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View Full Version : [REVIEW] Incipio Feather: ultralight hard shell case for the MacBook Air




DeBilbao
Oct 13, 2011, 04:11 AM
I consider the MacBook Air the best laptop I've ever owned and it's really beautiful, but if you use it on the go, it grabs too much attention from others and you can't get unnoticed. The aluminum matte finish and the illuminated Apple logo on the back certainly force to stare at it... and I don't like this when I'm at work.

Even though the aluminum Unibody frame is strong, it's easy to get it scratched or if you hit it on the side you can get a dent. I experienced this with the 2010 model I've recently upgraded, and I'll try to avoid this to the new 2011 unit.

http://i56.tinypic.com/2j287ko.jpg

I was using a Tucano Second Skin. Nice and simple, but when I need the laptop I have to unzip it and get it out of the bag and it offers zero protection when using the MBA, so I started the research for a new case.

After reading some reviews and played some youtube videos, I discovered that Incipio makes a similar model than the one I use for my iPhone: the Incipio Feather, so I went for it. It's lightweight, extremely thin and I like a lot it's texture, it isn't plastic and it's a soft rubber that is pleasant to touch. It can get some fingerprints on it, but I can live with them even though I consider myself very demanding on this kind of things.

You can get all the specs in http://www.myincipio.com/MacBook-Air-13in-Cases-Accessories/Incipio-MacBook-Air-13in-feather-Ultralight-Hard-Shell-Case.asp. It's available in 5 different colors and I decided to go for the black one.

Here in Spain you can get it at Macnificos (http://"http://www.macnificos.com/product/2620/0/0/1/Incipio-Feather-Purpura-Mate-MacBook-Air-13.htm") for 42,90 € + 4,90 € shipping. A total amount of 47,80 € (USD $65)

Luckily, Amazon UK (http://"http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B004PZVE8S") lists it for as low as 22.99, a total amount of 37 € (USD $50), shipped by Royal Mail, not the fastest courier but I wasn't in a hurry.

Here it is side by side with the one I've chosen for the iPad 2: the Proporta Leather Protective Case with Stand (http://"https://www.proporta.com/F02/PPF02P05.php?t_id=5769&t_mode=des"). My wife uses it a lot and we can't get used to the Smart Cover so I took advantage of a recent 20% discount offered on all Apple accesories and ordered it for 38 € (USD $52). It's a nice folio case made with real leather.

http://i51.tinypic.com/2uy52e8.jpg

The Feather case offers total protection and it only leaves access to the external ports: on the left side the Magsafe power port, one USB 2.0 - it could have been USB 3.0! - and the audio in/out port.

http://i53.tinypic.com/nfofo4.jpg

On the right side the Thunderbolt port, second USB and the SD card reader.

http://i56.tinypic.com/23w4s9u.jpg

Build quality is excelent, with perfect fitting. When opened you can see that there's nothing disturbing. You open your MacBook Air and what I like most is that you get exactly the same front view as if you weren't wearing the case.

http://i54.tinypic.com/5z1pxu.jpg

If you look at it from the top when running, the illuminated Apple logo has gone away, exactly what I was looking for.

http://i51.tinypic.com/316b4v8.jpg

The velvet-like rubberized surface is really pleasant to touch, and on the bottom it has a perforated ventilation area.

http://i56.tinypic.com/ifqy3s.jpg

I also like that there are no exagerated logos. It has one at the top and one at the bottom, but they are barely noticed.

http://i56.tinypic.com/2nkrnyd.jpg

Here it's with the same protection for the iPhone, and you can guess some fingerprints on both of them. The laptop case is recently bought, but the iPhone is heavily used in a daily basis and I can live with this level of fingerprints.

http://i51.tinypic.com/2lkbbdh.jpg

IMHO it's a great solution for protecting the MacBook Air.

:):):)



NutsNGum
Oct 13, 2011, 04:33 AM
Should this not be in the accessories section?

entatlrg
Oct 13, 2011, 10:28 AM
Great post, thank you for taking the time to write and post the photo's.

(To the Sheriff: No, it shouldn't be in the accessories section, it's regarding his air. It's good it's here, then MBA owners actually bump into it. So, is that alright with you now?)

