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Best MacBook case: 9 ways to protect your notebook

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Best MacBook case: We run through the most stylish, rugged, and useful MacBook cases and sleeves.

As our father once taught us with painful regret, you should always use protection. If, like him, you don’t want to be stood nursing a mistake of epic proportions (a smashed laptop, what were you thinking?), you’re going to want to keep your beloved gadgets in good nick, even if that means wrapping them in a case.

So, if you’ve just dropped a serious wodge on Apple’s new 12-inch MacBook, don’t just chuck it in your bag with a bunch of keys and stray coins. Instead, wrap it in the blanket used to swaddle your first born and ensure it stays beautifully pristine for as long as possible.

Why? Well, Apple's notebook isn’t just a good-looking gadget, it’s one of the best looking bits of tech we’ve ever seen, and we’re sure you'll want to keep it that way. When you’re carrying around Apple’s stunning in-between machine (slimmer than a MacBook Air, not as powerful as a MacBook Pro), make sure you’ve wrapped it in one of these MacBook cases first.

VIDEO: See what we though of the 2015 MacBook Pro 13-inch in our video review

1. Inateck MacBook Sleeve

A computer this easy on the eye deserves to look great, even when it’s wrapped in a protective cover. That’s Where Inateck’s MacBook sleeve comes in. The felt sleeve features leather accents and a flannel liner to not only keep your prized possession safe from knocks and bumps, but looking stylish at the same time.

Related: Best laptop

Inatek MacBook sleeve

Capable of storing more than just your latest laptop, the velcro-fastened sleeve plays host to a number of accessory pockets, meaning there’s space for your iPhone, and an adaptor or two – handy given the MacBook’s slightly restrictive single port design.

Buy now from Amazon for £13.49

2. Incase Icon Sleeve

Safety doesn’t have to come at the cost of the Mac’s sleek lines and stylish design. This neoprene sleeve offers impressive drop protection without adding unwanted bulk to the wee laptop. No, it’s not particularly cheap, but If you’ve just dropped north of a grand on a new MacBook, you’re not going to want to skimp on the case used to protect it, right?

Related: Apple MacBook Pro 2016: Everything you need to know

Incase Icon Sleeve

You pay for practicality too. There’s no need to faff around with fiddly zip closures here. Like an Apple-branded iPad cover, the Incase Icon sleeve features a magnetic snap closure that not only keeps your Mac safe, but means getting it in and out is a simple, single-handed affair. A reinforced EVA frame ensures its safe even when it lands on the fragile corner – which you know it will just as sure as your toast will land buttered-side down.

Buy now from Apple for £59.95

3. Knomo Par Canvas Slim Briefcase

MacBook cases aren’t just about protection, they’re about portability too – and that’s where Knomo’s slimline laptop bags come in. Chief amongst these is the Par Canvas briefcase, which isn’t as business suit boring as it sounds. Instead, this comfortable, stylish, cotton canvas bag comes with a padded laptop compartment and a metal buckle with leather accents.

Related: Forget Pink: MacBooks are in serious need of a design overhaul

Knomo Par bag

There’s a detachable, adjustable shoulder strap too, allowing you to customise the case for everything from a nip into the office or a weekend away. The water and dirt resistant bag also features a front pocket with a dedicated smartphone panel lining, alongside all the usual pen and card holders. Bonus!

Buy now from Knomo for £44.50

4. TopFelt

Hipsters, rejoice! If you’re after a MacBook case, this leather-accented sleeve is the one for your turnup-rocking, fixie-riding, beanie-wearing needs. An elegant solution for keeping your new MacBook safe and stylish, it pairs a primary laptop sleeve with a couple of extra pockets ideal for your iPhone, iPad mini, or battery-depleted Apple Watch (c’mon, you know it’s going to happen).

Related: MacBook 2016 vs MacBook 2015

TopFelt MacBook case

Want to stand out from the not-so-individual individuals you call mates? Don’t worry, you can go rogue with your tastes, shunning the traditional grey and brown colour combinations for something a little more risqué. Who’s for a purple, green, or yellow?

Buy now on Etsy for £19.68

5. Casetify Plucky Droid Sleeve

This is definitely the droid you’re looking for. Everyone’s favourite intergalactic robotic sidekick, R2-D2 has been given the laptop case treatment, acting as the cover star for this soft-touch computer case.

Related: 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro

Casetify Plucky Droid Case

Keeping your MacBook as safe as Luke and Leia, the neoprene body is made from the same stuff as a wetsuit – perfect for keeping your kit scratch and dent free, although we wouldn’t suggest dropping it in any water.

While it doesn’t come with a C3P0-inspired companion, it does feature a soft inlay to further aid your Mac in its next bumpy trip on the Millennium Falcon.

Buy now on Casetify for £37.49

6. Incase Hardshell Case

Your MacBook isn’t just at risk of being scuffed and scratched while you’re carting it around from place to place. If you’re particularly clumsy, you’re going to want to keep it safe from knocks, drops, and spilt drinks while it’s in use too. The snap-on Incase Hardshell has you covered here, acting as a second skin for the aluminium body.

Incase hardshell

Despite essentially being a bit of MacBook armour, the hard-wearing cover, which boasts rubberised feet for added table-top grip, doesn’t cramp your laptop’s style. As well as continuing to offer unhindered access to the Mac’s limited port array – and keeping that ventilation system clear – it comes in a transparent design so can enjoy Apple’s sleek lines alongside your peace of mind.

Buy now from Apple for £39.95

7. Harber Leather Sleeve

Just like the MacBook itself, this handmade sleeve oozes minimalist style and charm. The soft, full grain leather has been cut to fit Apple’s 12-inch machine like a glove, with a 100% wool felt inner lining keeping your laptop safe from damaging scuffs and scrapes.

Harber Leather MacBook case

As well as looking good, the slimline design is perfect for running between meetings or keeping your laptop safe when stuffed in a suitcase. It also comes in a couple of colours. Not a fan of vegetable tan? Don’t worry, a black leather option is also available.

Buy now from Etsy for £59.00

8. Thule Gauntlet 3.0 Envelope

A lot of MacBook cases favour style over substance, with high street-friendly designs often taking priority over true drop protection. The Thule Gauntlet 3.0 Envelope, however, pairs street smarts with some impressively rugged protection – perfect for the seriously clumsy.

Thule Gauntlet 3.0

A semi-rigid EVA construction sees a polyurethane shell wrapped around a laptop-hugging padded inlay to keep your 12-inch Mac chugging damage-free no matter how many accidental trips to the concrete it makes. Enhanced corner and edge protection makes this case perfect for those who really shouldn’t be trusted with a near £1,300 laptop.

Buy now from Thule for £34.95

9. Caseit Soft Pink Leather MacBook Sleeve

One of the 2016 MacBook’s key new features is the option of a pink (sorry, Rose Gold) finish. If it’s this new paint job that’s got you splashing the cash, you’re going to want to enjoy that handsome hue even when it’s wrapped up in a protective cover, right?

Caseit Leather MacBook Sleeve (2)

If that’s the case, Caseit’s soft pink leather MacBook sleeve has got your back. Handmade to snugly fit your new favourite gadget, it will keep your Mac looking good and working fine no matter what you throw at it (Warning: please don’t actually throw things at your MacBook, it’s not that tough).

Got any other suggestions? Let us know in the comments.

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