By Evan Ackerman
As loyal readers who care about my safety, sanity, and well being might remember, my laptop was stolen about a month ago. Yeah, that sucked. It’s been replaced (I’m writing this review on it, can’t you tell?) but I needed to get myself a new case for it, so I thought I’d try out a new case/tote from Uniea called the Omniverse. I’ve got a review for you, after the jump.
The Uniea Omniverse tote is a laptop case designed for 13-inch Macbooks and similar sized laptops. The outer portion of the case is available in either black “silk fiber” (whatever that is, it doesn’t feel like silk) or black nylon, and the inside is padded with some kind of wavy memory foam stuff. The foam is thick and squishy, which, as well as adding to the awesomeness factor (because squishy = awesome, don’t you agree?), provides excellent padding for those of you who like to use your laptops to wallop people with. And if you’ve never tried that before, the Omniverse gives you an excellent excuse to get walloping. With so much padding, you might worry about your laptop getting overheated, but the waved foam provides decent dissipation. Even so, the padding still traps some heat in, so don’t zip your children or pets into it unsupervised. The foam also makes the laptop a much better pillow, which means you won’t get mocked by your coworkers for having a drool-stained imprint of the Apple logo on your face. Plus, you won’t have to shell out $60 for one of those overly expensive (but damn comfortable) memory-foam pillows.
There are two small handles that easily pack away into mini snap pockets on either side of the case, so it functions as either a briefcase type thing or a slipcase. Unlike a traditional slipcase, there’s no need to ever take your computer out of it: four elastic tabs in the inside corners keep the laptop securely in place when the case is opened. The case unzips all the way around, giving you easy access to the side ports and CD/DVD drive, and the zippered front pocket is just the right size for a power cord. The little pockets on top, while intended for handle stowage, also serve to store little gadgety things like USB drives.
One quibble I had with the case was the lack of a shoulder strap, or even loops to attach one, which is less than convenient since I’m weak and laptops are heavy and I tend to carry around a lot of other crap at the same time. You also can’t fully close the computer while it’s in the case, although you can close it tightly enough to put it to sleep. This bugs me but it doesn’t really matter. While the handles do have a fold-over snap to convert them into a single handle, there isn’t really any padding underneath, so it gets uncomfortable after awhile (probably just because of my aforementioned weakness). Plus, while the massive amount of padding in the case does offer excellent protection, it also makes it a bit bulky. But hey, that’s the trade off for being able to run this thing over with a tank.
I also took a look at the matching Universal Sleeve, which can be used for an iPod/iPhone, 2.5-inch hard drive, small digital camera, or whatever else you can stuff into it. The sleeve, like the tote, is covered in silk fiber and has an inner layer of memory foam. The sleeve is padded and shock absorbent, so no worries about dropping and breaking your precious, precious iPhone. Gollum. On the other hand, like the tote, this makes for a relatively bulky product. So, even though it has a handy belt-loop, you might not want to wear something so cumbersome on your belt. It also has a circular aluminum ring clip, which gives you plenty more options on where to put it. The small pocket in the front has a zipper, which is nice, but it’s so tiny it can’t hold much more than a pair of earphones or a dismembered finger.
Versatility: handles pack away easily
Memory foam is really fun to poke
No shoulder strap or place to put a shoulder strap
Handles aren’t padded
Can’t fully close computer
Overall, the Uniea Omniverse laptop case affords excellent protection for your laptop. It’s got a bunch of useful pockets, but may be a little bit on the bulky side for some. It’s a reasonable $40 on the Uniea website. The little Universal Sleeve is $15.