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View Full Version : Macbook Air 11" in Backpack - Protection?




danlang
Jan 23, 2011, 09:59 PM
Howdy,

I'm on the verge of buying an 11" Macbook Air to use (mostly) at school. I have to carry quite a few books at once as my classes are back to back, and I'm wary of allowing the Air to hang out in my backpack.

I used to have a Macbook, which handled similar stress well (weight from books, general bag movement, shifting contents, etc), but the Air seems more delicate.

I've been searching cases, sleeves, etc. all night, and haven't come up with much as most websites say that their product "protects," but doesn't distinguish between "against scrapes" and "against textbooks."

Obviously nothing is foolproof, but if at all possible I'd like to avoid carrying another bag. However, if there are bags/sleeves that just have space for the Air, I'd be interested in those, assuming they have a strap of some sort.

Suggestions, thoughts, etc. would be appreciated - and yes, I know that cases and the like "defeat the purpose of the Air" but I'd rather it didn't break, and even with a case it's still lighter than anything other than a (bleh) Netbook.

Thanks, and sorry for the verbose post.



zodqyv
Jan 23, 2011, 10:08 PM
I carry the 11" Air in my backpack every day. You definitely want to get one of the several sleeves out there made for the 11" machine. My air with a sleeve does not take up much space in my bag. I never considered putting it in there without one.

Airforcekid
Jan 23, 2011, 10:08 PM
The BookBook case by twelve-south may work for you no strap though.

danlang
Jan 23, 2011, 10:12 PM
I carry the 11" Air in my backpack every day. You definitely want to get one of the several sleeves out there made for the 11" machine. My air with a sleeve does not take up much space in my bag. I never considered putting it in there without one.

Just one of the squishy looking sleeves? Like this one (http://www.goincase.com/products/detail/neoprene-sleeve-cl57801)? Or something harder (which I can't find an example of, so probably that one)?

danlang
Jan 25, 2011, 10:33 PM
Btw, for anyone curious, I did order, and I also got this case (http://www.hardcandycases.com/bubble-sleeve-macbook-air-case.html).

sarah11918
Jan 26, 2011, 07:20 AM
Btw, for anyone curious, I did order, and I also got this case (http://www.hardcandycases.com/bubble-sleeve-macbook-air-case.html).

That's similar to what I was going to suggest (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003WCAX28). Mine was half the price, but it's not quite as impact-proof as yours. I use this in my laptop bag, but it only has to contend with power cables and other electronic gadgets. Plus, in case I end up on a tiny plane and have to gate check the laptop bag, I need the MBA in a case I can quickly pull out and bring onto the plane.

I think you made a great choice. I wouldn't have trusted just a simple sleeve to go up against a bag full of textbooks. :)

MultiFinder17
Jan 26, 2011, 11:14 AM
My 13" Air has been carried everywhere I go in my bag for the last year with no case or sleeve and still looks perfectly fine. I've found that keeping it in the back of the bag, screen facing outward, and putting a paper notebook in front of it seems to keep it safe and sound.

elfxmilhouse
Jan 26, 2011, 11:18 AM
i just received the booq vyper for the 11 inch macbook:
http://www.booqbags.com/All-Products/Vyper-hard-laptop-cases/Viper-11-macbook-air-case

it is pretty big but i am confident that it will protect the macbook. I currently carry the macbook, a moleskine notebook, droid x and a few cables in the case.

if it's going to be in a backpack then i think the size is not a big deal.

jrtaylor6
Jan 26, 2011, 11:30 AM
My MBA 13" goes to every class that I have.. I just have mine in a soft case and zip up.. I also keep it close to my back in the back pack so there is no extra weight on it..

case2001
Jan 26, 2011, 01:23 PM
Hi have both a MacbookPro 15" and the 11" Air.

