Since its debut in April, the new 12-inch Retina MacBook hasn’t seen that much in the way of functional, protective travel cases showing up either online or in brick-and-mortar stores. Fortunately, San Francisco-based accessory manufacturer Waterfield has released not just a single travel sleeve for Apple’s newest MacBook, but an entire line of bags and cases for early adopters of the device.
Waterfield sent me the “Dash MacBook Sleeve” to review, and the case is covered in a black ballistic nylon outer shell but houses a plush, smooth inner liner to ensure your brand-new MacBook won’t scratch or scuff while resting inside the case. The Dash’s backside comes packed with a mesh netting that will hold accessories like cables and headphones, and to ensure your MacBook doesn’t tumble out, there’s a single elastic band attached on top.
After a few days taking my MacBook around with the Dash sleeve, I barely have any big quibbles with the case. While certainly a downside for some, I found Waterfield’s decision to stick to stark, bare-bones color options — all-black or with a copper trim — refreshing over some of the more out-there case options on the market. Notable as well, the case barely gains any thickness while housing the Retina device, retaining the 12-inch MacBook’s sense of lightness even in a protected environment.
The added mesh compartment on the back will add weight, though, especially once you begin adding content like the MacBook’s USB-C charging cable. It’ll also make the well-proportioned case slightly less seamless if placing the Dash within another bag or compartment while traveling. But, otherwise, the Dash’s outer nylon shell is as protective and reassuring as Waterfield promises, and even feels like it can shirk any sort of moisture or accidental spill pretty easily. The material is also satisfying to grip, and won’t easily leave your hands when walking for extended periods with the case.