Bottom line: This slim and minimalistic sleeve is made with a soft microfiber material that's soft to the touch. This snug sleeve will protect your MacBook, but the fit may be a little too tight, as it can be hard to get your computer in and out of the sleeve.
Soft microfiber exterior
100% wool felt lining interior
Slim, minimalistic design
Can be too tight of a fit
No pockets for accessories
Interior is not plush microfiber
Can't charge MacBook while in sleeve
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Though I pretty much am always at home working on my iMac, every now and then I will venture out with my MacBook Pro for a change of scenery. Whether that's working from Disneyland or the local coffee shop, my MacBook needs to be safe and sound in a good sleeve while in my bag.
Harber London is a European brand that is known for its elegant leather goods and tech accessories. I was given the opportunity to check out its new Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case, and while I love how it looks and feels, there are a few shortcomings with it.
Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case: Price and availability
The Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case is only available direct from Harber London's website. Each sleeve is made to order by craftsmen in Spain. While there is only one color option, gray microfiber, the sleeve does come in six different sizes for 13-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, 14-inch MacBook Pro, 15-inch MacBook Pro, 16-inch MacBook Pro (2019), and 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021). It costs $92 for the 13 and 14-inch sizes, and $100 for the 15 and 16-inch sizes.
Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case: Simple and minimal protection
The Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case is a little different from the usual fare at Harber London. For a brand that usually sells genuine leather goods, I was surprised to see a laptop sleeve with zero leather. Instead, this one is made with a soft microfiber material on the outside, similar to the Apple Polishing Cloth, though I wouldn't say it's as soft as Apple's cloth. The interior is 100% wool felt, which I don't have much of an issue with, though I would have preferred something softer. The sleeve consists of two pieces that are stitched together by hand, as you can tell from the stitching around the edges.
The front of the sleeve has the Harber London logo etched around the bottom center. But when you are looking to purchase one, there is a customization option on the website, where you can add text and an image if you want. Of course, doing so will cost extra (about $10), but it's pretty cool to have a custom MacBook sleeve.
When Harber London says that this "fits like a glove," they really mean it. This is one of the snuggest sleeves I've ever used. Once you get your MacBook in there, it won't be slipping out. However, this is also a drawback in my opinion, as I'll get to in the next section. But if you like sleeves that are nice and tight, the Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case has got you covered on that front.
Another thing about Harber London is that the brand tends to aim for minimalism in an elegant fashion. The Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case is no different. This is a slim sleeve that is designed to be minimalistic, as it will hold your specific size of MacBook and literally nothing else. It's so snug that you won't be able to really fit anything else in there, even a cable. If you have an M1 MacBook Air or M1 MacBook Pro, then this may not be a problem since your computer should last the entire day. But if you know you're going to need your charging brick, or even extra accessories like cables and earbuds, then you'll want to use this sleeve in conjunction with your best laptop bag. Since it's slim, it should fit in most bags without issue.
Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case: A super snug fit isn't for everyone
As I mentioned earlier, I think the tightness of the sleeve is not appealing to everyone. I honestly found it to be too snug for my liking, as I had a hard time getting my 13-inch MacBook Pro fully into the sleeve, and it was equally as hard to get out. For the record, yes, I did order the correct size.
Perhaps I need to "break it in" more, but the super tight fit is not my personal preference when it comes to laptop sleeves. If I'm taking my MacBook Pro out somewhere to work from, I don't want to be seen struggling to get my computer out of a sleeve. I wish it had just a tad more wiggle room because as of right now, this isn't something I'm going to enjoy using, especially compared to my trusty WaterField VERO Sleeve that I've been using for years. Plus, if you get a new laptop later down the line, even if it's the same size, it doesn't look like this sleeve will be compatible if there's even the slightest change in the laptop body design due to the tight fit.
Those who want to carry some small accessories without needing an entire bag will also be disappointed. The Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case is too thin to accommodate extra space for any accessories you may need. This is by design though, so if you need pockets, you'll want to look elsewhere.
I would have also preferred if the interior was a softer material. Those who don't particularly care for wool felt may not like the interior lining, as it definitely isn't the same soft microfiber material as the exterior.
Lastly, I dislike the fact that while there is a small slit opening in the sides, it's purely to help get the computer in the sleeve. I wish it went a bit further down so that I could charge my MacBook Pro while it's protected in the sleeve, but with the location of the opening, that's impossible.
Also, there's no denying it — this is an expensive little sleeve, all things considered. I love the feel of the exterior, but with all of the flaws that I just mentioned, especially for the price, it just doesn't stack up for me.
Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case: Competition
There is no shortage of amazing MacBook sleeves on the market. My personal favorite that I have been using for years is the WaterField Designs VERO Sleeve. It's made with genuine leather and it has developed a fantastic patina since I started using it three years ago. It also has a plush microfiber interior lining, large enough slits on the sides to allow you to charge your MacBook while it's in the sleeve, and is quite minimal while still having plenty of room. In fact, mine was originally designed for the MacBook Air, but it can fit a MacBook Pro with no problem. The VERO is slightly more than the Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case at $119, but I think the cost is well worth the quality for that one.
If you're looking for a MacBook sleeve that is relatively affordable and is also made with sustainable materials, then try the Incase Compact Sleeve with BIONIC. It's almost half the cost of the Harber London one at $50, and it is made with recycled materials so you can feel good about your purchase. It's lightweight, compact, and protective. It even has a pocket for your most essential accessories. And it comes in several colors too, so you can pick the one that best suits you.
Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case: Should you buy it?
You should buy this if ...
- You like soft, suede-like microfiber material
- You want a super snug fit
- You don't plan on carrying extra accessories
You shouldn't buy this if...
- You need accessories for your MacBook
- You want leather
- You want to charge your MacBook in the sleeve
For those who want a super slim and minimal sleeve that has an incredibly snug fit for their MacBook, then the Harber London Slim Microfiber MacBook Sleeve Case is for you. The soft microfiber material feels nice, the wool felt lining won't scratch your MacBook, and the tight fit means your computer is safe and secure inside. Plus, you could even customize it if you prefer, though it will cost extra, of course.
However, the super snug fit won't be to everyone's liking, and there is absolutely no leeway for extra accessories that you may need since there are no pockets. It's only 100% wool felt lining on the interior, and the open slits on the sides are not down far enough to allow you to charge your MacBook while it's inside the sleeve. I also think if the slit was a little larger, it would make it easier to get the computer in and out of the sleeve as well. Considering the price point, there are quite a few flaws with this sleeve to make it worth it if any of the issues may bother you.
Bottom line: A super slim and snug sleeve for your MacBook made with microfiber and wool felt. But don't plan on bringing extra accessories without a bag.