Review: iSkin SOHO

Stylish MacBook and MacBook Pro case. (July 20th, 2007)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: iSkin, Inc.

Price: $59.99 $64.99 US

The Good

  • Computer can be used in sleeve. Five trim colors. Nice design.

The Bad

  • Reinforced shell seems flimsy. Synthetic leather. Expensive. No accessory storage.

After successfully selling a line of iPod cases for some years, iSkin is now going after big game with a line of laptop sleeves. Available in two sizes, the iSkin SOHO fits the 13" MacBook s or 15" MacBook Pro, and of course, all similarly sized machines. It is available in black synthetic leather, with trimmings in a choice of five colors. The red, orange, pink, gray, and blue trim is used for the zipper and decorative stitching. As for the design, the SOHO was met with mixed reactions from my coworkers, not everybody liked it.

Protective Sleeve

The SOHO reinforced outer shell and soft inner lining protects your laptop from the minor hazards of everyday work or play, such as scratches, bumps, or minor spills. While I did not actually test the dropping my MacBook while in the shell, it makes a very good impression and appears sturdy. The corners are not reinforced with any extra padding though, so butter fingers beware.

While iSkin does not claim that the SOHO protects your lap from the temperatures that a MacBook Pros can reach after prolonged use, I found the closed shell works reasonably well as an improvised heat-shield.

Double as a Lap Desk

Compared to other sleeves, you can use your computer while in the SOHO and do not have to take it out, because two elastic corner bands keep the top of the sleeve in place. An insert card cautions one not to use the computer for extended periods while in the case.

A thin nylon zipper imbedded in the color trim is lined so it does not come into contact with your computer while inside, but it should really have a more robust zipper. The solid zipper pull includes the iSkin logo, but I wish there were two zipper pulls. When you travel, it is easier to yank out your computer for the security lines when your sleeve has two zippers.

Stylish, but Expensive

Even if you agree that this is stylish and elegant sleeve, you may not get much chance to show it off. It has no pockets or add-on pouch to pair it with a power supply or papers, and it has no handle and is a bit slippery to hold, so this sleeve most probably will live inside another case. If I'm going to spend more than $50 for a sleeve, I want at least one pocket for a notepad, pen, or something. In addition, it is a bit expensive considering the materials used.

by Alexander von Below and ilene hoffman



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