When I got my 14″ iBook in 2004, I made a custom case with felt and velcro that protected my computer from general scrapes and scratches. I had this case for 5 years, and used it for my MacBook, then MacBook Pro. It was not designed for the new shape of the MacBooks, so it did not fit snugly. It did the job well enough, but when I received a gift card to the local Apple Store for Christmas, I added a case to the list of purchases. After browsing the store, I saw the Incase Canvas Sleeve and picked one up.
This case protects the computer from scratches using a canvas outside and a soft fabric interior. Technically it doesn’t protect against larger drops but serves as a protective layer between the aluminum exterior of the laptop and another case. It works nicely in the computer slot of my backpack and doesn’t add too much bulk.
So far it has worked very well. My MacBook Pro — which doesn’t show fingerprints or scuff marks as easily as the earlier MacBook — has very little in the way of scratches. I have the Incase sleeve to thank for that.