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.
- Notes from Apple’s Q1 2015 earnings call
- Cook: Apple Watch shipping in April
- Apple Q1 2015: Record $74.6B revenue, 74.5M iPhones, 24.4M iPads
- Apple Pay support coming to more vending machines, kiosks, parking meters
- Apple releases iOS 8.1.3
- Apple TV adds 120 Sports channel
- Report: Bank verification methods leave Apple Pay vulnerable to fraud
- Apple filing reveals executive compensation plans, earnings
- Report: Apple Watch battery life expected to be about 19 hours
- Apple outlines limited HomeKit support for non-HomeKit accessories
- Odoyo Power+Shell EX Rechargeable Battery Case for iPhone 6
- Patriot Memory Fuel iON Magnetic Charging Case with Charging Pad for iPhone 6
- Lenmar Maven Battery Case for iPhone 6
- STM Studio for iPad Air 2
- VSN Mobil V.360 Camera
- Booq Booqpad for iPad Air 2
- Incipio offGRID Express for iPhone 6
- Incipio Tuxen for iPad Air 2
- Incipio Trestle for iPhone 6 Plus
- Urban Armor Gear Folio Case for iPad Air 2
- Can I share in-app subscriptions among family members?
- Can I cancel or ‘unsend’ sent iMessages?
- Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Apple’s HomeKit
- Reorganizing files in the iTunes Media Folder
- Exchange text messages between two iPhones with no cellular data plan
- The Booths of the iProducts Marketplace at CES 2015
- Hands-on with CarPlay at CES 2015
- iLounge announces its CES 2015 Best of Show Awards
- Five Things to Watch for at CES 2015
- Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide for 2014