I tend towards minimalism when I travel. I try to carry everything on a plane when fly, so a couple of ounces here and there really add up when you are carrying everything on your shoulder or back.
Because of this I will often choose to take just a smartphone or a tablet on a trip rather than a laptop. I can accomplish most of what I need to do on a smaller platform…most of the time.
Sometimes though, you need all the functionality of a full laptop and it is hard to beat Apple’s MacBook Air for its balance of power and portability. I have a MBA 11 that I dearly love, but if I am trying to minimize what I am carrying for a short trip I still find myself putting it in a sleeve and that sleeve in a bag and building up more bulk than I actually need.
STM describes the Grip as a “hard shell sleeve” for a Mac Book Air or Mac Book Pro. It is two pieces of tactical plastic that clip on to the top and bottom halves of your laptop to give it some protection. Discrete tabs hold the pieces on the computer securely, but subtly. The beauty of the Grip is that you never have to take it off to use your laptop.
The inside of the shells are lined with micro suede so that they won’t scratch your laptop. I was initially concerned that the Grip would cause heat build up on the computer, but the back is well configured to allow the fan to work and the short raised feet on the bottom of the Grip allow some airflow below the computer to help keep it cool.
When the laptop is closed, all the ports are accessible so if you use you Mac Book with a dock in the office you still won’t have to take it off. The outside of the case has a soft feel and is textured to make it easier to hold on to. Given how slick the casing of a MacBook can be, I think this is a big benefit. Mine has tried to drop to the floor on occasion.
When I like the Grip case the best is when I want to throw my computer in a small bag with as little fuss as possible. With the Grip on the MacBook I feel like it is protected from most of the exigencies of my nomadic lifestyle. A bit of WiFi and some high-octane caffeine and I can get something done!
There is almost nothing to dislike about the Grip. It is lightweight, at less that 300 grams, adds some needed protection and is available in blue, black or pink. I like the feel of the case and most importantly it doesn’t get in the way of day to day operation of your laptop. I would even be comfortable carrying the MacBook out under my arm in just the Grip.
STM Bags Grip for MacBook $35-$39