Alongside the announcement of the new MacBook Pro machines earlier this month, Apple also announced the availability of a new leather MacBook Sleeve. Available in Midnight Blue, Saddle Brown, and Black, the high-quality design has a fundamental flaw for those using it.
The design of the sleeve allows the MacBook Pro to be placed either hinge first or trackpad first. My suspicion is that the solution Apple had in mind was to go in hinge first (so the Apple logos match up through the material), in which case the USB-C ports are covered up by the design.
But the opposite orientation, trackpad first and leaving the hinge exposed. For me this feels the natural orientation and given the demands of a professional laptop and the ABC rule while travelling (always be charging) I would have expected at least one of the USB-C ports to be accessible for charging.
There could be practical reasons why Apple’s design team has blocked the functionality. For example, the team may be worried about the snug fitting leather not allowing sufficient heat to escape during charging – in which case I would expect this to be a prominent ‘do not allow this’ in Apple’s certification.
A quick check on other sleeves available through the Apple website shows that this is not the case. If there is a worry about charging in situ, it has not been made clear to
Which leads me to my second line of reasoning. Apple decided that the fashionable look of the sleeve would override the practical sensibilities demanded of a protective case. Either Apple did not consider the use case of charging in situ, or it made a conscious decision to not include it.
I’m honestly not sure which option I prefer to be the truth. But what is clear is that this can be added to an ever-growing list of issues around the MacBook Pro that highlight a lack of focus and devotion from Cupertino. With thermal issues, poor bug hunting, problematic repair issues, safety nets removed, what has happened to Apple’s legendary focus on the user experience?
Still, why bother about the practicalities when you can have the twenty-first century equivalent of corinthian leather?