Previously I reported that my favorite sleeve was the Waterfield 13-2 SleeveCase, and it still is my preferred choice for protecting the MBA while inside another bag. Waterfield has stepped up their game with a new case for minimalists that like to carry just a sleeve or thin case but need a little more protection.
Their new HardCase for the MBA (US$229) is my new everyday bag for the MBA. It's the perfect combination of sleeve case and full shoulder bag that fits the MBA snugly while providing almost an inch of padding on all sides.
The HardCase is more substantial than a standard sleeve and shoulder strap but not as bulky as a standard issue shoulder bag. The black leather flap comes in a choice of interior colors ( I went with "kiwi") and the genuine paragliding buckle gives it a nice high tech look without being over the top.
The HardCase is available with either nickel or matte black hardware (go with nickel) and comes with a minimal amount of pockets to hold just the basics. Keep one thing in mind though, it's not a "bucket" bag, the outside pocket barely holds a magazine. This bags is for minimalists that want to carry their notebook, an AC adapter, some pens, papers and a checkbook. Not much else.
But that's exactly the appeal of the HardCase for me, it's more than a sleeve, but not much more. If you're looking for a bucket, look elsewhere, but for a sleeve++, you can't beat it. The Hardcase is available for all MacBooks (US$229-249) from Waterfield Designs.
Five more pics after the break.Pictures of that shiny nickel hardware are courtesy of my Nikon D80 which is one badass camera :)