Gear Review: Booq Vyper XS3 MacBook Case


I have to admit that it seems a little silly to review a laptop sleeve, given the ridiculous amount of gear I’ll be taking with me. But the truth is that I love this thing — it’s easily the best laptop protection I’ve ever owned. I intend to review or comment on the usefulness of all the gear I’ll be using at some point, so why not start with the little stuff?

I had a neoprene skin originally, but it didn’t seem to offer much protection — it felt like I was protecting my laptop with a cheap beer coozie. I considered going without a sleeve, but the MacBook’s aluminum case was so damn slippery that I found myself nearly dropping it while pulling it out of my bag. A little searching online led me to a 20% off discount code and I decided to take the plunge.

The Vyper wraps my MacBook in a stiff ballistic nylon case with 1/4″ of soft padding top and bottom.

The Booq Vyper
wraps my MacBook in a stiff ballistic nylon case with 1/4″ of soft padding top and bottom. I recently spilled a cup of coffee on the table I was using and the Viper held my laptop safely above the mess. The cover also has 3 raised ridges top and bottom which increase the stiffness of the case. When doing heavy Photoshop work, I’ve noticed that as my laptop  started to warm up, the fans would gradually begin to scream. I now just place my Mac on top of the case and the ridges allow sufficient airflow to silence the fans within minutes.

The zippers don’t come in contact with the case (and scratch it), even though the case fits snugly — no shifting or sliding around. The Viper does increase the thickness of your laptop, but unless you’re trying to squeeze it into a really tight spot you won’t even notice it. I think I’ll add a bumper sticker to the top, so I can finally stop opening the damn thing upside down.

If you’re in the market for a new MacBook sleeve, I’d highly recommend giving the Viper a look.
Cost: $49.95 (you can find it cheaper) Link: Booq Vyper

You might also like: My 3 Best Kept Travel Secrets

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Simon January 7, 2010 at 11:06 pm

Thanks for the review. The link at the bottom to is broken because you have http in there twice.


wes January 8, 2010 at 1:27 am

thanks Simon!


MacBook Case January 15, 2010 at 8:50 am

these nice sleeves, but would’nt be easier to get a case to protect and still make it look cool. is where i got mine and made a custom finish
.-= MacBook Case´s last blog ..Yellow MacBook Pro Case for MacBook Pro 15" – $30.00 =-.


wes January 15, 2010 at 1:20 pm

I looked at those and thought they were very cool and really attractive. Unfortunately, they weren’t what I wanted for travel — I’ll be cramming my MacBook into a filthy back pack, so I wanted something that covered all the ports and hinges. I’ll be using it in cafes and bars, so I also wanted something that separated it from the table surface, to avoid spilled drinks running under it, etc.

Thanks for the comment and best of luck!


wes September 2, 2010 at 7:14 am

It does sound like a sleeve might not be as critical for you as it is for me — I abuse the heck out of my laptop. I love my Booq sleeve — after 6 months of heavy use, it looks like it’s brand new and has definitely saved me from several scratches and one coffee spill. My worry has always been that I’d have my mac sitting on a table and spill a drink, allowing the drink to run under the laptop — the sleeve saved the day when it finally happened.

Another thing to consider is gripping the macbook as you pull it out of your bag. I found the aluminum case to be fairly slippery and nearly dropped it a couple of times before I got a sleeve. Also, the Booq has ridges on the top that allow for airflow — when I hear the fans come on, I take the mac out of the sleeve and sit it on top. The fans quiet down in just a couple of minutes.

All in all, it may not be your most important gear, but it does offer some cheap peace of mind…

Have a great trip! Thanks for the comment,



Nancy September 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

Thanks. I’d read that elsewhere about the ridges providing ventilation and that it was water/liquid-resistant and that the aluminum was slippery. I was planning on buying a refurbished Macbook, but dawdled so long it sold out, and then saw that that the refurbished Macbook Pro was only $20 more than a brand-new Macbook. But after a couple days they got more refurbished Macbooks in stock so the difference is now $170. Slippery or not (and the lack of value in that extra $170 in my opinion), I must admit I still like the aluminum better. Still thinking it over.

Enjoy YOUR trip as well! It’s too bad you aren’t visiting Indonesia this time around, but you’ve got a wonderful route planned. I’m quite jealous of the two months in Egypt–so much to explore there. Did you decide to keep Turkey? So beautiful but you will be there during a very cold time of year, I think (December?). If you have the time, you should just travel up through the Middle East…wonderful region and would perhaps get you to Turkey in a warmer month. And in Central America I’d definitely recommend finding time for Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador. Fairly overlooked countries, CA is so small as is and you’ll be right there.


Amilcar Harris September 24, 2010 at 11:32 am

I mean I wouldn’t give it an A …


Benedict July 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm

The case is protective for outter case and while traveling only. You gotta have better protection on inner especially the wrist rest. Personally, I got the case for outter protection, wrist guard( for wrist area and trackpad, iskin for keyboard (

My previous is fully protected!


Dan December 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm

I bought one of these cases a few weeks ago and found it to be very protective and stylish however, even when I have my MacBook sitting on the ridges I still notice my mac heats up which is a shame. I don’t know if anyone else is experiencing this?


wes December 22, 2011 at 10:06 pm

I just updated to the Lion OS and I’ve noticed my fan runs a *lot* now. I’m considering reinstalling the old OS due to that fact, despite it being a major pain…