for $15.99 at Amazon (regular $36.99).