Dec 10 2005
First of all, I have to tell you that I’m a major case junkie, when
it comes to carrying around laptops. I’m sure there was a time when I changed
my laptop bag on a monthly basis. I think I’ve settled down a bit since then
(I only have 4 right now). Probably because carrying around a PowerBook
a special set of problems, thanks to it being a LOUS – Laptop Of Unusual
My main bag has settled into the excellent Timbuk2
Commute XL, which can comfortably envelop my Laptop, portable
hard drive, digital camera, headsets and headphones, iSight, cable stash, iPod,
chargers, power adapters, DVDs, and other detritus I need when I’m away from
the Binary Bunker for more than a few hours.
But what about those times when you’re just running out to the bookstore,
or to see a client, or just don’t need to carry those other 20 pounds of gear?
That’s where the sleeve- style case comes in. The problem with these neoprene
or leather cases is there just isn’t room for the minimum stuff I need to carry
– at least not without bulking out the case past it’s design parameters. So
what to do? For the last couple months I’ve been using the MacCase Jacket and putting it through my demanding
Mac Case Jacket bills itself as the case you need, if you need more than a
sleeve, and in that respect, it delivers. The Jacket is vertically oriented,
which especially when dealing with the 17″ Lapzilla makes it much easier
to manage. And for a super-sleeve, the Jacket can carry a heck of a lot. It
has 3 front external pockets – one for your iPod, one for your cell phone,
and an expandable mesh “junk” pocket.
Now, a word about the iPod pocket. It’s cleverly
designed with a cable pass-through for your headphones, and it has touch
points for your clickwheel. But, before I was able to test this feature, I
ended up upgrading my iPod to a 5th generation iPod with video, which has the
click wheel repositioned, and the headphone jack off center. That said, I’m
sure it works fine with 4th and probably 3rd generation iPods. It’s a clever
idea, but the timing was just bad, I guess. It’s still a pocket, and works
for me as a convenient place to stash a couple protein bars.
The other pocket is a cell phone pocket. OK, I have a question for you: How
many people carrying around laptops need a place to put a cell phone?
Show of hands? No, I didn’t think so. And again, I have a Palm
Treo 650, so
it’s not gonna fit there, even if I didn’t have as many cell phone
holsters as I have laptop cases. Of course, I did find a great use for this
pocket. My Radtech Bluetake
Bluetooth mouse fits there perfectly.
So on the custom pockets issue, while neither of the pockets got used for
their original uses, they’re still useful.
the top “junk” pocket. I call it that, because that’s what ends
up there. Let’s see. Power Adapter, iPod USB cable, Treo Zip-linq USB
cable, AAA batteries for the mouse, assorted software diagnostic and installer
CDs and DVDs, sunglasses, and checkbook. Pretty good haul. There’s also a pocket
for a few things on the flap, but I never really use those, as they tend to
make the flap heavy when you flip it over the case. The flap itself has one
of those sturdy plastic buckles on it, and not a wimpy one either. It’s one
of those big heavy-duty ones that make the satisfying CLICK when you snap it
shut (though for some reason, this particular one doesn’t so much click). There’s
also an open pocket on the back, that can comfortably hold a couple magazines
and letter-size folders with no problem.
Oh, and a word about the back of the case. It’s well padded, which I really
quite like, as it tends to bounce against your hip when you walk. In fact the
whole body of the case has great padding (much better than the neoprene sleeves
or leather cases), and a nice “velvet” (I’m betting velveteen)
lining to keep your PowerBook from getting scratched up. All told, even with
padding, the case is just a couple inches thick, and really easy to maneuver
in crowds, like on the train. Add a nice cushioned handle and a decent shoulder
pad on the sturdy strap, which they have, and you have a great second home
for your Lapzilla.
MacCase makes 3 different models of the Jacket:
- MacCase 12″ iBook/ PB Jacket, for $44.95
- MacCase 14″ iBook/ 15″PB Jacket, for $54.95
- MacCase 17″ PB Jacket, for $64.95