Even more protection for the 11-inch MacBook Air
It wasn't long after the 11-inch MacBook Air debuted last October that the svelte beauty became one of the most popular laptops around. And the introduction of the i5 MacBook Air earlier this year convinced even more people to give up their bulky ways and live their lives CD-ROM-free. But this especially small notebook requires specially sized accessories for carrying and protection. We showed you your options in our first and second slideshows; here's what we've found since then: 10 new bags, cases, and sleeves for the 11-inch MacBook Air.
WaterField Designs MacBook Air Smart Case
WaterField Designs' $79 MacBook Air Smart Case ( ; check out our full review) is a sturdy sleeve designed to keep the tiniest MacBook safe from harm when in transit. The case is reinforced with rigid-plastic panels, covered in water-resistant nylon, styled with brown-leather trim, and has a stretchable pocket for cables and accessories. The interior is lined with “Ultrasuede” to keep the Air free of scratches and snug enough in the sleeve that you can hold the case upside down and the MacBook Air won't slide out. Available in black, copper, pearl, flame, green, and pine, the MacBook Air Smart Case is also available for the 13-inch MacBook Air for $89.
Gumdrop Cases Surf Convertible Funky Faux-Leather MacBook Air Case
For a funky-fresh, lightweight case that offers basic protection with the aesthetics of a Muppet, look no further than Gumdrop Cases's $50 Surf Convertible Funky Faux-Leather MacBook Air Case. This folio-style, always-on case cradles your laptop, providing protection from scratches and minor bumps both during use and on the go. The soft, faux-suede exterior comes in blue and black, and the case is also available for the 13-inch Air.
Uniq's The Tux for Macbook Air 11
Uniq's $69 The Tux is a simple, faux-leather case that keeps the outside of your MacBook Air safe. Like the the Surf Convertible (but a little less Muppetastic), The Tux is a basic-but-sturdy, folio-style covering that fits your Air like, well, a suit to keep it protected both while you're using it and while you're carrying it. The Tux is available in black, brown, red, or tan.
XGear ExoSkin Carbon Fiber Skin For Apple MacBook Air
Carbon fiber is really, really cool. It may just be another building material, but it makes me feel like I'm living in the future. And for the super-lightweight and powerful MacBook Air, a super-thin layer of carbon fiber offers protection from scuffs and scrapes—along with that from-the-future bling—without adding bulk. XGear’s $50 ExoSkin Carbon Fiber Skin For Apple MacBook Air is a form-fitting, carbon-fiber film that covers most of the Air's exposed surfaces, including its palmrests, but removes without leaving adhesive. The Skin is available in black, silver, or white; there's also a version for the 13-inch Air.
BodyGuardz MacBook Air 11 Armor Carbon Fiber
To keep your MacBook Air's surfaces safe without adding bulk, a protective film is a good choice. But a carbon-fiber protective film is an awesome-looking choice. Like XGear's ExoSkin, Bodyguardz's $50 MacBook Air 11 Armor Carbon Fiber is a PVC-based carbon-fiber film that covers the Air's exposed surfaces. But the BodyGuardz option covers more of those surfaces and is available in black, white, or a stunning red. Bodyguardz also provides a 30-day return guarantee, as well as a lifetime-replacement warranty for film damage. (The Armor Carbon Fiber is also available for the 13-inch Air.)
Updated 12/7/2012 to correct error about the Armor Carbon Fiber including a screen protector; it doesn't.
Waterfield Designs MacBook Air Travel Express
Also from WaterField Designs, the $79 MacBook Air Travel Express ( ; see full review) is, if you will, a Mary Poppins-style MacBook Air case. Despite being not much larger than a laptop sleeve, the Travel Express can hold the 11-inch MacBook Air along with its power adapter, a mouse, a SuperDrive or power-cord extension, a slim magazine or notebook, an iPhone, and some keys and small cables. Rigid-plastic inserts offer a bit of impact protection. The Travel Express works well as a case inside another bag, or a $12 upgrade gives you D-rings and a strap, turning the Express into a simple shoulder bag. Made of padded, black nylon with an "Ultrasuede" interior, the Travel Express sports a decorative strip in your choice of one of WaterField's six standard colors—black, copper, pearl, flame, green, or pine. The case is also available, for $10 more, for the 13-inch MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Twelve South Book Book for MacBook Air
Nothing beats a good book. Except for maybe a MacBook Air that looks like a book. Twelve South's $80 BookBook for MacBook Air is a form-fitting case made of genuine hand-distressed leather that's designed in every way to look like a vintage book. It sports rigid front and back "covers" with reinforced corners and a hard spine to keep your laptop extra safe; a soft interior keeps the case itself from scratching your laptop. When your MacBook Air is closed, the BookBook secures it with a wraparound zipper featuring two pulls so you can maneuver them to let your MacBook charge while the book is closed. When you're using your notebook, the BookBook stays on, attached to the top of the MacBook Air using small elastic bands. The BookBook is also available for the 13-inch Air.
Power Support Clear Air Jacket
Power Support's $60 Clear Air Jacket is designed to protect your MacBook Air while being...well, the company says "as thin as air." Less than 1mm thick, nearly weightless, and made of completely clear plastic, the use-in Clear Air Jacket is as close as you can get to not having a case at all. According to Power Support, the case even has a self-healing coating that instantly repairs minor scratches to its surfaces. The Clear Air Jacket is also available for the 13-inch Air.
USBFever Eggshell Hard Case for Macbook Air 11"
Similar to Power Support's Air Jacket, USBFever's $42 Eggshell Hard Case for MacBook Air 11" is a thin-plastic shell that shows off your MacBook Air's minimalistic beauty. The Eggshell's two light, polycarbonate pieces snap onto the bottom and top of the laptop, protecting it without adding bulk. And if you're not a fan of clear cases, the Eggshell is available in carbon black. The Eggshell is also available for the 13-inch Air.
Incase 11" Neoprene Slim Sleeve
Incase's $40 11" Neoprene Slim Sleeve is the little black dress of laptop cases. It may not be fancy, but it looks good and can be used for nearly any occasion. For the MacBook Air, Incase has made a new, slimmer version to keep the Air thin without compromising the quality of protection that made the original Slim Sleeve a standard. The Slim Sleeve is available in black, port, cobalt, and pink berry. It is also available in a version for the 13-inch MacBook Air.