During a break in a Levenger board meeting recently, I mentioned to our head of product development how much I was loving my new 13-inch Apple MacBook Air.
“I wish Levenger had some kind of case for it,” I said. “Just something simple, like a sleeve, made out of our Bomber Jacket leather, to protect it when I put it in my backpack.” It was a passing comment before we were called back to our meeting.
I had nearly forgotten about my wish when, a few months later, a package arrived from Levenger. It contained one of our green gift boxes embossed with “Established 1987,” which always makes me feel old. I lifted the lid to find what looked like a zip-around notepad folio made out of our Bomber Jacket leather.
I was perplexed. I hadn’t ordered a notepad folio. But when I unzipped it, there was no notepad inside. Instead I saw two little leather pockets that were evidently stitched in to secure a laptop. Oh! I thought. This must be for my MacBook Air! But...I had imagined a simple sleeve. This looked...complicated.
But I knew I had to try it. Our product team had clearly put a lot of work into something I had casually asked for. I opened my MacBook and slipped the keyboard side into the two leather pockets. Hmmm. They not only hold the MacBook but give me two leather pads where my wrists rest on the laptop. That’s nice.
Then I tipped the screen into the two elastic corners on the top part. Okay, those tabs don’t cover any of the screen, that’s good. But wait—will my MacBook turn off when I close the lid? I shut the case just like I shut the laptop and, sure enough, the laptop went dark. I zipped the case closed and picked it up. The leather felt so nice and cushy and protective, yet the case still retained the slim form factor that Apple created for its bestselling laptop.
Maybe my initial impression was wrong.
But I would still have to wait and see. Only after some serious time living with the case would I be able to judge it properly.
Three Months Later, an EDC
As do many of us, I use my MacBook Air for many hours a day. I work mostly in my home office, but regularly take my MacBook to the kitchen, sit on our sofa, or even sit outdoors within WiFi range. And after three months, this is what I have to report: I never took my MacBook out of the prototype case.
I’ve grown accustomed to the leather padding for my wrists—it’s just a touch of luxury (two touches, actually), but hey, why not?
And I’ve grown accustomed to not worrying about my MacBook getting damaged by slipping to the floor, or something being spilled on it, because it’s protected on all sides from a hard, and sometimes wet, world.
When I do leave home for a midday meeting, I usually don’t bother to slip this case in my backpack but just take the case itself. The outside pocket holds a slim Circa notebook or a paper file, while inside I put a pen in the pen loop. It has become my EDC (EveryDay Carry) for midday meetings. For longer travel, I do slip it into my backpack, where my MacBook is super protected.
I’m smiling at our product development team. They listened to my request, but rightly ignored my suggestion for how to make it. They went beyond what I had imagined and created this useful, handsome product that feels as good as it works. Today, I don’t want to be without it.
If you, too, use a 13-inch MacBook Air for many hours a day, I think you might feel the same way.