I carry both in a messenger bag. If you carry large heavy text books, I would consider a semi hard case as above. I use that for my Air and love it. If you are only going to have a spiral notebook. I would think no case would be fine. I carry several large textbooks and spiral notebooks sometime with a messenger bag weighing between 10 and 30 pounds. If I have that load, the Air goes in its case and the MacBook Pro goes in its sleeve. If I don't have much in my bag, I will carry the Air without a case and the MacBookPro has a Speck case to protect it from dings.

I also wonder about placement of the machine in a bag that heavy without protection. If it is closest to you in the bag, then you lay the bag down all the weight is on the machine. When you carry the bag, if you lean forward or back it will place quiet a bit of mass on the case.

Good Luck....

Ronnoco
Jan 26, 2011, 01:47 PM
Hi have both a MacbookPro 15" and the 11" Air.

I carry both in a messenger bag. If you carry large heavy text books, I would consider a semi hard case as above. I use that for my Air and love it. If you are only going to have a spiral notebook. I would think no case would be fine. I carry several large textbooks and spiral notebooks sometime with a messenger bag weighing between 10 and 30 pounds. If I have that load, the Air goes in its case and the MacBook Pro goes in its sleeve. If I don't have much in my bag, I will carry the Air without a case and the MacBookPro has a Speck case to protect it from dings.

I also wonder about placement of the machine in a bag that heavy without protection. If it is closest to you in the bag, then you lay the bag down all the weight is on the machine. When you carry the bag, if you lean forward or back it will place quiet a bit of mass on the case.

Good Luck....
I have both a 15" i5 MBP and an 11" Ultimate Air...I couldn't imagine carrying both, but I am about 30 years out of college, so I am old and a bit fraile now...LOL (not really, just perhaps a bit more lazy)...
Bully for you for carrying both and not whining about it!
Cheers!

firewood
Jan 26, 2011, 04:16 PM
I would put the MBA in a thin (could be inexpensive) padded sleeve in the backpack to protect against corner dings when putting the backpack down, and place the display side of the MBA against a large textbook (thick or hardcover) in the backpack, so there's less possibility of cracking the glass by running into a doorknob or something. My current messenger bag has a sheet of MBA sized heavy duty cardboard in it for this, since I don't often carry textbooks around anymore.

MultiFinder17
Jan 26, 2011, 09:40 PM
The Air is quite a bit tougher than most people seem to give it credit for. It certainly looks like a frail little thing, but it can withstand quite a bit with no ill effects. Here is how my Air has traveled around for the last year now, and it still looks nearly new. No case, no invisible shield, none of that is to be found on it. I considered getting something for it, but then I thought "I didn't get a light, thin, beautiful laptop to make it heavier, thicker, and uglier."

MarximusMG
Jan 27, 2011, 12:11 AM
I considered getting something for it, but then I thought "I didn't get a light, thin, beautiful laptop to make it heavier, thicker, and uglier."

I feel the same way, so I got a sleek looking sleeve for mine. I have to say, though, that you're a lot braver than I am. I don't think I could ever put my baby in a backpack or bag without the sleeve.

MultiFinder17
Jan 27, 2011, 10:12 AM
I feel the same way, so I got a sleek looking sleeve for mine. I have to say, though, that you're a lot braver than I am. I don't think I could ever put my baby in a backpack or bag without the sleeve.

I've found that the right arrangement of stuff in the bag is key to protecting the laptop. In that picture, the side that is against me when walking is the left, where the Air is. This way, the bottom of the Air is protected by myself and the soft inside of the bag. The sides and front are also cushioned a bit by the bag itself, which I got at the campus bookstore a few years back for around $30. Great little bag. The screen is protected from any bumps of any kind by the textbook in front, and the lid is protected from rubbing up against the textbook by either a paper notebook, or in that picture, a few sheets of paper. Having carried it around like this for a bit more than a year now, I can say that it works out perfectly fine :)

Kachadurian
Jan 27, 2011, 10:19 AM
Howdy,

I'm on the verge of buying an 11" Macbook Air to use (mostly) at school. I have to carry quite a few books at once as my classes are back to back, and I'm wary of allowing the Air to hang out in my backpack.

