LE reporter Kingfisher 11″ review

Have a sleek and stylish ultrabook, such as the MacBook Air? It’s predicted to be the growth category for portable computing this year – alongside its svelte companion the tablet and CES is rife with new outings from laptop manufacturers. With mobile computing options becoming more streamlined and design conscious it makes sense for mobile computing accessories to follow suit.

Kingfisher

be.ez – a Parisian manufacturer whose raison d’être seems to be “sleek and stylish” have produced a new range of cases for laptops and tablets – the Kingfisher.

I got to try out a LE reporter Kingfisher for the 11″ MacBook Air and have to confess I felt underdressed every time I put it on. The LE reporter Kingfisher features a water resistant waxed canvas and 210D nylon colour lining. It’s pretty hard to wear it and not feel like a New York academic or character in HBO’s recently cancelled Bored to Death, it’s that snazzy of a bag.

The inner carrying compartment is raised and padded and provides ample protection from bumps and knocks when carrying or if dropped. The front of the LE reporter’s main compartment contains two additional webbings, as well as two slip pockets on the inside for smaller items, such as pens, keys or cables, to ensure belongings are securely organised at all times.

A velcro-secured flap with a stylish yellow zipped pocket on the front allows for fast access to smaller items. The full-size zipped pocket on the back of the bag allows for storage of a mobile phone, mp3 or thin paperback book – I stuggled to get most hardcovers comfortably in there without making horrible bulges.

The be.ez LE reporter Kingfisher for MacBook Pro 13” and 15” retails from £59.99 and the LA robe Club for MacBook Pro 13” and 15” is available from £24.99.

For stockist details, visit http://www.be-ez.com/where.html

Colourful & classy cases for MacBook Pro, Air and iPad

It’s that time of year when we start thinking about what we might ask Santa for, and pretty high on my list is a new case for my MacBook Pro. Now I’m not normally one to get too excited about things like laptop bags, but I will make an exception for the Black Raspberry range from be.ez.

LA-black-raspberry

A new addition to the Black Addict range, the Black Raspberry looks pretty ordinary from the outside, but open it up and you’ll be stunned by the fabulous shocking raspberry-coloured interior.

The LA robe sleeve for the MacBook Air 13in, MacBook 13in and MacBook Pro 15in are made from black jersey fabric surrounding be.ez’s low resilience polyurethane and 5in memory foam, which regains its shape if it is knocked or bumped. There is also a laptop bag, and prices start at £22.99 from www.be-ez.com/where.html

BoomCan

If you want some sounds on the move, how about the Scosche boomCan, which is about the size of a film canister (remember those?). For those who don’t, the speaker is less than 2.5inches tall and not quite 2 inches wide, yet it can pump out the sound thanks to a 40mm driver.

If you want audio when watching movies, listening to music or playing games on your portable media player, the boomCan plugs into any 3.5mm audio jack and has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that offers up to seven hours of power. It is also possible to daisychain together several of the speakers to create your own sound system.

The price of this mini marvel? £19.99 from Square Group retail stores.

Pippetto

And finally if Santa has been kind enough to give you an iPad2, I personally don’t think you deserve anything else unless you have been exceptionally good. But if you have excelled yourself this year, why not ask him for a Pipetto Classic iPad case?

These luxurious cases are made from Italian leather and come in elegant finishes including patent, rocker black, vintage black or khaki brown. Close the cover and the iPad automatically reverts to ‘sleep’ mode.

A small back pocket can to be used to hold paperwork or cables.

Style and elegance doesn’t come cheap though – the Pipetto iPad2 case comes in at £99.99 from www.pipetto.co.uk.

be.ez La Robe Club

The laptop revolution started around 2004. It became cooler in May 2006, when the MacBook scampered out of Apple’s labs. It’s taken a while, but in 2011, cases have finally caught up. The be.ez La Robe Club combines portability, functionality and style to make, possibly, our favourite laptop case.

Beez

The reason for this La Robe Club lust is not simply adoration for black-and-vibrant-colour combinations – although the Club’s black-and-saffron is pretty fine. No, it’s because a lot of thought has been put into the whole design. What else would you expect from a French brand?

Made from low resilience polyurethane, there’s 5mm of memory foam on either side to protect from square-on drops. The interior of the sleeve features a reinforced inner lip to protect from corner impact – the biggest cause of laptop damage.

Our favourite part, however, is the two pockets on the front. Finally, a slimline sleeve that looks cool, is well-built, and has a place for accessories. Aging systems appreciate the opportunity to charge wherever they are, so it’s reassuring to know the charger is always near-by.

And if you don’t want to use the pockets, they’re barely noticeable anyway.

Nothing’s perfect, however, and in our ideal world there’d be a waterproof seal instead of the zip closure – to protect the system spills and leaks, as well as knocks and scrapes.

We’d also like to see a variety of colours. Sure, we love the current aesthetics, but we’re all about the black-and-Tron-blue at the moment. Still, this is the current front-runner for our laptop case needs. Comment if you’ve got a better one.

The be.ez LA robe Club is available for the Macbook and MacBook Pro 13” and 15”, as well as the iPad. Prices start at £24.95.