Luke Hagan

Review: the best envelope case for the 11" Macbook Air

So you can feel like Steve Jobs unveiling the first Air every time you pull out your notebook.

Yes, I just got an 11” Macbook Air (i7, 256 GB in case you were wondering). It’s fantastic and I’ll review it in a few weeks once that new Mac smell has worn off. But the world’s most portable Mac is pretty useless without a decent case, and I think I’ve found the best one out there[^1].

There are some really beautiful sleeve and envelope cases available everywhere from the Apple Store to an artist in the Netherlands. But virtually all of these cases are just plain overkill for me: most of the nice ones weigh between half a pound and one pound. The 11” Air weighs only 2.38 pounds, so that’s 21% to 42% of the weight of the Air itself!

I think such a light computer deserves a light case and this one I bought on eBay for $12.69 is just about perfect.

Here’s a rundown:

  1. looks like a manilla envelope
  2. workmanship is pretty good (especially for something so cheap)
  3. attractive faux leather (not super-fancy, but I think it looks good)
  4. fits perfectly — not a tight squeeze to get it in there, but the Air doesn’t move around once in
  5. has and interoffice-envelope string-and-button closure for style, but
  6. uses velcro to really keep it closed
  7. has a nice, soft, fuzzy interior with no sharp edges (some similar cases hold the button on with a metal rivet, which results in scratches)
  8. weighs only 2 3/8 ounces or 0.15 pounds, a mere 6% of the Air’s weight

It’s worth noting that this case is not padded, which is one reason it’s so light (the other is that it’s not real leather). All I really need is something to contain the Air in my messenger bag and minimally protect it from the other things in there. I’m not too worried about impact protection, especially given how light the Air is to begin with. Of course, you’ll have to decide for yourself whether this case offers enough protection to give you peace of mind.

It doesn’t have a brand name or anything; it’s just sold by one of those big eBay sellers (neogames) with very little in the way of information available. The case comes with free shipping via First Class Mail in the U.S., so it will really only cost you $12.69.

Here’s the auction description and link: Lightweight Leather Pouch Case 4 Apple MacBook Air 11

Note: I’m not affiliated with the seller in any way and will receive no compensation from them whatsoever. I’m just a happy customer.

[^1]: for me, anyway