I’ve just found my new favorite laptop case: Andar Wallets’ the Helm.
Designed for MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, it’s not an impulse buy since it’s priced at US$115, but it’s a much better value than Apple’s expensive Leather Sleeve ($179 to $199, respectively, for the 13-inch and 16-inch models).
That noted, it’s probably not fair to compare the two as Apple’s sleeve allows you to slip your laptop into it for transport, while your Mac actually “wears” the Andar case.
Your MacBook Pro or MacBook Air will be dressed in style in the Helm thanks to its full grain, oil-waxed leather that’s tough, durable, and moisture resistant (but not waterproof). A soft microfiber inside lining prevents scratches when inserting or removing your laptop.
The Helm sports cutouts that offer easy access to all ports and speakers, while cutouts on the bottom of the case help prevent overheating. To keep it looking good, Andar’s website provides tips on how to take care of leather. (Speaking of leather, the case also has a nice leather-y smell.)
The Helm comes in two pieces and requires a bit of easy installation. The top piece snaps onto the lid of your Mac laptop, while the bottom half snaps onto….well, the bottom of the computer. You just line up the pieces with the respective parts of your Air or MB Pro, and gently press them into place.
Andar doesn’t include any instructions, and it’s a bit tricky determining which side should face the front and which should face the back. The easy solution: the bottom of the case has four rubber feet that keep my laptop from sliding around on a desk.
The Helm fits your laptop like a glove — and stays attached until you remove it. The case never once detached or came loose while carrying my 13-inch MacBook Pro around my house and home office.
One caveat: the Helm obscures the Apple logo; folks who like to make sure the world knows which is their favorite tech company may find this off-putting.
The Helm fits:
° 13-inch (2016-2020) MacBook Pro, 15-inch (2016-2019 MacBook Pro and 16-inch (2019) MacBook Pro
° 13-inch (2018-2020) MacBook Air.
The Helm comes in two colors: brown or black. I choose the brown, as that hue looks more like leather than black (well, to me anyway).