NutsNGum
Oct 13, 2011, 12:52 PM
Great post, thank you for taking the time to write and post the photo's.

(To the Sheriff: No, it shouldn't be in the accessories section, it's regarding his air. It's good it's here, then MBA owners actually bump into it. So, is that alright with you now?)

Calm down, Skippy. It's about an accessory for the Air.

Lovely photos.

GD0X
Oct 13, 2011, 01:43 PM
This was a great case; sold my air. 2 complaints though. First, with all knowledge known beforehand, I was disappointed they did not allow the apple logo to shine through, no biggie. My second complaint is actually rather painful. Snapping the case on was very simple, although taking it off was a pain in the A$$. There was no simple way to take off, I had to apply a tremendous amount of force for the small clips to disengage. So much, I literally cut my thumb on multiple occasions, nothing deep, but a drop of blood nevertheless. just wtf. I'm sending them an email sooner or later asking for a refund, my cuts for one, but a few of the clips broke as well.

It's a great case but taking it off is painfulllllll.

vegablk
Oct 13, 2011, 02:16 PM
Nice review. I just bought the speck case from apple but i think i'm going to return it. I had to take the case off once to bring the MBA back to the apple store and after removing it once every clip seems loose. I also like the idea of the apple logo not shining through.

Does anyone know of a hard shell sleeve that can be used in conjunction with this case? While the incipio/speck cases are good for the home/officem, when I travel I like to have an extra layer of protection around my laptop.

Adnan Azam
Oct 13, 2011, 03:30 PM
Quite great idea....and thanks for sharing this:)

will0407
Oct 13, 2011, 03:35 PM
Nice review. I just bought the speck case from apple but i think i'm going to return it. I had to take the case off once to bring the MBA back to the apple store and after removing it once every clip seems loose. I also like the idea of the apple logo not shining through.

Does anyone know of a hard shell sleeve that can be used in conjunction with this case? While the incipio/speck cases are good for the home/officem, when I travel I like to have an extra layer of protection around my laptop.

i use a colca sac sleeve, and before that a be.ez la robe. Both work fine with my speck case on

molala
Oct 13, 2011, 04:01 PM
Great review and photos, thanks! Never thought of a shell case for my MBA, but this tempting me. It looks great plus when I'm in a public place, I do want my MBA to be less obvious.

accessoriesguy
Oct 13, 2011, 10:44 PM
Incepio cases for the iphone/ipod touch are great! this one looks like its made of that nice to the touch feeling material. The only thing is that its such a strong black that I feel it takes away from the macs original beauty.

I probably need to see it in action to give a full opinion.

Dunbar
Oct 13, 2011, 11:18 PM
I've had the Feather for my 13" MBA for about two weeks. I use my MBA almost exclusively on my lap or sitting on the couch next to me and the two issues I'm having are:

1) Added bulk to the back of the LCD means the screen falls down if you pick up/set down the computer a lot like me. So you end up constantly readjusting the screen and I'm worried about added hinge wear.

2) The outside clips by the track pad come undone if you pick the MBA by its corners with the screen unfolded. Since I pick the computer up a lot it's kind of annoying and could cause wear marks.

I have sort of adjusted to it so I'm noticing these issues less. If you use your MBA mostly on a desktop none of this would matter. I'm debating selling it and going with a matte clear guard and sleeve combo. I don't do a ton of travel with the MBA so I don't really need the superior protection of the Feather.

scarred
Oct 14, 2011, 08:50 AM
Having just nicked my Air last night :(, this review comes a day late. heh. The nick isn't too bad, no one but me will notice at least.

Anyways, a couple questions:

1. How easy is it use? Can I put the air into the case and remove it often? Or is it annoying (do it once and leave it type of case)?

2. Is it easy to clean? I have the original iPad and that original iPad case from Apple. It looks like the same material is used in this mba case. The iPad case is a huge pain to clean (in fact, I still haven't figured out how to make it all black again).

edit: btw. thx for the review.

vegablk
Oct 14, 2011, 10:20 AM
I've had the Feather for my 13" MBA for about two weeks. I use my MBA almost exclusively on my lap or sitting on the couch next to me and the two issues I'm having are:

1) Added bulk to the back of the LCD means the screen falls down if you pick up/set down the computer a lot like me. So you end up constantly readjusting the screen and I'm worried about added hinge wear.

