Picking up a new piece of gear is always an event for me. There's this tactile thing about unpackaging, peeling off the protective plastic and putting the first fingerprints on shiny glass. There's the startup process where it asks you to register and you get to see- most likely just this once- all of the welcome animations. Then you get to start using it. ...and that is where this post comes in. Cases.
If you are particular about your devices and like the idea that you can keep them in great shape if you just take care of them, a case is a necessity. About 6 years ago, when I bought my first Macbook, I did a bunch of research and found the Sleevecase by Waterfield Designs.
My criteria for this sort of thing is simple. First of all, it has to fit well. I'm not talking about generic 'fits a 15" laptop' fit. I'm talking about a case that is final tested on new devices as soon as they are released and fits like a glove. Secondly, it has to be well made so I won't have to buy a new one anytime soon. For me, that means that it is made from durable materials and isn't too reliant on trendy features. The Sleevecases fit the bill. I now have 3 different Sleevecases in the house as I've picked up different devices over the years and each on has its own custom fitted sleeve. Here are the details:
They are made in San Francisco by Gary and his crew. That's right. These cases aren't made overseas and then shipped to a warehouse in the US to be distributed when orders are placed. These cases are not only designed here in the states, they are also made here. I know that there is nothing wrong with stuff that is made overseas (as are most of the gadgets that live in a case like this), but it still feels good to know these are made here.
Their website is really well designed and makes it so easy to pick a case that is custom designed for your device. Just choose from a series of drop down menus which include just about any device you can find. Once you pick the right case, you can browse through a ton of add-on features and add them with a simple click.
I like to keep mine pretty simple and only added a few features to the newest case for my 15" Macbook Pro. I went with a flap to keep everything secure and a basic strap and the D rings to attach it. I chose the Horizontal orientation on this one for better weight distribution in a messenger bag. The older one for my Black Macbook is the vertical orientation and doesn't include any add-ons. Please keep in mind that this sleeve is 5 years old and is still in great shape!
My iPad2 case,the iPad Ultimate Sleevecase, looks like a miniature of the larger cases, but has one extra, really important feature; a balistic Nylon shell hidden inside the fabric to protect the screen from impacts. It doesn't add much bulk, but makes it feel a little more substantial. I also chose the leather trim option for the bottom boot of the sleeve and D rings in case I want to use a strap.
You can really see the quality of these cases in the photos and let me just say that the iPad case has seen 14 miles daily use inside of my rack mounted Ortlieb bike bag for the last 4 months and still looks brand new.
In addition to all the stuff above, when you order, they are on it! Shipping is fast, and all correspondence is refreshingly human, and prompt. I'm a pretty big fan. If you are looking for the absolute best, I believe this is it.