Review: Picaso Lab is hands-down our favorite MacBook protective sleeve

in Current Mac Hardware edited December 2018
Picaso Lab makes hands down the best leather sleeve we've used for our Mac. AppleInsider spends some time with the company's individually crafted classic sleeve for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Picaso Lab 15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve Classic Tan
Picaso Lab 15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve Classic Tan

Premium fit and finish

Unlike Apple's own leather sleeves that have a bit of a waxy feel to the exterior, Picaso Lab's classic sleeve feels of thick, genuine Napa leather. Each sleeve is individually hand cut and stitched and will become uniquely yours with use.

When you take it out of the package, it has an extremely tight fit for at least the first few times you squeeze your MacBook Pro inside. Leather stretches over time, so Picaso Lab sleeves have a break-in period where you leave your Mac in at least overnight for it to form fit to your machine.

Picaso Lab 15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve Classic Tan
Picaso Lab 15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve Classic Tan

Between four and eight square feet of premium Napa leather is used to create each sleeve. On the inside, below the leather edge, is a soft wool-like felt to coddle your portable Mac.

Our case that we tested is brown, with golden brown polyester thread around the edges.


The Picaso Lab sleeves have what they call "Solid Edge." This process is very time consuming but results in hardened edges which will provide added impact protection should you ever drop your Mac. They say the edges become five times more rigid with the Mac inserted, absorbing more of the fall.

Picaso Lab 15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve Classic Tan
Picaso Lab Classic Sleeve "Solid Edge"

To make these tough sides, they first treat the outside edge of the sleeve, glue it, sew it, paint it, then cure for up to 48 hours.

The thick leather on the top and bottom combined with the Solid Edge give you maximum protection for your Mac, unlike any other sleeve we've tried.

All yours

One last detail that we love with Picaso Lab, is the lack of any logo. Each sleeve comes as-is, with no fancy box or packaging. The only manufacturer logo comes by way of the thank you note inside the sleeve.

Picaso Lab 15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve Classic Tan
Picaso Lab 15-inch MacBook Pro Sleeve Classic Tan

Nearly every other sleeve out there emblazons their logo visibly on the product, sometimes in giant fashion. Instead, Picaso offers to engrave your name on the sleeve. In either Mistro or Myriad Pro, your name or text can be laser etched into the leather, making it, even more, your own.

The prices for Picaso Lab's sleeves aren't low, but compared to Apple's own they aren't bad. Plus, they offer more protection and uniqueness than Apple's.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

You can pick up a Picaso Lab sleeve from their website in black or tan for several different portable Macs. They run $84 to $119 depending on the size. Use coupon code PicasoDeal10 and get 10% off your purchase. They're also available on Amazon, priced $69 to $115 with fast and free delivery.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    irnchrizirnchriz Posts: 1,590member
    I don’t like the open end and it doesn’t look like it provides much in the way of cushioning.  I much prefer my Cushcase which I have had for 2 years and it’s still like new and keeps my Pro in mint condition.  Plus it was only £16.99
  • Reply 2 of 7
    big kcbig kc Posts: 121member
    Hideously overpriced.
  • Reply 3 of 7
    macguimacgui Posts: 1,362member
    That's a terrific looking sleeve. And it looks like it easily provides as least as much cushioning as the Cushcase. Yes, the nylon sleeve has a flap. The Picaso is decently priced and it's leather.

    Sophomoric use of 'hideously'.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    big kc said:
    Hideously overpriced.
    Are you kidding? For quality leather, $85+ for a large product is not bad at all. Heavens help you if you ever try to buy a high-quality leather wallet. 

    Enjoy your cheap chinese junk.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    Woolnut for me... you get what you pay for.

  • Reply 6 of 7

    I'd have preferred it if it had a flap. I'm not too comfortable with the open end.

    Having said that, this seems like added protection when tossing the MBP into a bag. In that respect, it seems good.

  • Reply 7 of 7
    8 square feet of leather? That's about half a whole cow!
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