Gumdrop Cases’s $50 DropSleeve is an EVA-molded laptop case built to withstand a certain amount of torture and to keep your MacBook looking as good as new. The case is available in three different sizes: for the 11-inch MacBook Air; for the 13-inch MacBook Air and MacBook Pro (including Retina); and for the 15-inch MacBook Pro (standard or Retina). I tested the version for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.
The stiffness of the DropSleeve makes it ideal for travel and on-location work, especially if you’re carrying a lot of cargo with you. The case is stiff enough to protect your MacBook while it’s in the trunk of a car with your luggage, boxes, and other items, or tossed in your bag with other gear, while the tire-tread-like molding of the case gives it a nice texture to grip without being gaudy or loud.
Inside, the bottom of the DropSleeve (where your MacBook rests if the case is open) is lined with a soft felt. The top, however, lacks any lining. That’s too bad, because additional lining would give the Drop Sleeve a bit more shock protection.
Rubber bumpers in the corners of the case keep your laptop in place; those bumpers use Velcro to attach to the DropSleeve’s felt lining. You can adjust the placement of the bumpers, which is a nice touch. A minor nit-pick, though, is that if you want to use your laptop while it’s sitting on the DropSleeve, the bumpers can get in the way of the laptop’s hinge. Fortunately, the bumper is flexible enough to make way for the top of your laptop if you work it a little bit.
The DropSleeve isn’t a rigid hard case, so it won’t save your laptop from a crushing weight, but the EVA material and design, along with rubber interior bumpers, offer a good amount of shock and scratch protection. It’s a nice alternative to soft sleeves and hard cases, protecting your laptop from minor dings and scratches.