Working Class Heroes MacBook Air ENVELOPE

March 01, 2008

Anyone that knows me probably knows that it was love at first sight with the MacBook Air ENVELOPE from Working Class Heroes (did I really just say that?). In fact, when I e-mailed the link to my girlfriend, she laughed because it was "so [me]." Indeed, the sleeve's design is a perfect conspiration of my stylistic predilections; it's minimal, svelte, somber, understated, etc. The dark grey wool felt and leather "badge" give it a militaristic quality that I really like.

Though it doesn't quite feel as substantial as it looks, I think that's the point — restrained pragmatism. The construction of the sleeve is rather simple — it is, after all, mainly just two pieces of felt sewn together — but, and as expected for $120 (including shipping), it is hand-crafted with a transparent eye toward detail. There's something very bespoke about it, which I eat up.

The one thing I was particularly worried about from the images, and probably the reason I didn't order it right away, was scratching the Air on the metal buttons. I think I convinced myself that this maybe wouldn't be an issue as long as that portion was flexible enough to bend away from the center when loading/unloading the Air, or at least heavy enough to stay splayed at my insistence.

It turns out that it's neither of those things, yet the buttons don't touch the computer. It's kind of hard to explain how this works, and even harder to determine whether it was done on purpose (surely some of the credit must go to the Air's thinness), but once you begin sliding the Air in/out, the whole thing kind of puffs out (the shape at the opening looking like a compressed circle), and the button pieces move away from the center. Long story short (after I made you read the long story), the buttons are a non-issue.

Finally, for those of you who are thinking about getting one of these, keep in mind that the top portion (i.e., where the buttons are) is about an inch long, which means that the effective width of the laptop is ~14 inches; as such, your sheathed Air may not fit into bags that are specially designed for 13-inch notebooks.

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