After determining there were too many student laptops with dented corners due to inefficient coverage from the last model purchased, I spent months searching Google and Amazon for other always-on covers to put on our middle school 1:1 laptops. The most recent cases which students helped protoype were:
The overall winner chosen by the students was the Gumdrop Softshell! Students will be able to personalize their cases with metallic Sharpies and stickers.
Here’s a Pinterest board where I’ve gathered most of my research from four years of exploring 11″ Macbook Air covers: https://www.pinterest.com/specialkrb/macbook-air-11-cases. Last week, I overheard that The School will be purchasing Apple’s Macbook for next year’s incoming 3rd graders, 6th graders, and faculty. The dimensions of the MacBook Air differ from the MacBook, so we’ll be in need of an entirely different case come September. Back to the drawing board…
Last year, I thought the CaseCrown Book Cover Clip On Case was the perfect always-on case for our current 6th graders to use with their brand new MacBook Air 11″ laptops. Our students use the same machine for their 3 years of middle school, and then the school sells them back to Apple. This CaseCrown faux-leather cover is only $20 on Amazon. There are also other brands marketing the same case (Acase, SmackTom).
The CaseCrown cases have held up remarkably well! I totally though the elastic straps at the top would have snapped by now, yet somehow they are all intact. However, my two reservations have to do with the fact that the top corners of the laptop are exposed and some of the laptops are developing dinged/curling edges (as kids are clearly occasionally dropping their machines). Also, I don’t know if I love the snap at the front. I see fidgety kids snapping/unsnapping this closure during class discussions when their laptops are shut. It’s a super annoying sound when you notice it.
So, I have a begun a search for the perfect (or at least) better case. I’m going to be purchasing a few test models this week. Gina Marcel (K-2 Ed Tech here at The School) suggested I gather interesting models in a Pinterest board (see below). I’d love suggestions if you know of other great cases to consider…
Next year, we’re buying MacBook Air 11″ laptops for the 3rd grade and 6th graders. Kids keep the same machine for three year until they graduate to a new model in 6th grade (or simply graduate from the school after 8th grade). The kids in K-2 have an iPad assigned to them. Up until now, we’ve provided MacBooks and Always-on Cases from InfoCase for the students. In preparation for next year, Don Buckley and I ordered a bunch of different cases from Amazon.
CaseCrown faux leather book cover clip on case for $18.18 (it’s an always on case with a snap closure)
Belkin MacBook Air vertical sleeve with shoulder strap for $14.99 (slim profile and cross-body carry strap)
Flort shoulder bag for $9.99 (I’ve always been intrigued by this IKEA bag…)
Acase faux leather book cover clip on case for $14.95 (same exact design as the CaseCrown but it doesn’t have a snap closure)
Hard Candy Cases convertible case for $36.99 is ok but pricey [RETURNED]
Gumdrop cases surf convertible case for $37.35 is the same as the Hard Candy design but pricier [RETURNED]
InCase perforated hardshell for $45 looks cool, is super expensive, and the bottom didn’t stay attached [RETURNED]
Red mCover hard shell cover case for $19.99 is overpriced considering the next item is…
Slim Crystal hard cover case for $12.99 is totally reasonable
** update 7/1/14 — Prices have been reduced significantly on many of the cases. Click the links for more current and more reasonable pricing. **