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Booq Viper 11

After over a month on backorder, my Booq Viper 11 finally arrived.

I’ll start with Booq Bags the company. I am actually quite disappointed with the overall service. The order was placed mid-February, with the site showing March 15 as the ship date. I’d hoped to get the case around then, so that I could use it on my trip to Boston, but I was left using my old 15″ MBP sleeve (rather floppy with an 11″ MBA inside). The case finally shipped on March 24th (9 days after the ship date) without any sort of notification. As one of the few companies that have actually charged me shipping lately (not cheap either for a $55 case), I’d have expected such a late shipment to have at least awarded me refunded shipping charges. I was really in no rush after the promised ship date was missed, and I don’t have the time to go nickel and dime Booq over the shipping charges (I didn’t have time to call between the 15th and now), but I feel that the customer should, at the very least, be notified when a product is going to ship a week and a half later than originally stated (never actually using the term “estimated” or “approximate” either).

Let’s get back on track, shall we?

I am very, very satisfied with the Viper 11 hard case so far. The quality is very impressive, and it is like no neoprene sleeve I have used before. The case is made from ballistic nylon, and has very ample padding inside. With a neoprene sleeve, if I dropped my machine, I’d basically expect my computer to have some pretty substantial impact damage. The Viper 11 makes me feel like (I’m obviously not going to test this) my machine would survive a 10 foot drop inside it with very little, if any damage at all. The case itself looks very good, and the zippers seem very high quality as well.

Despite the Booq Viper 11 being the best notebook case I have ever owned, it does have its downsides. For one thing, the case costs quite a bit. Granted, neoprene sleeves cost around $40 as well, but I don’t really agree with that price either. Companies need to make money, and for quality and peace of mind, I guess I really can’t complain on that front.

The other con is simply that the case is rather bulky (as can be seen in the pictures). I’d say the case adds roughly 1.5″ in width, and probably more than doubles the thickness. Furthermore, weight is increased by approximately 50%. Overall, a good way to put it would be: the Booq Viper 11 turns an 11″ MBA into a 13″ MBP, albeit significantly more protected. This con is a tradeoff I ultimately don’t mind very much, since it is still relatively light and small, and the little MBA is very safe inside its nice cocoon.

To sum things up, I would highly recommend the Booq Viper 11 to anyone looking for a case for the 11″ MBA. The case costs a little more, and is a little bit more bulky, but you get a very aesthetically appealing, very physically protective case for your $1000+ machine.

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