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How to choose the best laptop case for you

Alvina Wang/BestReviews

Which laptop case is best?

More people are working from home or remotely than ever. Since you can’t carry your desktop computer with you, the chances are excellent that you get your job done on a laptop. But just as with mobile devices, you need to ensure that it doesn’t get damaged.

There are several laptop backpacks that can easily accommodate 23-inch devices and accessories, but they tend to be heavy and cumbersome. A more elegant, lightweight solution is to protect your laptop with a sleek case. There are plenty of styles and designs to choose from, so finding the best laptop case for you can be a challenge.   


Shop this article: Tomtoc 360 Protective Laptop Shoulder BagProCase 12- to 12.9-Inch Sleeve Case Bag and Mosiso Plastic Hard Shell and Keyboard Cover

Different carrying methods

Shoulder bag

There might be times when you need to run to catch the bus or the train, and you can’t be slowed down with a laptop in your hands. Or you might be carrying a handbag and want to have at least one hand free. For those scenarios, a shoulder bag is the best option. 

They don’t have as much space on the inside as a backpack, but are still large enough to fit your laptop, the charger, and a wireless mouse and keyboard. The shoulder strap can typically be adjusted to either hang loose or closer to your body. 

Laptop sleeve

Something a bit more compact, a laptop sleeve is often made from thick foam with a zipper on the opening. To protect your laptop when it's not needed or you're on the move, you simply slide your device into the sleeve and zip it up. There are no carrying handles or straps, so it’s best to then put the sleeve in a larger bag unless you don’t mind clutching it.

The advantage of a sleeve is that it protects the laptop on all sides and isn’t much larger than the laptop’s dimensions.

Carrying case

Similar to a laptop sleeve, a carrying case for your portable computer is padded on all sides and has a zippered entrance at the top. In addition to the main compartment, there is often a smaller pocket on the inside for accessories. But the most significant difference from a sleeve is that there is a carrying handle.

Level of protection

Hard-shell case

If you want a minimalist approach to protecting your laptop, a hard-shell case is an excellent choice. It usually comprises a lid and bottom piece, made from durable plastic, that clips onto the respective laptop parts. A hard-shell case provides great protection from bumps and scratches, but won’t prevent damage from a fall. Some hard-shell cases also include a keyboard cover. In addition to the protection, there are plenty of designs, color schemes and patterns to choose from.

Foam or canvas

The most common form of protection for a laptop or tablet is a foam case with a canvas cover. The advantage of that over a hard-shell case is that it’s much lighter, easier to clean and the laptop’s ports aren’t exposed. The thickness of the foam padding varies depending on the manufacturer and the level of protection it affords.

Leather or leather-like cases

A leather case or shoulder bag will always look stylish. Leather is a timeless material, but it doesn’t provide as much protection as other cases. It is rare to find a genuine leather case with additional padding or foam on the side, leaving your laptop vulnerable to bumps and drops. So leather-like materials such as polyurethane might be a good option, as you still get the leather look but with some padding.

What you need to buy 

Tomtoc 360 Protective Laptop Shoulder Bag

This shoulder bag has two rubber CornerArmors at the bottom to protect it from unexpected drops or bumps. On the inside is soft fleece to prevent scratching, and the thick padding is covered with canvas to protect whatever you're carrying.

Sold by Amazon


ProCase 12- to 12.9-Inch Sleeve Case Bag

Large enough to fit a MacBook Pro or a Microsoft Surface Pro laptop, this carrying case has a zippered opening below the handle. It's made from lightweight canvas that is easy to clean and comes in eight colors, several of them bright.

Sold by Amazon

Mosiso Plastic Hard Shell and Keyboard Cover

This hard-shell laptop cover is compatible with the 13-inch Apple MacBook Air. It is available in 43 colors and includes the snap-on lid and body cover, as well as two color-matching soft keyboard covers.

Sold by Amazon

FYY Premium Leather Laptop Sleeve Case

This is made from premium polyurethane leather and has a carry handle at the top and an additional pocket on the outside. The zipper opens the sleeve completely so you can lay it flat to access your laptop on one side and accessories on the other. It has an elastic strap at the back so you can hook it onto a rolling suitcase.

Sold by Amazon

Targus 15.6-Inch Classic Slim Briefcase Laptop Bag

Stylish and functional, this case can hold a laptop of up to 15.6 inches in the main, zippered compartment. There is an additional pocket on the side for accessories such as the charging cable and a mouse. It is made from durable materials and the carry handles are reinforced.

Sold by Amazon

Mosiso Laptop Sleeve for MacBook Air With Additional Case For Accessories

This laptop sleeve is made from waterproof neoprene foam and has a fleece lining on the inside to protect your laptop from scratches. It comes with a smaller neoprene bag that easily stores your accessories such as the charging cable or earbuds. The sleeve is available in sizes that can hold up to a 16-inch laptop.

Sold by Amazon

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.

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