Anti-Theft MacBook Sleeves Masquerade as Folded Newspapers

Do you disguise your MacBook as a security measure? A couple of computer case makers think it’s an effective strategy.

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Mitemite’s Newspaper MacBook Sleeve is a computer bag made from plasticized fabric and designed to thwart computer theft by camouflaging your MacBook Pro as a folded newspaper. The sleeve measures 37.7cm x 27.5cm x 3.4cm and is available masquerading as any of five different newspapers in various languages (including the Herald Tribune in English).

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The sleeve incorporates a removable zip/metal chain handle and sells for €60 or roughly $86 plus shipping.

The MiteMite sleeve is getting some competition from a Rome, Italy, based artisan firm called ItaliaCraft which is also offering a newspaper motif sleeve for the MacBook Air.

The custom made ItaliaCraft sleeve is woven in slightly off-white non-bleed cotton/linen blend fabric pre-washed by the craftsperson, with black linen padded backing and double-stitched with high quality German thread and with all inner seams serged flat. No wool is used in order to limit static electricity.

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The ItaliaCraft sleeve can also serve as a comfort pad when you’re using the computer on your lap. Free monogramming is also offered.

The price is $62.00 and international flat rate shipping is available for as little as $8.

I expect this ploy might actually work. Nobody steals old newspapers or pays much attention to piles of papers in general. When my daughter was at university, her apartment was broken into and robbed. She lost her digital camera and several other minor valuables, but the most valuable item in the apartment, her then-new white G4 iBook, which happened to be stacked in a pile of papers in plain sight, went unnoticed by the thief, which was cause for a bit of mitigating satisfaction.

Potential flaws in the strategy might be greater risk of misplacing the sleeve with MacBook in situ, or the more horrific possibility of an over-zealous cleaner-upper including the faux newspaper with a pile of real newspapers headed for recycling or the landfill. I think I recall someone reporting something like that happening with one of the early MacBook Airs, and it wasn’t even in a camouflage case — just buried in a pile of papers that got chucked.

Cheaper alternatives, although not as elegant or protective, would be to carry a MacBook Air in a FedEx box or envelope, one of those kraft button & string closure portfolio envelopes, or even a pizza box, although the latter would pose an even greater hazard of being mistaken for actual garbage.

What do you think? Brilliant idea or gimmick?

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