Choiix C-MB03 Notebook Sleeve User Review

by Reads (10,562)

Choiix has jumped into the sleeve market with a new line of Ergonomic Metal Notebook Sleeves ranging in sizes that accomodate everything from 7″ netbooks to 14″ notebooks.  Boasting a sexy metal cover this sleeve clashes ergonomics and design.

Specifications:

  • Exterior dimensions: 365 x 265 x 50mm
  • Interior dimensions: 344 x 251 x 42mm
  • Weight: 750g
  • Color: Green and brushed aluminum (also available in brown, blue, and pink)
  • Materials: Aluminum, poly/nylon, foam, Velcro, and velvet
  • MSRP: $39.99

Today I am reviewing the C-MB03, a 14” notebook sleeve.  For a 14” sleeve I was able to fit a rather larger than normal 15.4” notebook in to the sleeve.  The Vostro 1500 as you can see fit pretty darn snug but it seemed like a general good fit if looking for a thin sleeve for on the go.

First Impressions
What initially caught my eye was the metal.  The metal gives the sleeve a strong feel.  Furthermore the handles were a pleasant surprise … a feature that is strongly desired but missing on many sleeves.  Though at first the handles feel weak the handles proved quite durable throughout the course of testing.

Design
The design and construction of this sleeve is rather unique.  It includes a strong, partial metal body which doubles as a notebook stand while using it on a soft surface or a lap on the go.  Though the cooling efficiency of this table is not ideal it’s certainly better than a fried lap any day.  The metal is brushed horizontally and has a clean look to it.

Overall the design on the sleeve is rather minimalistic like most sleeves yet boasts a modern feeling like a stainless steel fridge or Chevy Volt.  The fabric chosen for the exterior has a viewable stitch with a slight shine.

A nice little detail which I did not notice for a while was that each of the little bolts that secure the metal to the fabric had “C” on the head, standing for Choiix.

I believe that a decent amount of thought has gone into the product.  The inclusion of a small pouch in the front or maybe a folder-like small back pocket would have been a great inclusion to the notebook sleeve in order to fit small objects such as memory cards, a USB flash drive, or other accessories.

The true goal of the sleeve appears to be usability and functionality with an extra dose of style. My peers and some complete strangers in Tokyo seem give a thumbs up to the sleeve, so I think the design is successful.

Many people commented on the product and asked where they could get their hands on it.  Though the green color appeared a tad feminine at first (this coming from me, a guy who spends an hour on his hair every morning),  the sleeve hardly received any female response.  It was generally males that were interested in the product.

In Use
The sleeve is generally thinner than most sleeves which is probably thanks to its minimalistic design.  The handles made the sleeve an instant hit in my mind.  Though the handles are a bit small they had no problem supporting a 6kg+ notebook comfortably.  Many students in Japan use notebook sleeves and hold them the way that you would hold a clutch purse … which usually isn’t comfortable after two hours. Handles make life much easier.

While removing the notebook from the sleeve, the straps and Velcro became a nuisance. I figured out undoing just the top was enough to get the notebook out, though putting it back is another story. 

With the generally open side design (on three of the four sides) comes a downside.  It leaves the contents vulnerable to the elements or damage from a collision.  I would recommend this sleeve for people who bring a notebook in the car to work every day and require a quick light solution.

On the inside Choiix used a plastic feeling fabric to protect the notebook from general scratching within the sleeve.  In short, it did its job.  The metal took a bit of banging; as you can see there are marks, but many came out with an eraser or finger rubbing. Deeper scratches are permanent. 

The fabric of the sleeve is what concerns me.  It is not the greatest quality yet I would not say it was poor. The fabric would likely tear if caught on a little nail or similar object.

Conclusion
Overall the C-MB03 is a good first sleeve from Choiix.  Its focus on design was evident yet it did attempt to include some additional protection into the mix.  If you are looking for a sleeve where you could just pop the notebook out this should work well if you ignore the top strap by leaving it undone.  The fact this sleeve can also be used as a table is a bonus for users that require frequent access to their notebook.  Do not expect this sleeve to work if you need protection on all sides of your notebook.  The quality of the metal is good but the fabric and open sides are a slight disappointment.

Pros:

  • Solid metal construction
  • Stylish Design
  • Secondary function as a stand
  • Good handles

Cons:

  • Lack of a secondary pocket/pouch
  • Velcro straps
  • Lack of protective padding


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