Saturday, February 6, 2010
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Digital Home Hardware & Accessories" @ 10:00 AM
Skooba Design was a bit slow to catch on to this whole "netbook" thing, but now that they have, they've come out with two products aimed specifically at netbook owners. The first is the Netbook Neo-Sleeve ($19.95 USD), a simple sleeve for netbooks, and the second is the Netbook Messenger, a full-on messenger bag for netbooks which I'll be reviewing later.
The Netbook Neo-Sleeve is made of neoprene, a soft, water-resistant material that's exactly the kind of protection you want for your netbook without it getting bulky. The Neo-Sleeve measures 12"L x 7.5"H x .75"D in size, and can carry a netbook up to 10.1 inches in screen size (or 11" x 7.5" x 1.5" in overall dimensions). This makes it perfect for netbooks such as the HP Mini 1000, HP Mini 110, Acer Apsire One, etc.
However, it doesn't handle the the larger HP Mini 311 or similar netbooks, including the new Dell Mini 10 that has a deeper chassis than the older Dell Mini 10. Just because your netbook has a 10.1" screen doesn't mean it will fit - make sure you check the measurements. I'd love to see Skooba Design release a slightly bigger version of this sleeve, built for 12" netbooks/notebooks.
The Netbook Neo-Sleeve comes in four different colours: Abyss Black, Blizzard White, Deep Ocean Blue, and Inferno Red (sent to me for review, pictured above). I've seen the Abyss Black and Blizzard White in person; they are indeed black, and white, respectively. But Inferno Red as pictured above? I've asked numerous people to describe the colour of the Inferno Red Neo-Sleeve, and the answers I've gotten back are burgundy, maroon, and wine-coloured. I'm a big fan of all things red, and this bag isn't red. I can see that Skooba Design was going for a dark, rich red, but they veered off into burgundy land and this won't match any red netbook you purchase. 'Nuff said.
Figure 1: The shoulder strap attached to the Neo-Sleeve. Though the image above looks red-ish, the photo below with the darker colour is more indicative of what Inferno Red looks like in real life.
Figure 2: The front pouch has a USB stick slot. It's a tight fit though and only fits average-sized USB flash drives, and not the two chunky Patriot Xporter drives I own.
Included with the Netbook Neo-Sleeve is a small shoulder strap, stored in the front pouch. The shoulder strap is a basic affair, but given the light weight of the netbook, it doesn't need padding. I wish it had a strip of rubber to eliminate slippage though. The front pouch is a nice touch - every other neoprene case I have lacks any sort of front pouch, so I was pleased that Skooba Design added this. The pouch is large enough for the power brick and cable, but only from certain netbooks. If you have a netbook like the Acer Aspire One or Dell Mini 10, you'll have a small power adapter that plugs into the wall and a long, thin cable that plugs into the netbook. This is what fits in the pouch on the Neo-Sleeve.
If, however, you have an HP Mini 1000, HP Mini 110, MSI Wind U100, or one of several other netbooks on the market, you'll have a two-part power solution: a power brick with a long, thin cable going to the netbook, and a power cable going to the wall. This power solution takes up more space, and unfortunately won't fit in the front pouch on the Neo-Sleeve...unless you ditch the wall portion of the power cable and buy a 1-foot replacement cable. Ultimately I wish Skooba Design would have made the front pouch a bit taller to accommodate the power supplies of the many netbooks on the market that use these larger power supplies.
The Skooba Design Netbook Neo-Sleeve is a well-designed netbook sleeve, but because it's designed for smaller netbooks with small power supplies, make sure your netbook is compatible with it before ordering or you'll be disappointed when it doesn't all fit.
If you want to save 20% off any order of $50 or more, use the coupon code DIGIDEAL.
Jason Dunn owns and operates Thoughts Media Inc., a company dedicated to creating the best in online communities. He enjoys photography, mobile devices, blogging, digital media content creation/editing, and pretty much all technology. He lives in Calgary, Alberta, Canada with his lovely wife, his son Logan, and his sometimes obedient dog. He has a weakness for technology in a red candy-coated shell.
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