I’ve always loved the look and feel of Apple’s aluminum laptops and while they’re pretty sturdy, they’re not immune to scratches and dents, even when they’re carried inside another bag. Though I have several laptop bags with dedicated compartments, my 11-inch MacBook Air is small enough that it can fit into other bags I have that lack a dedicated space for a laptop. For these bags, I wanted a slim yet protective sleeve for my MacBook Air and chose the Acme Made Skinny Sleeve.
There are ton of sleeves out there for the MacBook Air but the Acme Made Skinny Sleeve caught my eye for a few reasons. First, it has some additional reinforcement built into walls of the sleeve to provide even more protection against dents. Second, it’s a very slim, low-profile sleeve that adds little bulk to the already-thin MacBook Air. Third, though I’m not the kind of girl who’s drawn to pretty colors, I really liked the dark eggplant color available as a nice alternative from the black cases and bags I usually buy.
So far, the Acme Made Skinny Sleeve is definitely living up to my expectations and is keeping my MacBook Air protected, all while looking sleek and professional in the process and I have only a few tiny gripes about it. Read on or watch my video review after the break to find out more.
The Skinny Sleeve is made of what Acme Made calls StretchShell neoprene. Unlike other neoprene sleeves I’ve seen before (I last had a neoprene Incase sleeve for the 13-inch MacBook Air I used to have – you can read my review of it on my old site here), the Skinny Sleeve has a smooth texture that makes it feel like rubber. Acme says it’s water and stain resistant. In daily use it feels more resilient than regular neoprene with a surface that’s easier to wipe off and that won’t get snagged or fray.
Instead of a zipper, the Skinny Sleeve has an elastic strap to hold it closed and keep the MacBook Air inside. However, I’ve found that the sleeve is snug enough that my MacBook Air does not slide out by itself, even when shaken vigorously, so the elastic strap feels a little superfluous.
The inside of the sleeve is lined with a softer fabric that won’t scratch your computer. And just inside this lining, you can feel the thin plastic inserts that provide the dent protection I mentioned. Acme Made doesn’t state this specifically, but these plastic inserts feel like they’re a millimeter or so thick. While they won’t protect the MacBook Air from a significant drop or a really hard thump against the corner of a desk, they should offer some protection from more minor bumps. And this brings me to my first minor gripe about the sleeve. These plastic inserts are right underneath the thin liner fabric and they can be easily shifted around and the edges can even be forced against the liner. Over time and with a lot of use, it’s possible these could wear right through the thin liner, though at the rate I’m using this case (a few times a week, on average), I think that would take a very long time.
Using the case
The Skinny Sleeve is made to accommodate the MacBook Air inserted thin-edge first (with the stem of the Apple logo pointing into the sleeve as you insert it). To fully insert the laptop into the sleeve, I find that I need to push down on the hinge side a bit since the sleeve is pretty snug. Once fully inserted, all you need to do is stretch the elastic around it to “close” it and you’re done.
I find the sleeve to be grippy enough that it’s easy to pull out of my bag. And the sleeve is cushioned enough that I have not worried about my MacBook Air inside it in any of my computer-specific or regular bags.
Removing the MacBook Air takes a bit of effort with both hands to reach in and get a good enough grip on the MacBook Air to pull it out and to hold the case steady. However, I don’t mind this at all since I’d rather have a snug sleeve than a loose one any day.
The Skinny Sleeve costs $39.99 (the price is the same for all versions for the different Apple laptop models), which feels a little too expensive for such a simple sleeve, especially for the version for the 11-inch MacBook Air that requires less material than the versions for the larger laptops. I got a slight discount on mine that brought it down to $35 shipped, which felt a little more reasonable.
- Smooth neoprene feels durable
- Thin yet still protective and stylish
- Thin plastic inserts *could* wear through inner lining over time
- Price is a little higher than expected for a simple sleeve, especially for 11-inch MacBook Air version