I’ve always thought of laptop cases as more functional than fashionable, so I bought this one from Amazon within five seconds of seeing more than 1,000 5-star reviews a few years ago. It’s something that I need purely to protect my laptop, so I didn’t want to waste my last two brain cells thinking about the style or color.
Well, it wasn’t until I started testing the new Dagne Dover laptop sleeves that I realized function and fashion could — and should — co-exist in something so mundane and practical as a laptop case.
I have the 13-inch Laptop Sleeve in Black, which doesn’t come cheap at $89.95. It’s definitely a lot more than what I paid for my previous case and what I’d want to pay for a laptop sleeve in general, but the specs, design, and durability sold me.
Like most other Dagne Dover bags, the laptop sleeve is made with incredibly durable and water-resistant neoprene. I’ve spilled juice from leftover chicken teriyaki on it, and while there was a puddle at my bottom of my Cuyana tote, my laptop remained dry — which is great, because the sleeve was holding my work laptop.
There’s a mesh pocket inside to carry pens or notebooks, with a Velcro closure so nothing falls out.
The black colorway required no thought on my end, though if I was more stylish, I’d have gone with one of cooler colors like Dune or Sea Mist. The zipper is also the same shade as the sleeve, so the entire look is very monochromatic.
The 13-inch fit my MacBook Pro perfectly, and the sleeve is only 1.13 inches thick when zipped. It’s ever so slightly thicker than my old TomToc, which is 1.10 inches, but the cloth fabric on that one isn’t flush against the case itself so it always looks and feels thicker than the stated specs. The Dagne Dover sleeve is made with neoprene so there’s no extra decorative fabric that would add more thickness; it remains slim and sleek with or without my laptop inside.
The slimmer design also means it gives me extra room in my Cuyana tote bag to schlep more things around — though I don’t know if that’s a good idea. At least I’ve been using the Large Arlo Tech Pouch in Storm to organize things more, like charging cables, bandages, and hand sanitizer. I love that it unzips the entire length of the bag so it opens flat and I can see everything instantly. No more digging around the pouch only to poke myself with the tweezers that I never use but think are super important to have.
And if I don’t want to carry my tote bag around, the Dagne Dover sleeves comes with detachable shoulder straps. I use it when I’m heading to a local coffee shop to do some work or chill, or when I’m trying to force myself to streamline things.
Despite the overall design of the sleeve being really slick, that’s not to say it’s flimsy — it’s padded really well. In fact, I dropped my laptop a split second after I put it into the case, and the case just made a soft thudding noise when it hit the ground — no dents, scratches, or bumps that’d indicate what just happened. This was also with my work laptop inside — sorry.