Want more protection for your MacBook 12 inch? You’ve come to the right place! We’ve been using the MacBook 12 inch for a few months now and we have gone and used several cases and sleeves to know if they are doing their job.
In this article we will talk about the best cases and sleeves for the MacBook 12 inch. Aside from that we’re going to give you examples of how each product fits into our life as well as product recommendations for each type of case
To be honest with you. With our 15 inch MacBook Pro, we never gave much thought to get a case. The size of the laptop always required either a laptop bag or a backpack.
However, when we moved some of the work to a 12-inch MacBook, We realized this paper-sized laptop needed a bit of protection since we are going to end up putting it into places where you normally wouldnʼt put a laptop in because we can.
When we got the 12-inch MacBook, we were fully prepared to buy another full array of laptop bags and backpacks. But after getting the first case, we realized that we could easily keep everything we have now without any issues.
Skins- nice for personalization but not so on protection
In our MacBook 12 Inch, weʼve got a very bright Dbrand Skin. We’re not quite sure what the thought process was when we bought the skin. But probably we wanted something that would standout. Or maybe we must have been drinking.
Personally, skins are a great way to personalize your MacBook 12- inch. But from a protection standpoint, we’re not sure if they are worth it. Other than the aesthetics, the $50 skin is only going to offer scratch protection.
Some people might be worried about the finish on Appleʼs laptops but honestly, the finish is quite decent. The MacBook Pro Retina we had from 2012, despite having gone through dozens of airports, still doesnʼt look too bad. In fact, your laptop might look even sillier if you take the skin off after a several years as the two parts of the laptops will have gone through different phases of wear and tear.
Now installing the skin is a tedious process. But if youʼre wondering if you can remove it and reuse it, check out our video we did with DBrand skins for the iPhone 7ʼs.
SPOILERS: Itʼs doable as long as youʼre patient with it.
Sleeves are basically glorified envelopes for your MacBook. Apple recently released a leather sleeve for the MacBook 12 inch and itʼs a leather envelope for your MacBook. The material of the case is quite nice but we’re not sure how practical the sleeve is, especially with itʼs $200 dollar price tag.
Now letʼs look at a sleeve thatʼs a fraction of the cost but offers the same envelope functionality.
Don't get us wrong. The case looks nice. Feels nice. But this felt sleeve from Inateck feels more like a hassle to use. It doesn't feel like it's offering the MacBook any sort of protection. It's soft and the corners bend easily.
For us, we tend to lean a lot on the functionality of the product rather than the aesthetics. The Inateck Sleeve looks great but it wouldn't hold up well when you're on the go.
We'd spend way too much effort slowly sliding the sleeve into the bag whereas every other case on this list we can almost haphazardly toss into our backpack or laptop bag.
We will note that the Inateck Sleeve does come with a multitude of pockets which could handle an iPhone-sized device and business cards if your situation warranted it.
Out of all the products on this list, snap-on-cases are our least favourite. Because fit is going to be a big issue. Snap-on-cases arenʼt like iPhone cases where the entire edge of the case makes contact with the device. Snap-on-cases “cling” to your MacBook through tiny teeth along the edge of the case. Personally, we think the teeth takes away from the clean lines of the laptop.
Snap-on-cases wonʼt cover everything on your laptop though skins wonʼt either. But the difference between the two is that nothing is going to get between the skin and your MacBook. With snap-on-cases, since the edges arenʼt sealed, dust will start to accumulate over time. Some of those particles might be hard enough to actually scratch the MacBook surface. Unlikely but could happen. weʼve seen it on iPhone screens and cases.
Overall, Snap-on-cases “cheapens” the look of the well-designed MacBook. Look at how the incase product doesnʼt sit flush with the corner of the screen. And we canʼt even get the bottom corners of the screen cover to snap over the edge.
Another nuisance with the snap-on-case is the extra elevation the pads at the bottom of the cases changes how the touchpad feels which might be an issue for some people.
