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~What every well-dressed laptop needs~
When I bought my new Samsung Chromebook I knew that none of my previous laptop and notebook sleeves would be the right size. I had larger, I had smaller but unlike Goldilocks I couldn't find one that was 'just right'. Since the Chromebook was bought for half the price of the ASUS that I'd just returned to Amazon for a refund, I had a healthy Amazon balance to spend and decided that for once in my life I would buy the one I liked best rather than the cheapest. Typically I spend weeks researching a laptop and then minutes on any 'extras'. A happy half hour of Amazon browsing had my head pretty pickled with the choices available so eventually I did what I should have done from the very beginning and picked the 'pretty' one. All of my previous sleeves had been plain and unpatterned and when I saw the KINMAC '11.6" Waterproof Notebook Laptop Sleeve Case for SAMSUNG Series 5 Chromebook' - a product listing rather more descriptive than most - I knew it was the one for me. At £9.99 plus £2.69 P&P it wasn't the most expensive but was still nearly 13 times more than the Poundland sleeve I'd been using with my ASUS. However, it was so beautiful that I didn't care. £12.69 is not a lot in the grand scheme of things and who wouldn't want their new laptop friend to be stylish and well-dressed?
If you are tempted, this is currently listed at £12.99 plus £2.99 for P&P from an Amazon seller called 'Camerainn'. This is in fact a company called DIGICAMERACASE4U which is UK based. Take care not to go for a supplier in the Far East who'll take weeks to mail your order out.
~Size IS Important~
Most of the laptop sleeves I've had have been bigger than they said they would be. Most were that way the moment they came out of the box and some seemed to 'stretch' with use. I can't see the protection in something that's so sloppy. Another I had was so tight I could barely get it onto the computer and so I felt that it was little more than a scratch guard (that was the Poundland one). Much to my amazement, this one really was made to measure - a snug fit and just the right dimensions for the Chromebook. It will hold a small notebook and my mobile phone but I'm not tempted to squeeze in more than that. I wouldn't - for example - try stuffing the cables in as well as there's really not the space for that.
Obviously when you buy online you're not able to pick up the item, prod it, squeeze it and try it out on your laptop. I was concerned that I might be disappointed - that the cover might look shabby or the fabric might be too thin but I shouldn't have worried. This sleeve is printed with a design that makes it look like rather old fashioned curtains or a cushion. In shades of yellow, turquoise, brown, green and grey, it's a busy pattern and an attractive one. The outer layer is woven rather than just a printed neoprene and if you drop water on it, (I tried - with the case empty) it balls up on the surface and doesn't soak in. Whilst the case is described as 'waterproof', I'd suggest it's more appropriate to say 'water resistant'. I don't believe any such case would stand up to immersion in the bath but if you got caught in a rain shower, or you upended a cup of coffee over it, you'd not need to worry too much.
The interior of the case is gingery brown and fleecy. I can't help thinking my laptop will be kept cosy and warm. The thickness of the greater than others I've had and I would estimate it's around a 3-4mm thickness (although that's based on my past history with wetsuits rather than any scientifically precise measurements). The zip goes round half of the case from the mid point of each short side and over the long side. It has a double zip so you can open from either side and each zip has a strong fabric pull tab loop. Where the zip joins the neoprene, the seam is fully covered and finished off well. My mother is an excellent seamstress and even she was impressed by the quality of the finish. This is not a zip that's going to separate from the fabric in normal usage.
This sleeve is smart enough for you to tuck it under your arm and carry it around. It doesn't instantly scream 'laptop inside' because the design is so unusual. If you do find yourself in a place with lots of laptops around, you can be pretty sure that yours will be easy to spot. It's also small enough to tuck into most of my 'larger' handbags.
Sleeves are not designed to protect your machine from being dropped off the roof of a multi-storey car park or being driven over by a truck. If you want that kind of protection, you'll not find it for £9.99 and a super light weight. Mostly what this will do is protect your computer from the day to day challenges of being thrown around inside your bag, something being knocked over it, or it sliding off the sofa onto the carpet. You don't want your expensive equipment ruined by an altercation with a biro in the bottom of your handbag, or scratched and marked by the paraphernalia in your luggage. Despite my desire to prove how good it is, I'm not about to start destruction testing just to make my point.
~Tough and Good Looking~
In terms of standard wear and tear, I've had this for a couple of months. It's been to India on holiday with me, moving from one hotel to the next every couple of days, and it's been back and forth with me for several weeks because I'm away from home every week. It's not something that's just sat on the table and not been used. It still looks pristine. Whilst I wouldn't expect too much wear and tear, it does look as good as the day it came out of the box.
Obviously this exact item is only relevant to you if you have the same Samsung Series 5 Chromebook, but the seller 'Camerainn' offers the same design and several other gorgeous alternatives in a wide range of sizes. What I like is that they specify the models that it fits rather than just saying it's for a specific screen size. Even when the sizes are allegedly the same, the shapes are not identical between different laptops so it's good to know you're buying one that really will fit.
I love my Chromebook and I love having this beautiful sleeve to keep it warm, dry and comfy.