I’m not a big fan of cases for phones. I simply can’t understand why someone would take an iPhone – arguably one of the most impressive examples of industrial design on the planet – and then wrap it in an ugly piece of plastic. The argument I always hear is “I want to stop it getting scratched and ruined,” so the answer is to ruin it completely from the outset?
That said, I do appreciate the need to protect devices like laptops and tablets, since they’re far more likely to spend time knocking around in a rucksack or satchel, along with all manner of other bits and pieces. However, if you’ve got a device that’s as sleek, stylish and downright beautiful as Apple’s latest Retina display MacBook Pro, you need to find a case that’s equally as stylish.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of protective sleeves designed for laptops tend to be garish neoprene affairs, that may well attract attention and even suit the personality of many buyers, but they do little to complement the minimalistic design of the uni-body MacBooks themselves. But as Mick Jagger once said, if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need.
In my case, what I needed turned out to be a sleeve from Dutch manufacturer, Mujjo. The Originals collection by Mujjo is an object lesson in how to design and manufacture accessories for Apple products. If you want your MacBook to look as good when its inside its protective sleeve as when it’s out of it, you really need to take a browse through Mujjo’s website.
The first thing that sets Mujjo apart from so much of the competition is that each laptop sleeve is designed to envelop a specific Apple model. While so many sleeves and cases are designed to fit a generic 13in laptop, Mujjo has a different bespoke sleeve design for the 13in MacBook Pro, the 13in MacBook Air and the 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display.
It’s that bespoke design that results in the kind of fit that a Savile Row tailor would be proud of. My MacBook Pro slides into the sleeve with ease, but once inside it’s not going anywhere – the Mujjo sleeve fits like the proverbial glove.
The sleeve itself is constructed from heavy-duty wool felt that looks and feels strong enough to withstand a hard life. That said, the felt is also very soft, ensuring that the aluminium exterior of your MacBook Pro remains blemish free. A real leather flap covers the opening of the sleeve and is secured by a single popper on the right. The tan leather is the only hint of colour breaking up the charcoal grey of the felt, and it adds just enough contrast to make the design minimalist without being boring.
As well as the main compartment for the laptop itself, there’s a second, smaller compartment to the front of the sleeve. This, according to Mujjo, is ideal for storing documents or earphones, but I found that it was the perfect size for my iPad mini. An iPhone, or any other smartphone for that matter, would fit just as well in the front compartment, making this slightly more versatile than the average laptop sleeve.
You can only buy Mujjo products direct through its website in Holland, so there’s no shopping around for the best price – much like with Apple products in fact. That said, this 13in MacBook Pro Retina sleeve costs around €60, plus another €8 for shipping. That works out to around £55 all in, which is pretty reasonable when you consider that your average neoprene sleeve will set you back between £35 and £40.
Considering that the 13in MacBook Pro with Retina display costs at least £1,449, adding another £55 for a protective sleeve that looks as stylish as the laptop itself doesn’t seem like a bad deal.
Mujjo has created the Hermes Birkin of laptop sleeves, but thankfully without the three-year waiting list and £6,000 price tag!
If you’re serious about keeping your Apple laptop safe, while ensuring that it still looks great, you need one of these.