Review: Speck Canvas Sport Portable Case

A sneaker-like sleeve for your portable Mac. (March 31st, 2007)

MacNN Rating:

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Product Manufacturer: Speck Products

Price: 39.95 US

The Good

  • Stylish, yet retro protective sleeve. Strong corners. Soft interior.

The Bad

  • No handle. Bulky for travel. More a sleeve than a case. Doesn't open all the way.

When Speck Products released a Converse sneaker-looking Canvas Sport iPod case, my immediate thought was, wouldn't this be fun if it was also a laptop case? Speck answered my dreams with just such a product. Speck refers to their MacBook Canvas Sport as a case, but I define a case as an enclosure that includes a handle or strap. The Canvas Sport has neither, so it is really a sleeve.

A Sporty Case

In keeping with that 1950s Converse sneaker-like appearance, the MacBook Canvas Sport is very similar to their iPod case. It is good, thick canvas surrounded by a solid white rubber edge. No zippers taunt your portable, and a soft felt-like interior cushions your metal MacBook. The reinforced sides of the case provide strong protection against crushing, but I would not recommend test-driving a car over it.

The case opens about 80% of the way and your portable slips into a kind of lip, which means you cannot use your portable while it is cased, nor is it easy to just grab your machine if you are in a confined space. The lid has a two-snap closure with a pull ribbon to open it. My snap flap showed some signs of shoddy sewing, and it looks like the glue may pull apart from the soft inner material after heavy use. These minor cosmetic problems do not affect the protection the case affords.

The Look

The white rubber encircles the pink or black case with texture on two sides, and a black strip across the middle of the white on two sides. White thread accents the top and bottom. An odd double pocket graces one side. I suppose you could put a pen, some notepaper, or business cards in the pockets, but they struck me as almost useless. I certainly wouldn't put an iPod nano in one. Oni Tsang also tested this case and said, "It's nice that the pocket is included, but it could have been implemented better with more room or at least more flexibility in the material used to construct the pocket."

While the case has great novelty appeal, and I happen to love it, it is not a case I recommend for business users or those who travel a lot. I use it for a jaunt to the local Starbucks or Borders or to a colleague's site. Although made for the MacBook 15" it works fine for my PowerBook too. A separate model fits the 13" MacBook.

Mostly Fun

All in all this is a fun, retro-looking case, if you don't mind tucking the bulky 1.75" thick case under your arm. You can use it as a sleeve inside another bag, of course, but then its harder to show off. The price is reasonable considering the design elements and workmanship. The white rubber is easily scuffed, but a damp cloth removes most dirt. You can remove dirt from the outside canvas and inner felt with a lint roller. I just wish it had a handle.

by ilene hoffman with Onwah Tsang


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