Here’s one for you UK folks. The folks at Gearzap recently provided with me the Encase Ultrasuede MacBook Pro 15 with Retina Sleeve (not to be confused with cases by Incase) for review. Ever since I switched from an 11 inch MacBook Air to a 13 inch model (and subsequently to a 15 inch MacBook Pro Retina Display), I’ve been going without a sleeve. I typically toss my MacBook into a slot in my backpack, so a sleeve isn’t an item that I would use often. A good sleeve would be handy, though, for those times when I just want to carry my MacBook somewhere, or when I want to toss my MacBook into a suitcase, and leave my backpack behind.
Despite the product page stating that the sleeve was “specifically designed for MacBook Pro 15 with Retina,” I was worried that the Encase sleeve might be a generic sleeve for any 15 inch notebook, and not be a good fit for my MacBook Pro Retina. Those fears were unfounded. In fact, the sleeve fits my MacBook so snugly that I have my doubts that another notebook would even fit in it.
The sleeve provides a bit more than just scratch protection, as the interior has some padding. It’s not a hard shell, so I wouldn’t want to drop my MacBook onto a hard floor with it, but it should be sufficient to give you scratch resistance, and some protection from getting crushed in your bag. There’s a lip at the end of the opening that you can pull over your MacBook once inserted into the sleeve. There are no zippers on the sleeve, which was important to me because I didn’t want to scratch my MacBook. The case has a neutral look to it – black, with small white dots.
The only real gripe I have with the sleeve is a minor one. The fit is so snug, that coupled with the padded interior, my MacBook doesn’t slide in to the sleeve as quickly as with the neoprene sleeve I had for my old MacBook Air. The difference was small, though. All in all, I liked the sleeve.