A few months ago, I wrote a news post about some MacBook Air cases that incorporated a stand into the design. I ordered one of the cases, the Artmu 11″ MacBook Air Stand Pouch, from eBay. Julie was able to request a review sample of the other style, the Opt MagicQ MacBook Air Case, that I’ve already reviewed. I’ll admit up front that I’ve mostly used the Opt case, but I do like the Artmu as well. Let’s give it a closer look.
All photos can be clicked for a larger view.
The Artmu case is made of faux leather, and it seems to be available in a variety of patterns and colors. The only one available when I purchased mine was this design, with a print of Klimt’s The Tree of Life on the front. In the top picture, you can see a silver-toned cursive M-shaped piece that’s the only branding on the front. The front flap is brown vinyl, and it has segments that make it look like Apple’s Smart Cover for the iPad. Inside the case is a light gray faux suede. The case measures 13″ long X 8.4″ tall X about 0.25″ thick. It weighs 10.6 ounces.
The back of the case is plain, with no external pockets. It’s made of the same brown vinyl as the front flap. The sides are stitched together, and the stitching is straight and even.
Both the front and the back of the case is lightly padded with stiffeners under the exterior vinyl for a little extra protection.
Magnets are embedded into the segments of the front flap. They serve two purposes: to hold the flap closed, and to fold the flap into a laptop “lifter”.
The Artmu case has openings at the top of both sides to leave some of the connectors open. Above, you’ll see that the Thunderbolt connector and the USB port are both open on the right side of the Air. There is nothing else on this side of the Air.
To make a stand or “lifter”, just roll the front flap up as shown in the above photo. I found it wasn’t stable unless I rolled it up with the brown vinyl to the outside. Propping the hinge side of the Air on the top of the triangle elevates the keyboard to a pretty nice typing angle. It lifts the screen, too, so I don’t feel my neck gets so cramped looking down at the screen. It’s stable on a table top or other solid surface, but I’m not sure I’d trust using my expensive laptop with this case actually on my lap.
The biggest problem I have with the Artmu case is that it’s too wide to fit in my Vera Bradley purse (that fit the Opt MagicQ case so well). You can see it sticking out a bit on the right side. There’s no way to force the zipper over that corner because the Artmu case is simply wider than the purse is as that point. It should fit easily into a bag with a squarer profile, or into a bigger bag.
The Artmu case is a nice envelope-style carrying case for a MacBook Air. It’s lightly padded, so it adds some protection against dings. It pseudo-suede lining protects the aluminum body from scratches, too. It’s not too heavy, so you’ll hardly notice it in a bigger gear bag, and it can be used on its own. It doesn’t have any pockets to carry along your charger or mouse or anything else, though. If the pattern isn’t your style, there are solid colors available.
I haven’t found any US retailers, other than eBay, and the seller I used doesn’t always have any of these cases listed. I have seen both 11″ and 13″ cases, if you have the larger Air. I suppose you could try ordering from Artmu in Korea directly, too.