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Netbook case – best netbook carrying cases and covers

By Andrei Girbea - @ andreigirbea , updated on March 31, 2012

The first time i bought my netbook, a couple of years ago, I was reluctant to also buy a case for it. In my mind then, that was an useless accessory.

But boy, was i wrong. With most netbooks on the market glossy and with them being designed to be on the road most of the time, not taking good care of them will results in at least tons of scratches, if not more (sever damage may occur when carrying an unprotected mini laptop in your backpack or in your luggage during flights or comutes).

That’s why now, I’ve learned the hard way that buying proper cases for netbook computers is in fact the smart thing to do. There are a couple of types of protection accessories for these devices, from fancy leather envelopes to hard covers that protect the body from dust and scratches and to sleeves and pouches meant to protect them when traveling. All of them are pretty affordable, around a couple of tens of bucks each. Smart spent money for sure!

In the rows below I’m going to tell you a couple of things about the important types of protection for your mini laptops and also tell you what are the top picks in each class, based on my experience with them and reviews found online, from experts, but also from regular buyers like me and you. Most of the devices presented in here are designed for 10 inch computers, but I’ll also show some alternatives for bigger 11.6 or 12 inch computers.

Netbook carrying cases

If you’re looking for a cover that would protect you netbook computer when traveling and will also allow you to easily carry it with you, you will enjoy the options presented in this category. They are not the fancier accessories, but are reliable and reasonably priced. Check them below.

  • CaseLogic LNEO-10– a compact and reliable carrying case for 10 inch netbooks, this cover is very popular in the States, mostly thanks to its versatility, reliability and good price. It’s made from neoprene and is in fact a sleeve with handles, but also comes with a zippered outer pocket for power brick, mouse and other netbook accessories. Plus, it is also available in a bigger version will fir 12 inch laptops as well (details below).
CaseLogic LNEO-10

CaseLogic LNEO-10

  • CaseLogic BUA 10

    CaseLogic BUA 10

    CaseLogic BUA 10 – this one is another great netbook case from Case Logic, also meant for devices up to 10 inches big. It is more versatile though, as it comes with handles as a carrying case, but also a shoulder strap as messenger bags do. Inside you get a couple of different organizer pockets besides the main netbook compartment, so it could fit other stuff too, like your iPod, phone or pens. Also, it looks nice and managed to score very good reviews with owners.

  • Targus Sport Clamshell – this case looks exactly like a shoulder bag you usually get for bigger laptops. In fact, Targus has the Sport Clamshell available in different sizes, with an ultra compact version meant for 10 inch devices and a medium one for 12 inch mini laptops.
Targus Sport Clamshell

Targus Sport Clamshell

I’m not particularly fond with the design and looks, but this case is robust and reliable (comes with Lifetime Warranty. Plus, it has a very good price and is one of the most popular netbook covers in the 10 inch class, with lots of excellent reviews and marks. And those make it a worthy pick.

If you want something for bigger laptops, here are my suggestions. This [CaseCrown memory foam case is great for 11.6 inch devices (is designed for the Acer Aspire 1410, but will work with all devices in this class, as they all are pretty similar in terms of dimensions). And for the bigger 12 inch notebooks, you get this Kroo Cube or the CaseLogic LNEO-12, indetical to the one presented above, only bigger.

Netbook sleeves and pouch cases

Sleeves are, like carrying cases, meant to wrap you mini notebooks in a protective shield when transporting them. Unlike those though, they have no handles, they are just pouches with a zipper enclosure, tough exterior and a nice padded interior. Also, they are quite affordable.

There are many options, the best would be these:

  • Targus Neoprene Slipskin – works with all kind of netbooks and tablets up to 10.2 inch big and managed to score excellent reviews with buyers, being on of the most popular in its class in the States. Its solid quality is one of the reason (made from durable neoprene, with a soft padded interior). The fact that it comes with lifetime warranty is another, and there’s the big discount available for it these days.
  • Case Logic VLS-110 – similar to the one above, only a little bit stronger, as it comes with a layer of padded foam for extra protection. Fits any device up to 10.1 inch big and gets 25 years warranty.
Targus (left) and Case Logic (right) robust sleeves for mini notebooks

Targus (left) and Case Logic (right) robust sleeves for mini notebooks

  • Built E-LS10-MDT –  if you’re looking for a more colorful and joyful sleeve for your mini laptop, there are a bunch of nice options from Built, with uni bright color finishes and all kind of patterns. Prices are good and build quality is top notch also, as proven by the almost perfect marks and reviews scored with buyers.
And more cheerful options from Built, for around 10 bucks

And more cheerful options from Built, for around 10 bucks

More in this other post about netbook sleeves.

