Laptop computers are becoming more and more popular these days, and now are often the only type of computer used in a household. This is because at the same time that they are becoming more and more affordable, their computing power is growing to the point where they are as powerful as desktop computers from just a few years ago. Laptops are still not quite powerful enough to be a good choice if you often do tasks that require a lot of power, such as video editing. But for web surfing, word processing, and most other common computer work they are just fine, provided you do not mind the small screen size. Or, if you don’t mind a VERY small screen and are mostly using the computer for email and internet surfing, you can save a lot of money and travel very light buy purchasing a Netbook computer for as little as $ 250 or even less. Many do not like to use what a laptop has in place of a mouse, but you can add on a mouse at minimal cost.
If you decide to buy a laptop, and you are going to be carrying it around as opposed to having it sit on a desk as a replacement for your old desktop, it is important that you buy some good protection for it. It is a good idea to buy both a hard case and a laptop sleeve, which may be thought of as a tight fitting envelope for your laptop, made out of plastic, neoprene, vinyl, or more exotic materials such as leather. Just a case for your laptop is not enough because with a case, a laptop, especially a powerful desktop-replacement model, is often heavier and less portable than you would like. A sleeve offers enough protection for most situations, without the bulk and weight of a case.
The price for good quality laptop sleeves ranges from around fifteen to fifty dollars. A good sleeve should be padded for added protection in case you drop it. This can happen more often than you might think; for example students often forget they have their computer in a backpack and then proceed to toss the backpack on the floor! You also need to consider whether you want the sleeve to include a handle or a shoulder strap. There is a vast selection of sleeves available online, so you should compare prices and styles by doing searches on internet search engines such as Google. Use several search terms, such as “sleeve for laptop” and “laptop notebook sleeve”, to get the best results. First search for the size and style that fits your needs, and once you have narrowed your options down compare the prices. Remember that the size specification such as 17 inches refers to the diagonal measurement of your laptops screen. If you are not sure of the size look for sleeves designed specifically for your laptop model.
A neoprene laptop sleeve is a good choice because in addition to the protection it is especially lightweight and has a stylish look as if it were a wetsuit. Neoprene is also known as polychloroprene, and is a kind of synthetic rubber, invented by Dupont around 70 years ago. Belkin is one of the best brands for Neoprene sleeves in a variety of sizes and colors, although if you have a Macbook Pro, the fit may not be as snug as you would like. Microsoft also makes a good neoprene sleeve.
One good website to look for laptop sleeves of all different types is eBags. Their collection of sleeves includes the Designer Sleeves brand 17 inch Executive Laptop model, with handle and strap and available in a variety of colors and patterns, for about $ 48. A much slimmer neoprene model they have is the 17 inch SlipSuit by Mobile Edge, also available in several colors, for about $ 23.
For many laptop users, the appearance of the sleeve is at least as important as its function. For you “fashionistas” there is a great list of 50 stylish, unique sleeves at Hongkiat. For example there is the “My Documents” laptop sleeve, which looks like the “My Documents” icon on a PC. Or try the Italian leather sleeve that looks like one of those manila envelopes used to send mail from one department to another in a company. Another one looks like the front of a white shirt used for office wear, complete with tie and breast pocket. Other designs are more straightforward. Of course, most of these good-looking sleeves are quite a lot more expensive than the plainer, utilitarian ones.
If you are a bargain hunter as I am, consider getting a used laptop sleeve on eBay. If a seller has a lot of positive feedback and will accept returns, buying from eBay is safe, and the selection is large. Make sure to check the shipping cost (many eBay sellers make their money by charging too much for shipping), and the delivery time. Also make sure the picture is of the actual item rather than a stock photo, and carefully read the description of the sleeves condition. Signing up to be an eBay member is reasonably easy and free. Most of the time sellers will only accept PayPal payments, but signing up for PayPal is much easier than it used to be. Another place to get used sleeves is Craigslist, but the selection is much, much more limited.