Hand-stitched leather case is as classy as the MacBook it protects

Sharp looks. Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Castello Davarg's leather York case offers sharp looks. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I’ve tried a lot of cases for my Mac notebooks over the years, from a dorky aluminum briefcase for my white “icebook” iBook through cheap, zip-up neoprene sleeves and on to bulky, custom-fitted, shock-absorbing monsters. But the elegant, simple and beautiful Castello Davarg York, cut from a single piece of leather, is the only one that makes any sense for my MacBook Air.

Like the MacBook Air inside, you can’t help but finger and fiddle with the York case. It’s cut from 5-ounce, full-grain leather that’s folded and then hand-stitched along two sides before finishing the edges and … well, that’s almost it. The case has no fastening or closure, and lacks a lining or padded interior, but it is shaped perfectly to fit the MacBook Air. (I tested the 13-inch size, but it also comes for the 11-incher.) It even has a little cutout on the top edge that mimics the one found on the lid of the MacBook itself.

Finally, a leather Pad & Quill case that’s light enough for an iPad Air

Plain and simple. Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
Pad & Quill's beautiful Walden case keeps things plain and simple. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

The Walden is the first of Pad & Quill’s top-notch cases that I would actually use. That’s because it ditches the wooden frame of the company’s usual bookbindery cases, instead offering a minimal slipcover that uses adhesive strips to hold an iPad Air in place.

The result is a case as beautiful and classic as other P & Q cases, but slim and light enough to match the slender Apple tablet it protects.

Highly specialized Booqpad is either perfect or pointless

Getting work done. Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I started German language school a few weeks back, and I was looking forward to testing out the Booqpad. The combination iPad case and paper notepad seemed ideal for using in class. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out. Not only is the case oddly tacky – especially weird given the build quality of Booq’s other gear – but it is awkward to use.

Moshi’s VersaKeyboard is a fantastic case (and a pretty good keyboard)

This Moshi keyboard is great even without the keyboard.  Photos Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac
This Moshi keyboard is great even without the keyboard. Photos: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I’m writing this review on a regular, full-size USB keyboard plugged into the Mac. That should be a warning sign right there — after all, this is a review of an iPad keyboard case. But that’s not the whole story. For instance, the case part of the Moshi VersaKeyboard is fantastic — so good that I’ve been using it as my main iPad case since it turned up for testing.

They keyboard is good, too, with keys as responsive as those on Logitech’s Ultrathin keyboard covers. So what’s the problem? Why am I not typing this review on the Moshi? Size.

Cradle your 3DS in this classy cocoon of leather goodness

Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac
Photo: Rob LeFebvre, Cult of Mac

Of course you have the Nintendo 3DS in your bag — it’s an outstanding handheld gaming system with a bevy of first- and third-party game titles that range from the strategic to the evocative.

You know the device is capable of some brilliant gaming for adults, but good lord, Nintendo, could you maybe bypass the primary colors? Maybe offer, say, a black version? Something in gold, maybe? The sophisticated folks at Waterfield know that you’re a grownup now, so they’ve created the City Slicker, a lush cocoon of a 3DS and 3DS XL case with a proper leather flap that ages along with you.