A laptop is more than a machine, it’s a lifeline. Whether used for a career, a side hustle, a hobby, or staying in touch with loved ones all over the world, the portable computer is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity, especially as society collectively trades our WFH outfits for grownup clothes. Oftentimes, we take its presence for granted, until someday… something happens.
Life always finds a way. This is its bittersweet truth. Sometimes for better (and sometimes for worse) what goes up must always come down and vice versa. A couple of months ago, I began experiencing premonitions that something might happen to my Macbook, which I’d had for four years, since my senior year of college. It actually made me think about impending doom as a whole, because the first time I experienced laptop-related premonitions of this variety three years ago, it turned out that in reality I actually had a bed bug infestation. Self-fulfilling prophecy, supernatural ability, or self-important pseudo-science—the jury is still out. I think you know where I stand.
Anyways, I guess it’s fortunate, then, that a few weeks after my more recent premonitions started up I opened my laptop and noticed its screen had gone black. Upon closer inspection, I saw that its keys were still illuminated. Later that afternoon I strode into the Apple Store on a wave of anxiety and learned the whole thing wasn’t busted, just the display. In this moment, I realized in slow-motion retrospect how hard I am on my computer as a journalist on the go. My lapse in observation would cost me $478, the price and service charge for my new display.
I was told that if I’d had Apple Care, the company’s proprietary insurance, this expense would be much smaller. However, assessing the pros and cons, I noticed that Apple Care costs $249. I would be purchasing the insurance just in case, on the off chance, gaining no concrete benefits but peace of mind. If that dreaded just in case did come to fruition, Apple would still charge me a $99 surcharge on the repair, amounting to about $350 total. I determined the game was rigged, stuck my nose up, and decided to risk the $130 premium on my pride.
Defense is the best way to win this game. While our technology works in collaboration with us, its value should also be honored by taking great care of it. Exerting this effort up front can save strife, stress, and serious dollars down the road. We’ve pitched in here to help gather the best goods Amazon can offer to keep your gear safe and in working order at maximum capacity. Do you future self a favor and check out this list to see how you can further fortify your technology in style today.
What to consider when purchasing a laptop case and the like:
Size is everything!
The most crucial criteria when selecting a laptop shell, laptop sleeve, or computer bag lies in understanding the dimensions needed. Look up the specs for your particular machine or take out a good old fashioned tape measure to do the research yourself. When it comes to a hard shell case or sleeve, you’ll want to choose the option that fits your laptop perfectly, or at least very snug to offer maximum protection. A computer bag or laptop briefcase can be a little looser depending on your preferences and storage needs.
This should be a no-brainer, given the purpose of the protective gear you’re acquiring. However, in the realm of laptop cases et al, there’s all kinds of factors worth focusing on. How much roughhousing do you put your computers through? Are you a big traveler, do you work in difficult environments? First and foremost, the material of any portable laptop case should be sturdy. Furthermore, a waterproof laptop case is a must-have to protect from this most fatal of elements. When graduating to sleeves and bags, consider stitching as well, because the product needs to hold itself together for the duration of your laptop’s long and fruitful life.
Buying protective gear for your laptop doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom and scary premonitions. As your beloved lifeline to the world, consider your computer an appendage of your very self, capable of communicating your unique personality. Amazon hosts a gigantic array of protective gear with tons of options for every aesthetic. Consider practical needs like pockets and storage when assessing each option’s design, but also color and decoration and silhouette. Gift your computer with a fit you’d like to rock!
The strongest laptop defense system features several elements layered on top of each other, bolstering the probability that everything will remain in working order. Consider the many moving pieces that can be harmonized in your repertoire: a hard shell case to protect the computer itself, a snug sleeve to keep it safe en route between gigs, and a sturdy bag to hold it all in. Nesting your laptop in a bespoke safe haven will make the computer happy and keep you calm. This also offers further avenues and combinations for customization.
Five Buys for Layering Your Laptop Gear
BELK MacBook Air 13 Inch Case
The first line of defense: a sturdy exterior
A hard case adds bulk and sturdiness to your computer while using it out in the world. When it comes to cases like this, you need to find a fit as specific as possible—hard shell laptop cases often clamp on through their own construction. Most are only made to fit one or two particular makes and models. There’s an absolutely overwhelming array of laptop hard cases on Amazon. Wading through them can feel like going to battle. Amazon singles out this case from B Belk, which comes bundled with a laptop screen protector and keyboard protector, all at a reasonable price. B Belk provides hard shell cases to fit a range of Apple products, and each case comes in a full spectrum of colors. Even better—keeping a case like this on your computer means you can cover it in stickers without the commitment!
JETech Laptop Sleeve
Round two: First-class accommodations for traveling
While a hard shell case is a crucial line of defense during the moments your laptop is actually in action, it’s not enough to keep everything protected while on the move. For those who predominantly operate in safer circumstances, slipping your hard shelled computer into a cozy sleeve like this offers cushioning and protection from the elements between engagements. When it comes to laptop sleeves, precise dimensions hold substantially less sway. Of course you’ll want the fit to be snug against the sleeve’s protective interior, but as long as the sleeve is big enough to fit the machine itself, your purchase is a win. This waterproof laptop sleeve from JETech is also shock resistant, with foam insulation to prevent scratches or bangs. It comes in three sizes and six colors, all featuring an additional pocket on the front for easy-access storage.
DOMISO Shock Resistant Laptop Sleeve
Round two: Heavy duty edition
If you find yourself in more perilous surroundings on a daily basis, consider investing a bit more into a laptop sleeve that can keep up. This highly shock resistant and waterproof laptop sleeve from DOMISO is a slightly larger investment that will pay off in the end. “I read a ton of reviews before I purchased this, as I am very clumsy,” writes recent reviewer S. Williams. “I drop things—a lot. I cannot afford a high-priced protective case. This case works great!! It’s well-made and sturdy, and protects my laptop beautifully—I’ve already dropped it twice from a height of 4 feet and NO damage to my laptop.” Available in five sizes to fit a full range of models, and up for grabs in eleven different colors, this protective laptop sleeve truly proves that you don’t have to sacrifice form for function.
DHK Vintage Handmade Leather Messenger Bag
Round three: Seal the deal with style
Here’s where it gets really fun. Once your computer is fortified by the two aforementioned foundational layers of protection, finding a functional computer bag that blends purpose with style provides an opportunity for a sumptuous purchase that adds to your daily wardrobe. A computer bag is like a computer in this way—it becomes an appendage, part of your daily routine, traveling with you everywhere you go. This Vintage Handmade Leather Messenger Bag from Cuero is made for Brawny men and academicians alike with worn weather like fine aged wine and brushed hardware that harkens back to simpler times. Its strong stitching and pockets a-plenty prove this piece is more than just bark, it also has bite.
Leather Briefcase for Men
Round three: Bring downtown with you, everywhere
For the business traveler seeking an edgier but more polished appearance, look no further than this leather laptop briefcase from Bosidu. Keep in mind that while the company offers this piece in two colors, it only comes in one size, so make sure to consult your trusty measuring tape. If the fit is right, this sleek computer bag is durable and waterproof with detachable straps for increased versatility. Additionally, it offers two small pockets, three pen holders, and four card holders. The greatest strength of this computer bag lies in its sharp design, though, with supple leather, simple lines, and striking bronze hardware. “Expect compliments,” writes Picky Ricky in his five star review, espousing both the bag’s durability and its propensity to elicit kind remarks. While protective gear for your computer should always prioritize strength and safety, the best added bonus comes when your personal flair attracts a stranger who strikes a conversation, encouraging you to look up from your screen.