Now, if youʼre still sold on a snap-on case, weʼd personally spring the extra 50 dollars and get the Incase Hardshell Case. The soft-rubber coating on the case improves the handling of the MacBook which is a small plus when compared to the Incase ones that you can get at the Apple store. But thatʼs a $50 dollar improvement on a product type thatʼs sub-par at best.
The only benefit that we can see with snap on cases is the added protection when it comes to scratches. But it wouldnʼt be any better than the skins. Moral of the story for snap-on-cases? Donʼt get them.
When we were perusing the laptop cases on Amazon, we came across the Speck Laptop sleeve and was a little apprehensive about get it. It seemed very slim and not too protective but when it showed up, we were surprised at how well my 12-inch laptop fit in the laptop. The case itself feels quite solid. The case also feels like it offers enough protection for the MacBook to be used in a bag compartment other than the laptop portion.
According to Speck, the case protect provides 4 ft drop protection. And no, we did not drop the laptop. We thought about it. We did the math for it. But there's no way that we could even recover the cost of laptop since we can't AppleCare Protection+ in Canada yet.
Out of the cases in this list, our MacBook probably spends the most time in the Speck laptop sleeve. Itʼs small enough for us to keep in the glove compartment of our car. It has decent enough texture for us to comfortable hold onto it while we walk from coffee shop to office. And as we said before, we can put our laptop in parts of our bags that werenʼt intended for laptops without having to worry about the MacBook getting damaged.
Now, for longer outings, the Speck laptop sleeve doesnʼt do as well as the power cable and mouse cannot be stored with it. Basically, the Speck Laptop sleeve is our go to case for laptop adventures that arenʼt longer than two hours.
We will note that flap design is a bit odd and some users have noted how difficult it is to remove the laptop from the case. Weight might also be a factor as this case, despite being fairly slim, is one of the heaviest in the group.
Now, weʼve been talking about the Speck case for a while now. If youʼre leaning more towards this type of product, weʼd also take a look at Tech 21 Snap-on Case. The concept is the same but instead of a large flap that doesnʼt attach to the body of the case. the Icon has a magnet mechanism that keeps everything together. The entire setup of the case is smaller than the Speck Laptop sleeve and the best part is that you can get it right at the Apple store if you wanted to.
From what we can gather “tough” cases are synonymous with thicker cases. Oddly enough, the only product in this list that is drop rated is the Speck case. Most products will talk about the protection it offers your MacBook but very few will actually offer that protection.
When it comes to protection for electronic devices, the first thing weʼll look at is the corners. Weʼve dropped enough iPhones to know that the corners are going to be the part of device that get beaten up the most. So if a product says itʼs tough but has no extra protection for the protection of the corners of the MacBook, we know theyʼre trying to pull a fast one over our eyes.
Look at Thule Straven for example. Thereʼs nothing in the corners. If you’re walking about and accidentally drop the case, the corners of the MacBook are going to feel a lot of the impact. We compare this to the TomToc 360 case, which has the MacBook corners covered in a bit of padding. we feel way more comfortable carrying the laptop in the TomToc. The incase sleeve has the same issue as the corners of the case arenʼt going to offer your MacBook much protection.
Now when we got this TomToc case, We were initially put off by the size and loose feel of the case. Now the looseness of the case doesnʼt come from the MacBook moving around a lot but from the larger than average pockets. With the TomToc case, weʼve been using it on days where er donʼt need a full backpack/laptop bag but still want to bring my mouse and power cord.
The front pocket has enough give that we can easily store both those things without feeling like we’re putting unnecessary pressure on the laptop.
Another upside to the extra size of the TomToc case is the fact that it fits nicely where the 15 inch MacBook would usually fit. This case is the main reason why we havenʼt been in a hurry to update our laptop bags because we can easily use them with our 12 inch laptop in the TomToc case.
Now if you need an actual tough case, one that can keep some of the elements out and maybe handle a drop, you should definitely go and get something from Pelican. The Pelican case below is for our 15 inch laptop. But the only reason we bought is for the off chance we had to bail while riding to work on a bike.
For the average student or office worker, youʼre not going to need this type of case. The bulk and difficult accessibility is going to get annoying over time.