2) The outside clips by the track pad come undone if you pick the MBA by its corners with the screen unfolded. Since I pick the computer up a lot it's kind of annoying and could cause wear marks.

I have sort of adjusted to it so I'm noticing these issues less. If you use your MBA mostly on a desktop none of this would matter. I'm debating selling it and going with a matte clear guard and sleeve combo. I don't do a ton of travel with the MBA so I don't really need the superior protection of the Feather.

I noticed the same issues with the Speck Case, so i guess this is an issue with hard shell's in particular and not just the incipio cases.

In any event if you are going to wind up selling the case anytime soon i would love to give it a try and compare it to the speck case. shoot me a PM in any event.

caodapengtj
Oct 14, 2011, 10:24 AM
Having just nicked my Air last night :(, this review comes a day late. heh. The nick isn't too bad, no one but me will notice at least.

Anyways, a couple questions:

1. How easy is it use? Can I put the air into the case and remove it often? Or is it annoying (do it once and leave it type of case)?

2. Is it easy to clean? I have the original iPad and that original iPad case from Apple. It looks like the same material is used in this mba case. The iPad case is a huge pain to clean (in fact, I still haven't figured out how to make it all black again).

edit: btw. thx for the review.

I have some input to your question:
1. It is easy to install but next to impossible to remove. I actually cracked it when removing it for returning. If you are planning to remove it often, look for something else.
2. I guess it is easy to clean. I use a lens cloth to clean up finger prints.

Dunbar
Oct 14, 2011, 02:48 PM
In any event if you are going to wind up selling the case anytime soon i would love to give it a try and compare it to the speck case. shoot me a PM in any event.

Will do. I can confirm this case does work with the Moshi Palmguard if you adjust its position up about 1/4mm. Just install the case and then "butt" the palm guard up against the Feather's clips.

http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/2493/photo1suq.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/840/photo1suq.jpg/)

Uploaded with ImageShack.us (http://imageshack.us)

Ohlias
Oct 14, 2011, 04:50 PM
I've got the incipio as well and I can confirm that it is nice, but is very difficult to remove. I've tried and have not succeeded. Wish I could get it off sometimes. However, it does protect the Air.

I also find it added some slight weight to the hinge and also seems to slightly catch at the back when opening...

Still happy to have it, but If I could have one that was easy to remove, I'd be happier.

kamuix
Oct 14, 2011, 08:34 PM
I have the case for a 2010 mba and it's great. Not many issues, does attract finger marks like the op said. The only minor thing is that there's a bit of plastic really close to the mini-display port. It forces the one i bought to stick out and not sink in totally. While it still works, kinda wish it was flush all the way in. Other than that it's great. I don't think people with the thunderbolt port are having these issues since the port is a bit smaller?

kulimer
Oct 18, 2011, 06:24 PM
This is a pretty good protection. I only want the bottom piece only, to protect it when it is on the table. I don't want the top piece. Where can I get it?

ntrigue
Oct 23, 2011, 09:04 PM
It may seem backwards, but it really bothered me how easily InCase scratches. I had dozens of white scratches from a Timbuk2 bag! The removal was also quite frightening; requiring a great bit of strength to release clips. Final nail for me was the Thunderbolt port was obstructed by the case.

Aboo
Oct 23, 2011, 09:11 PM
This is a pretty good protection. I only want the bottom piece only, to protect it when it is on the table. I don't want the top piece. Where can I get it?

I think you will have to order both because its only sold as a set. Perhaps you should buy the set and sell of the top if someone may want that.

ntrigue
Oct 23, 2011, 09:55 PM
I think you will have to order both because its only sold as a set. Perhaps you should buy the set and sell of the top if someone may want that.

Buy Wrapsol. Trust. Amazing.

kulimer
Oct 24, 2011, 12:23 AM
I think you will have to order both because its only sold as a set. Perhaps you should buy the set and sell of the top if someone may want that.

Why don't they sell on the the bottom only? Because they there there is no market, or they want to pay more? That thing is not cheap.