I used to have a Macbook, which handled similar stress well (weight from books, general bag movement, shifting contents, etc), but the Air seems more delicate.


Just to put your mind at ease, the MBA11 is probably more durable than your MacBook. The Solid State HD has no moving parts so it won't be damaged by bumping. No CD drive, there's really nothing to hurt.

It's thin, but sturdy.

My daughter has beat the crap out of an EEE PC 1000 with an SSD and it's keeps coming back for more, and that's a plastic case with pretty poor build tolerances.

Tom

danlang
Jan 27, 2011, 03:20 PM
i just received the booq vyper for the 11 inch macbook:
http://www.booqbags.com/All-Products/Vyper-hard-laptop-cases/Viper-11-macbook-air-case



I considered buying that one, too, though I think it was sold out briefly when I was looking initially. It's rather nice looking!

danlang
Jan 27, 2011, 03:22 PM
Thanks for all the info, everyone! I really appreciate the feedback - I was having a hard time finding much concurrence between different threads on here and elsewhere.

I suppose that could be said within this thread as well, but I'm feeling pretty good about the case I purchased. I'll let you all know how it works out!

Tomple
Jan 27, 2011, 10:22 PM
Glad you found a case you like, I however decided to go "caseless." I throw the Air in my Incase backpack, in the laptop sleeve area, and I remove it totally unscathed. I am incredibly pleased with the results!

IngerMan
Aug 26, 2011, 06:41 PM
This one is costly, but well worth it. http://www.gotbriefcases.com/messengers/leather-messenger-bags/alberto-bellucci-prato-leather-messenger-bag.html

There must be over a 100 bag, messenger, sleeve, post. Are you going to hit every one with your new bag. :p

VMMan
Aug 26, 2011, 10:16 PM
A Speck see through plastic shell allows me to put the MBA into a regular bag.

I also have a Hard Candy case which is pretty nice, but I think unnecessary with the Speck case on my MBA.

h00ligan
Aug 26, 2011, 11:54 PM
I considered buying that one, too, though I think it was sold out briefly when I was looking initially. It's rather nice looking!

what's the deal with the interior storage. That looks like a great solution, however doesn't that just risk it with all the other stuff rolling around inside or is it so hard it won't move.

onthecouchagain
Aug 27, 2011, 02:38 AM
Are you guys worried at all about the weight that's against the MBA when laying down your bags? Like if you have text books, etc., in your bag along with your Air, and you put down your bag so the text book is on top of the Air... any concerns about the keys imprinting or leaving marks on the screen (this was a concern of some users in the past)?

cgallant725
Aug 27, 2011, 09:33 AM
I ALWAYS have it in a sleeve before it goes in my backpack. I personally use the Brenthaven ProStyle Sleeve, but the Incase sleeves are nice too, I have used those for 13" MB and MBP

Jemi9OD
Aug 27, 2011, 10:24 AM
I just ordered the sfbags.com Macbook Air Smart Case for my 13". That way I can use any bag (or no bag) and still have protection.

iphonsteve4ajob
Aug 27, 2011, 01:57 PM
The Air is quite a bit tougher than most people seem to give it credit for. It certainly looks like a frail little thing, but it can withstand quite a bit with no ill effects. Here is how my Air has traveled around for the last year now, and it still looks nearly new. No case, no invisible shield, none of that is to be found on it. I considered getting something for it, but then I thought "I didn't get a light, thin, beautiful laptop to make it heavier, thicker, and uglier."

You sir, are my hero! lol...way to use your computer, not worry about it, and keep it looking the way it was designed. That being said, I do use at minimum a neoprene sleeve to carry my Air around in. :p

I also thought the OP's question was a good one. I sometime carry quite heavy loads in my backpack when going to work. Often times running to catch my train, and when I do the bag obviously bounces around hitting my back as I run. I'd be a bit worried at that kind of weight smashing into my Air.