MacBook Sleeves, Gecko style
Last year, and basically out of nowhere, an Australian design company called Gecko Gear materialized with a collection of new iPod accessories, and though most of them were “me too” in concept, it was obvious that the company was at least trying to offer products that were slightly distinctive from existing offerings. Its “glove” silicone cases, for interest, were overpriced and lacking key protective features but offered interesting ribbing, and then there was the Hi-Fi Traveller, a nicely thought out iPod Hi-Fi case that outdid a similar offering from Griffin Technology.
Now Gecko has released a series of three MacBook cases called “sleeves” - two ballistic nylon cases called Gecko pro-sleeves ($50, above) and two neoprene cases called Gecko neo-sleeves ($30, not shown). The neo-sleeves are unremarkable black designs that do nothing more than open via zipper on one side and hold a 13”, 15”, or 17” MacBook, with a pen-sized pocket on one edge, but the similarly black pro-sleeve design is more interesting. Details can be found by clicking on the title or Comments links above.
The pro-sleeve is a fusion of three different cases we’ve seen. It’s thin in profile like the Gecko neo-sleeve, but its single zipper opens fully around the 13” MacBook or 15” MacBook Pro - no $17 version’s available. The body feels nearly as hard as an Axio case, but is made from reinforced ballistic nylon, save for a soft fabric interior and - yes - a full-length (but shallow) interior mesh pocket inside, capable of just barely stowing the Pro’s power supply. Then there are the diagonal exterior grips, which look similar to the ones found in Gecko’s iPod glove cases. Though arguably the most minimalist of the MacBook cases we’ve seen, the pro-sleeve manages to look good, feel substantially protective - not drop-proof - and also include a little extra carrying compartment. All good stuff.
What Gecko hasn’t done is permit full access to the MacBook Pro ports: the case interior is recessed enough that the right ports and DVD drive are largely obscured, though the left ports (critically, including power and USB) are mostly exposed, if angling downwards such that the ExpressCard slot isn’t ideally situated. Preserving this access appears to be the biggest challenge for MacBook case developers, and some appear to operate on the assumption that you’ll just pull the MacBook out when necessary; if that’s your usage model, this is a totally acceptable case.
One thing we’re really liking about Gecko’s products, across the board, is that they consistently are thinking of the thinness of Apple’s products and trying to find ways to preserve that while adding protection. In that regard, the pro-sleeves achieve on a much higher level than the company’s rubber iPod cases, which unnecessarily compromise protection without giving buyers a commensurate break on pricing. We’re hoping to see more designs from the company like this one, hopefully with even more thoughtful attention to port access issues.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple Store app update allows purchases from Apple Watch
- Apple releases fifth beta of iOS 10.2 to developers
- Apple reveals cause of unexpected iPhone 6s shutdowns
- Report: 99 percent of fake Apple chargers found to be unsafe
- Apple offering battery replacements for iPhone 6s models with ‘unexpected shutdown issues’ (Updated)
- Report: Fitbit to acquire Pebble
- Apple releases statement on iCloud Calendar spam
- Apple sending out drones to improve Maps data, adding interior building maps
- Tim Cook allegedly tells customer AirPods to ship in ‘next few weeks’
- Apple Pay reportedly launching in Spain tomorrow
- iHome iZBT10 Zenergy Bedside Sleep Therapy Speaker
- Twelve South HiRise Duet for Apple Watch and iPhone
- IK Multimedia iLoud Micro Monitor
- JBL Under Armour Sport Wireless Heart Rate Headphones
- Edifier e235 Luna E Speaker System
- Clamcase ClamCase+ for 9.7” iPad Pro
- Scosche BoomBottle H2O+ Waterproof Wireless Speaker
- Thermos Connected Hydration Bottle with Smart Lid
- Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones
- Creative iRoar Go Portable Bluetooth Speaker
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10