Aboo
Oct 24, 2011, 12:33 AM
Why don't they sell on the the bottom only? Because they there there is no market, or they want to pay more? That thing is not cheap.

Probably because there is no market for it. Not many people want only the bottom or only the top. It is expensive but they do have a bunch of coupons that are always active for anywhere from 10 to 30% off. I think the one running currently is FBFAN2011 which gives 15% off...

vegablk
Oct 25, 2011, 06:25 PM
ive had my incipio feather now for a few days. i have 2 main issues with it that i didnt not have with the speck

1. I hear a clicking noise coming from the rear of the laptop now when i open and close the lid. i know this was a known issue and it seems to be working itself out but it should still be mentioned

2. Fingerprints! lots of them

i like it better then the speck though. nice black color and the soft touch finish is awesome. i wound up buying the feather for my iphone4s and Nexus S also

calvol
Oct 25, 2011, 06:30 PM
I may try Incipio. Speck is junk, bottom tabs broke off within one month, totally unusable. If you buy a Speck make sure to keep the receipt, you'll need it for an exchange if you want a warranty exchange. I may go back to the Radtech sleeve, although I'm a little nervous about torsional flexing of the Air in my backpack with a lot of books-- especially the Air screen, which seems to be pretty fragile.

Seasought
Oct 25, 2011, 08:49 PM
I'm going to be pulling the trigger on a MBA 13 next week for school and I've been looking for a case that's going to protect it while riding around in my Timbuk2 bag.

Side note - I'm noting a lot of people on here trying to "hide" the fact that they're using MBAs. I take it that they are popular to steal given their small form factor...

p1ally
Oct 26, 2011, 02:47 AM
ive had my incipio feather now for a few days. i have 2 main issues with it that i didnt not have with the speck

1. I hear a clicking noise coming from the rear of the laptop now when i open and close the lid. i know this was a known issue and it seems to be working itself out but it should still be mentioned

2. Fingerprints! lots of them

i like it better then the speck though. nice black color and the soft touch finish is awesome. i wound up buying the feather for my iphone4s and Nexus S also

I had the same clicking problem.. Solution was to just take off the entire bottom. *sigh*

I noticed this thing is a BITCH to clean fingerprints off of. A mr clean magic eraser works magic though!

For removal, I close the air, and slip a credit card under the feather from the bottom (back) of the screen, then slowly work my way around.

Lastly, I have the teal color, and the apple logo does shine through. :D

n1tut
Oct 27, 2011, 11:08 AM
By choice I would not cover my MBA, I love the feel of the aluminium casing, but as I am disabled I knew that I would end up dropping and damaging it. As I wanted to see the Apple Logo and case I bought a clear plastic one from here for 11.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/CLEAR-Hard-Crystal-Case-Cover-11-6-Macbook-Air-/120726410931?pt=UK_Computing_Apple_Mac_Accessories&hash=item1c1bdad6b3#ht_2244wt_1045

Excellent fit, easy to remove, and strong. I have dropped my Air twice now, small crack on the top and bottom covers, so it did its job. There are a lot of them on eBay of different colours from Asia, but this was a UK seller.

tut

ghostbuster
Dec 8, 2011, 07:16 AM
I put the Incipio Feather case (13 inch, teal color) on yesterday and I'm trying to remove it now... what a pain in the ass!

I want to remove it because of one thing mostly:

I can't full open the lid anymore! I am quite tall and sometimes I need the screen to lean back a little more... well the top and bottom parts interfere with each other and I can't open the lid/screen to the angle I like.

Also, I noticed that the feet, because they are made out of the same material as the case, are very slippery. Nothing like the original MBA feet which are made of rubber.

I really liked this case when I first saw it and ordered immediately... now it's going on eBay or back to the store. Big disappointment.

vitzr
Dec 8, 2011, 07:43 AM
While I can understand people's concerns & desire to keep your MBA looking like new, it is a computer to be enjoyed as Apple intended. If eventually it collects a scratch or two, that's obviously not going to affect it's use as a computer. Worrying about it's cosmetic appearance is a no win situation if you're going to use it & transport it.

