Waterfield’s CitySlicker For MacBook Is A Great Case For An Urban Cowboy [Review]


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It’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that any time we review a bag or case by Waterfield Designs, we’re going to love them. The San Francisco based company is such a maestro at stripping a cow to its bones then stitching the tanned hide up into a premier laptop or tablet case that dishing out an enthusiastic review of yet another one is starting to feel like a matter of course.

CitySlicker for MacBook by Waterfield Designs
Category: Bags/Cases
Works With: MacBook Air (11- & 13-inch), MacBook Pro (13- and 15-inch)
Price: $129 – $149

So it’s with a profound sense of relief that I can report that Waterfield Design’s CitySlicker MacBook case is the worst thing anyone’s ever made, ever. That includes the Fred series of movies. Scotch-taped together from what appears to be a beef jerky flavored Fruit Roll-Up, the City Slicker….

*snicker*

Sorry, I couldn’t keep a straight face. Just kidding! The CitySlicker is an awesomely stylish protective case for your MacBook Air that can double as a very streamlined laptop bag or attache case. Oh, and it also makes a pretty awesome lap desk. It’s just as good a product as any that Waterfield has ever made. But it’s definitely not for everyone.

What It Is

The CitySlicker MacBook Case is a smart looking, rugged case for all flavors of MacBooks that combines impact resistant plastic, high grade neoprene and a sexy leather liner together for some serious protection to your laptop of choice.

Imagine what a cowboy might use to sling his MacBook around with him during a cattle run on the open range, and you’ve got a pretty good idea of the combination of the rugged manliness and practical protectiveness that the CitySlicker represents.

The Good

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The CitySlicker has inside pockets enough for your iPhone, your charger and a couple cables.

The CitySlicker is a solidly made case with all of Waterfield’s trademark attention to craftsmanship and detail.

Roughly, think of the CitySlicker as a big padded envelope of neoprene and leather that you can stick a MacBook Pro in. A thick slab of rugged leather is unbutton to reveal a padded neoprene liner… so well padded, in fact, that I was comfortable dropping my CitySlicker with 11-inch MacBook Air enclosed a few times to test the case’s hardiness. Since I still have a laptop, I was impressed.

The CitySlicker also has several pockets, perfect for squirreling away your MacBook Air charger or a USB cable or two. There’s even a pocket that is perfeclt sized for an iPhone 5, and a pocket the length of the entire case on the back side in which an iPad could easily be squirreled away.

One of the thing that surprised us most about the CitySlicker is that it’s combination of a sturdy leather flap with a padded neoprene backside makes it a fantastic lap desk. Using a MacBook Air on top of a CitySlicker is a far more comfortable typing and laptop-using experience. Color me impressed: this was a benefit to using the CitySlicker I just wasn’t expecting, but after a few days of using the CitySlicker, I found myself using it even around the house… not to protect my MacBook Air, but to protect my knees!

The Not-As-Good

One of the issues with the CitySlicker is it’s conceptually something of a tweener. It’s a little too bulky to be a good fit inside a laptop bag. Waterfield seems to realize this, which is why they also sell the CitySlicker with the option of a carrying handle and/or shoulder strap, but once those features come out, the CitySlacker conceptually becomes a very small laptop bag without the space to fit anything more than your MacBook, a charger and a couple of cables.

The CitySlicker, then, is probably best aimed at people who find themselves slinging their MacBooks around under their arms a lot. It’s a great case, and super hardy, but if you leave your house with anything more than your laptop, your iPhone and your charger in the morning, you’ll likely finding yourself either lamenting that the CitySlicker adds too much bulk to your laptop bag… or that it can’t serve as a really versatile laptop bag itself.

Then there’s the price: $129 to $149 is a lot to spend on a case for your MacBook, and that’s without the optional handle or strap.

Verdict

The CitySlicker is a hard case for me not to love, but it’s not for everyone. It’s lovingly made and exquisitely crafted, but it’s also expensive, and won’t fit into everyone’s laptop bag or be versatile enough to function as a laptop bag in its own right. If you want a case for your MacBook so rugged and well-padded as to make it nigh-invulnerable while also being sexy and stylish, the CitySlicker is for you. But if what you want is something simple to protect your MacBook in as you shove it into a larger bag, you might want something much more simple.

cityslicker-chocolate-mdProduct Name: : CitySlicker MacBook CaseThe Good: Rugged, stylish, beautiful. Doubles as a lap desk, completely protects a MacBook from pretty much anything.

The Bad: Something of a tweener: too bulky to be a good fit for most bags, too small to be a versatile laptop bag in its own right. Pricy.

The Verdict The CitySlicker is one of the best MacBook cases we’ve ever reviewed, but it’s not going to fit into everyone’s lifestyle… or everyone’s budget.

Buy from: Waterfield Designs

Braven

Cult of Mac rating: Good

About the author

John BrownleeJohn Brownlee is a Contributing Editor. He has also written for Wired, Playboy, Boing Boing, Popular Mechanics, VentureBeat, and Gizmodo. He lives in Boston with his wife and two parakeets. You can follow him here on Twitter.

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