Reviewers are flagging one particular complaint about Apple's $200 leather MacBook sleeve

  • Apple’s new leather sleeves for its 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops aren’t designed to allow for charging while the computer is full inside the sleeve, according to early reviews.
  • Reviewers at 9to5 Mac and iDownloadBlog noted the same frustration, and found it to be a main reason not to buy the sleeve.

Reviewers have gotten their hands on the new leather sleeves for Apple’s recently introduced MacBook Pro laptops – and they have already run into a frustrating pain point that stems from the sleeves’ overall design.

Apple introduced new MacBook Pro laptops earlier this month, and added the new high-end laptop sleeves to go with them. Much like Apple’s other leather accessories, the sleeves are great-looking – they come in midnight blue, saddle brown, and black, and Apple says they’re made from “high-quality European leather.”

The sleeves cost $US180 for the 13-inch version and $US200 for the 15-inch version – and that’s on top of the cost of the laptop, which starts at $US1,800.

9to5 Mac’s Jeff Benjamin posted his review of the sleeve on Tuesday. And while he mostly enjoyed the sleeve’s look and feel, he also noted his main point of frustration: the sleeve isn’t designed to allow you to charge your laptop while it’s inside.

Benjamin pointed out that, because of the orientation of the Apple logo on the front of the sleeve, Apple clearly intends for you to put the end of the MacBook Pro with the USB-C ports in first, which eliminates the possibility of connecting a charger.

MacBook leather sleeveAppleThe new MacBook Pro sleeve in midnight blue.

But what if Apple actually intends for you to flip it the other way, leaving the USB-C ports more exposed? No, that doesn’t work either – Benjamin tried putting the laptop in backwards, but the USB-C ports are still too far inside the sleeve to be able to connect with the charger.

iDownloadBlog’s Christian Zibreg encountered the same pain point during his review.

It’s possible that there’s a valid reason why Apple doesn’t want you to charge your MacBook Pro while it’s inside the sleeve. Both reviewers noted that the sleeve is very snug – and, being made out of leather, it’s likely not very breathable. While other laptop sleeve makers allow you to charge your device while in the sleeve, it’s possible that with Apple’s version, connecting a charger would present a fire hazard.

It’s also worth noting that Apple has previously sold leather sleeves for its 12-inch MacBook, but it’s not clear whether owners of that version have been able to charge their MacBook while it’s in the sleeve.

Still, the new sleeves for Apple’s new MacBook Pro are accessories that cost as much as $US200, and both reviewers noted how annoying it is to remove the laptop from the sleeve each and every time you need to charge it.

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