I prefer mine as it came out of the box, and simply take care. When carrying it to work or other destinations I use a Waterfield Sleeve. It's very high quality, extremely well made & a perfect fit. It protects it well no matter which of my bags I put it in. It works quite nice with a Timbuk 2 bag.


www.sfbags.com

jmoore5196
Dec 8, 2011, 08:24 AM
Buy Wrapsol. Trust. Amazing.

I did ... I bought Wrapsol for my 11" MBA. Twice - to their credit, they replaced the film the first time - twice the film has become discolored by first the Acme Cases sleeve and then a Beyza case.

I'm not sure what the problem is, but I give up! I'm going back to Bodyguardz. They may be shiny, but at least they never look as though my MBA is growing a fungus.

ethics101
Dec 14, 2011, 02:30 AM
I had the same clicking problem.. Solution was to just take off the entire bottom. *sigh*

I noticed this thing is a BITCH to clean fingerprints off of. A mr clean magic eraser works magic though!

For removal, I close the air, and slip a credit card under the feather from the bottom (back) of the screen, then slowly work my way around.

Lastly, I have the teal color, and the apple logo does shine through. :D

Can you take a pic please? I'm thinking about this case, and I love the apple logo. The feather seems perfect except for that one thing...

Ohlias
Feb 12, 2012, 10:23 AM
I bought the Incipio Feather for my 13" MBA. It is slightly rubberized hard plastic shell. One pice for the bottom and another for the top. Fits nice and snug (on the downside, very difficult to remove). The company has excellent customer service, similar to apple. The item was $50, but when I cracked it trying to remove it, they replaced at no extra charge.

Have a look.

Only cons are that it can be difficult to remove and it adds just a little weight to the screen so that if you lift the laptop up while the screen is open, it may swing open a little more...

https://dpwebcp136.doteasy.com:2096/?login_theme=cpanel

http://www.myincipio.com/GetDynamicImage.aspx?path=IM-241a_3.jpg&h=350

antonis
Feb 12, 2012, 10:34 AM
Sorry, this is by far the most beautifully designed computer in the IT history. Any shell case is just looking awful. All you need to do it to just take care of the machine and don't cover it's design.

Don't take my words for it, just look at the picture and compare it with any hard shell case photo.

Beanoir
Feb 12, 2012, 10:48 AM
Sorry, this is by far the most beautifully designed computer in the IT history. Any shell case is just looking awful. All you need to do it to just take care of the machine and don't cover it's design.

Don't take my words for it, just look at the picture and compare it with any hard shell case photo.

Well said, without exception there is no shell case that can ever look as good. I don't see the point in wrapping up a beautifully designed object you've spent a premium on to own and then never benefit from it. It's like putting the Mona Lisa in a box.

I use a sleeve for mine when it's sitting in my bag on travels, but to use and have sitting on the desk it remains naked, the best way IMO.

unfrostedpoptar
Apr 3, 2012, 02:36 PM
Well said, without exception there is no shell case that can ever look as good. I don't see the point in wrapping up a beautifully designed object you've spent a premium on to own and then never benefit from it. It's like putting the Mona Lisa in a box.

That's not the point.
1) I tend to replace my computer every couple of years and scratches are not good for resale value.
2) The rubberized cases make me feel a lot more secure when picking it up and carrying it around. Also, if I want to use the MBA sitting on my lap, it's way to slippery without a case.
3) I don't look at the outside of my computers much, so the appearance doesn't matter to me. I wanted something very small and light to carry with me all the time.
4) A case is also good for personalizing and identifying your computer when you're around a bunch of other people with Macbooks!
5) The Mona Lisa is kept in a box! It has shatterproof glass in front of it and protection on the other sides, so your example actual defeats your point :)

DvlFig
Apr 3, 2012, 02:49 PM
I don't see why you would protect The Mona Lisa, pfff...
Wait a minute... :D

I'd be all over the Incipio case if it was like the Speck Seethru. I guess a $28 case from Canada will do;)

Smileyboy
Apr 3, 2012, 03:16 PM
Looks nice.
I'll stick with my invisible shield all around and my Bookbook

arrowtree
Nov 30, 2013, 11:57 AM
I know this is a very old thread. :o

However, I'd like to hear back from folks
who bought this shell case. After a year
or two, how well did the case do? Did it
protect the Macbook Air?

Thanks in advance! :)