Netbook hardshell case

If all the protection options above are not quite enough for what you need and you want something even tougher, than you’ll have to get a hard-shell netbook case. There aren’t that many options available and there are basically two types of such cases: a plastic protective wrap that clips to the body of your netbook, or a toughened carrying case with a more rigid body and extra padded interior. And while the first ones are almost impossible to find (and I would say not even worth the fuss), I could recommend two versions in the second class:

  • Slappa Hardbody case – this one ain’t cheap, but it’s one of the best protections for mini laptops on the market. It comes with a ultra-hardened body shell and the exterior is both water and fireproof. Inside you get room for devices from 7 to 12 inches big (mini laptops or tablets) and there are special straps to hold them in place. You also get enclosed compartments for power brick, mouse and other accessories.
  • CaseCrown Foam Lines hard case – another tough one, but more compact than the previous option and with less room for accessories, this CaseCrown hard netbook cover will fit 10 inch devices (and is a perfect march for the 10 inch Acers and Asus EEE PCs). Interior is lined with shock absorbing foam, while exterior is made from durable material, to ensure good protection. Plus, it ain’t that bad looking either.
Hard netbook cases (Slappa - left and CaseCrown - right) - for extra protection

Hard netbook cases (Slappa - left and CaseCrown - right) - for extra protection

Leather netbook case

Belkin Suiter with leather elements

Belkin Suiter with leather elements

Good luck finding a leather case for netbooks. You can actually number those on your fingers, as there’s in fact no reason for having such a cover for a mini laptop. This is not a tablet that can be placed forever inside a folio leather case, this is a computer that needs to be taken out of the case when used. Hence, no need for fancy leather.

Still, if you want one of these, the only viable option from a known brand is the Belkin Suiter Sleeve, which is in fact a high quality neoprene case decorated with faux-leather elements on the outside, that makes it look quite classy. Oh, and since it only costs around 15 bucks, it’s actually quite a nice deal if you want something more fancier than the average netbook sleeve.

There are other options, only from less known brands. I particularly like the looks on thePorporta Perfora leather envelope for 10 inch laptops, which is in fact handcrafted, but even this one ain’t made from genuine leather, but from faux too. Still, I’d love to have one of these, as it;s not even expensive, going for around 25 bucks. And there’s also the brown leather netbook carrying case from Vangoddy, that seems quite interesting.

Porporta (left) and Vangoddy (right) leather envelopes for netbooks

Porporta (left) and Vangoddy (right) leather envelopes for netbooks

Netbook bags and backpacks

We’re not actually going to talk about them in this post, as I’m planing to put together another post exactly on this subject. Still, I will have to say that I own a messenger netbook bag and I’m completely satisfied with it (had it for a couple of months now). It’s the CaseCrown Vertical Bag (usually sells for $70, but it’s available on Amazon.com for half that price – see link below), and while designed for tablets like the iPad, it actually fits OK all the 10 inch netbooks I’ve had on my desks.

Conclusions

Not much to add here. As you can see, I’ve tried explaining a couple of things about each of the important types on netbook cases, sleeves and covers, so you could see which one would you really need. Remember that it’s pretty important to get a protection cover that actually snug fits your gadget. As in, don’t get a 10 inch device into a case made for a 12 incher, it will be better than not having any protection at all, but still not that great.

For me, a case/sleeve is a must, so i can wrap my computer in it while transporting it, keeping it safe from all kind of perils. But the other types of protections are useful too ans is just a mater of taste which one you would choose.

Of course, if I’ve missed anything important or you just have something to add, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Andrei Girbea, aka "Mike", Editor-in-Chief at TLBHD.com. I absolutely hate carrying around heavy stuff, that's why I'm fond of mini-laptops and portable computers. I'm primarily using such devices and have been testing them for many years now. Get in touch in the comments section below.

3 Comments

  1. Lawrence

    September 4, 2010 at 6:20 am

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I was just gonna suggest you write an article like this since I just got a netbook and wasn’t sure about what case/bag to get since there are so many out there. A bag is a must for me cuz I want to take my netbook around (plus all the accessories for it) without it being damaged.

    I got the following bag and I like it a lot. I got it from a store though, not Amazon.
    http://amzn.to/bpOOYz

    • Mike

      September 4, 2010 at 9:46 am

      Hey Lawrence. Looks good that one. I’m also planning on writing another post just on netbook bags and this one will for sure get in there 😉

  2. sue

    March 18, 2011 at 5:28 am

    Glad to find this article – wondering where to get a nice black or brown leather folio style case for my HP Mini 110-3530NR. I’ve found some on Ebay for the Mini but they all look so tailor made for each model and none are coming up for this model. Any experience with whether this kind of case has to be model-specific? Thanks for your report.

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