Recently, a slew of my reviews focused around connections made at CES 2013. In a predictable unchanging fashion, X-Doria is a company I bumped into during my travels in Vegas. Fairly new to the accessory scene, I like the high density color schemes and puffing ink used to give texture to many items of the X-Doria product line.
A friend from the company recently sent over the Dash Icon hardshell for MacBook Air. The shell is currently only available for the 13″ model and also includes the standard puffing ink design. With a slightly raised surface and bold color options, X-Doria’s mission is to place their products between technology and fashion…
Design and Usability
The shell is two individual pieces instead of a connected clamshell design. The protective material is polycarbonate with the X-Doria standard raised and vibrant puff ink designs on textured fabric. The shell I received is three different shades of blue in a chevron-like design. It is neither decidedly masculine or feminine, but you can be the judge.
Each piece clips around the edges of the Air with the bottom piece being the most difficult to apply. There are multiple tiny clips strategically placed around the bottom piece. With little instruction on the packaging, I tried to install it incorrectly on my first attempt. To install the bottom piece, first line up the front edges and snap it into place. Then, the remaining clips will follow suite. Do not try to slide the shell into place.
The individual pieces allow the exhaust port, located on the back of the Air, to freely push hot air away from the laptop. Clam shell designs are singular pieces and cover up this critical area of the computer. Consequently, the X-Doria shell provides a cooler running temperature for your Air. However, because the clips come around the backside, the monitor will not open at 100%. I venture to guess losing a small 5% of the opening angle, which is small, but worth noting.
Another thoughtful design feature are the rubber tipped feet. I have seen other competing brands leave this critical feature on the design floor. With a slick polycarbonate exterior, the Air would slide back and forth while typing on a smooth surface. The grippy feet prevent the computer from getting away.
All ports on the Air are left accessible on both sides, preventing complications. The last design detail that pleased me was located on the top piece. There is a small place on the front of the Air to raise the screen. X-Doria placed a cover clip in that exact location, which will prevent separating the shell from the laptop every time the monitor is lifted.
Overall, the Dash Icon polycarbonate case is great for users preferring a constant source of protection for MacBook Air 13″. Personally, I like using my Apple devices naked, but I do understand the need for protection. Adding a case that is always attached will prevent needless dents and dings over time. It is a great option for throwing in a backpack without taking the extra time to always take the Air in-and-out of a sleeve.
X-Doria’s puff ink is crisp and detailed with strong lines and design. The fabric combines with polycarbonate in a pleasing way and gives the textured feel the company is becoming known to effectively produce. At $59.99, it is on the pricey side, considering a genuine leather sleeve can be procured for the same price. At $40, it would be a little easier to pick up.
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