Journey recently unleashed an odd-but-useful beast — “the world’s first 4-in-1 laptop sleeve” with wireless charging, aka the Journey Nexa.
Journey Nexa Laptop Sleeve with Wireless Charging is a 4-in-1 device — MacBook sleeve, wireless charger for iPhone and AirPods, mouse pad and desk mat. But I found space limits it when you try to use it four ways at once, and it could benefit from some other improvements.
Journey Nexa Laptop Sleeve with Wireless Charging
Laptop sleeves that include or can double as a mouse pad and desk mats that include wireless charging aren’t all that rare, but a laptop sleeve pulling quadruple duty is. Can Journey’s Nexa Laptop Sleeve with Wireless Charging pull off its 4-in-1 claim of serving as a laptop sleeve, wireless charger for devices, mouse pad and desk mat? Yes, mostly.
After first reporting on its release and then unpacking the deceptively slender and premium-feeling sleeve from its nice box, I tried it out. I opted for the smaller of the two sizes, which fits 13- and 14-inch laptops, to fit my 14-inch M1 MacBook Pro. The other size is for 15- and 16-inch laptops. You can get either in black or dove gray colors.
Unusual but effective as a laptop sleeve
As a laptop sleeve, it looks unusual. That’s because the strip that serves as a charging platform for devices like iPhone and AirPods charging cases folds over the top on a short end and fastens magnetically.
In other words, when it’s used as a sleeve, you slip the laptop in vertically rather than along a long, zippered seam. Then you pull the flap over that open end and it sticks with magnets to keep your machine secure.
I found my MacBook Pro fit snugly in the sleeve, which is quilted on the inside to avoid scratching. And it packs enough heft to make me feel like it offers some protection.
Wireless-charging desk mat
The sleeve is made from polyester, polyethylene and ABS, a thermoplastic. One side of the sleeve’s exterior offers a textured feel from polyester, while the other side faces up on a desk, serving as a desk mat/mouse pad/charger. It has more of a rubbery feel.
I pulled out the MacBook and laid down the sleeve on a table with the flap open, revealing the two charging spots for gadgets — in my case, iPhone 13 Pro and AirPods Pro 2 charging case.
Plugged in via the included USB-C cable — which has no storage pocket on the sleeve for carrying, but you can probably fit it inside the sleeve with the laptop — the charging spots gave juice to my iPhone and AirPods. It’s a MagSafe charger for recent iPhones, offering 15 watts of charging power for handsets and 5W for AirPods charging cases. And it also serves as a Qi charger for any such-enabled devices, so it can work for many smart phones and earbuds cases.
You can plug it into your laptop’s USB-C connector or to a charger, but you’d have to carry one separately or find a spot to charge.
It’s a mouse pad if you make room
But with the laptop and gadgets using Nexa as a desk mat and wireless charger, respectively, they took up all the available room. So I wondered, what about the mouse-pad function? I found if I wanted to bring along a mouse, I’d have to push the laptop at least partly off the mat to use the mouse on the mat.
That’s not a big deal, unless you have a mouse that tracks badly on various surfaces and better on others. These days many a mouse gets by fine on different surfaces. And the Nexa gives good purchase for a mouse. But I found it a bit awkward to have to position things just so in order to have enough room for the mouse while not pushing the laptop so far away I couldn’t read the screen.
And besides that, there’s nowhere on the sleek sleeve to carry a mouse, so you’d have to have another bag or pocket for it anyway.
So, I liked the Nexa and can imagine bringing it along when I might need to go mobile with my MacBook. We can’t necessarily expect a laptop sleeve to do everything. But there are improvements Journey could make. Such as:
- Give it a bigger footprint overall, or include another fold-out that can act as a dedicated mouse pad.
- Include a pocket or storage space for USB-C cable and perhaps a mouse.
- Build in a battery/power bank so the sleeve can charge gadgets, saving laptop battery.
Where to buy: Journey