We recently had the pleasure of evaluating the Executive Laptop Sleeve from Designer Sleeves (www.designersleeves.com). Note that it's not called a laptop case, and there's a reason for that. The laptop sleeve is a lower profile bag than your typical laptop case and it is equally geared for form as it is for function. Have a look around their site and you'll see what we mean. Not only are the sleeves sleek and low profile, they also sport artistic prints from Van Gogh's "Starry Night" to a Bio-Infectious emblem that looks like something straight out of Fallout 3. And these designs aren't applied to the sleeve cheaply, they are vivid in color and clarity. In short, these sleeves will turn heads wherever you cart your laptop. And now you understand the form, but what about the function?
Let's start from the outside and work our way in. The sleeve sports cloth wrapped handles in addition to a non-slip shoulder strap. The handles took a few days to "break in" going from fairly stiff on arrival to comfortable and flexible after a few days use. The surface of the bag is very soft to the touch and rounded at the edges. And since the website claims that its wetsuit material protects from shock, moisture, and scratches, we felt the need to test it out. We can verify that after 30 seconds under a steady faucet, our laptop remained dry as a bone. Awesome. The front of the sleeve features a single large pocket for storage that seems best suited for flat materials. Opening the double-zipper reveals the simple yet multifunctional laptop compartment. Aside from the main laptop storage area, the inside has one large mesh pocket, 4 pen/pencil holders, and a couple of smaller compartments that seem best suited to things like business cards.
Now for the most important part, the laptop storage itself. Our test subject has been a 15" MacBook Pro and it fits reasonably well. One concern about the laptop is that its movement within the sleeve is not very restricted. In other words, it has a good bit of wiggle room within the sleeve and this leaves the sleeve lacking in rigidity. And though the sleeve is soft, it is on the thin side which still leaves some concern about even a short accidental drop of the laptop. As for the pockets, they are convenient, but loading them with anything very bulky is not advised.
For the $40.95 USD price tag listed on the website, the Executive Laptop Sleeve feels like a good buy. To the gamer and laptop user who tends to treat his laptop bag like a second desk, the sleek design of the Executive Sleeve will likely feel confined. But for those who travel light and like a little panache with their gear, this one's a winner.
Gamers Hell Verdict: Approved
Special thanks to BLASToutdoors and Designer Sleeves for the opportunity to review the Executive Laptop Sleeve.