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Manufacturer: Moshi

Moshi Codex + Shieldpad 13, 15, & 17
November 20, 2007 | Bryan Clodfelter

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Members of the “Cult of Mac,” on the whole, are famous for their wide range of quirks. One plausible explanation for this variation in disposition and personal taste is that so many generations of Mac users exist. While the members of this distinctive culture clash on nearly every subject ranging from standards of loyalty to which Apple mouse was the worst, on one point there is no debate: Mac users love clever, aesthetically-pleasing gadgets that arouse the users' innate creative ability. These gadgets, which tend to be as expensive and exclusive as they are beautiful, usually trigger a high level of what is often referred to as “gadget lust,” an affliction whose only side effect is the terrific (albeit spasmodic) damage that it does to the bank accounts of those infected. It should be no surprise, then, that many people--even the most nonchalant and accommodating--having acquired the object of their desire, temporarily (and amusingly) transform into paranoiacs, seeking to protect their investment with Gollum-like tenacity.

Evidence of the widespread nature of this tendency in Mac users can be observed simply by taking note of the disproportionate number of cases, adhesive shields, and various other protective gear designed specifically for Macs. While there are quite a few excellent (albeit conventional) selections available from from such mainstays as Targus, Kensington, and Turano, there exist several smaller, premium providers that, possibly due to their entrepreneurial spirit or stronger creative drive, seem to be consistently willing to field products whose narrowly-focused designs strongly appeal to particular types of consumers. One such company is Aevoe, whose Moshi product lineup complements Apple’s minimalistic design standards in a charming manner. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the Moshi Codex + Shieldpad 13, 15, & 17: three stylish, yet spartan notebook cases, each specifically designed to round off one of the MacBook or MacBook Pro models.

Perspicuous? Apply Here...
According to Aevoe’s heartily amusing promotional literature, the Codex lineup (and indeed, the entire Moshi brand) is intended for the discerning and demanding Mac user. With a packaging scheme clearly reminiscent of Apple’s highly-lauded methodology, the Codex + Shieldpad is designed to impress from the outset. Once you manage to figure out how to open the box without destroying it in the process (a skill that iPod fans should have mastered by now), inside you’ll find the Codex “shellcase” itself, the Shieldpad, and a keychain designed to protect your Mac’s infrared remote.

The first of the components--the Codex “shellcase”--is a picture of precision. With only a single zipper to break the form of the crisp, semi-gloss cloth exterior (textured to resemble brushed aluminum or black silk, depending on the color), the Codex looks great up close. Due to its diminutive size and removable button-down carrying handle, converting the Codex into an expensive sleeve for transport inside a larger medium is (literally) a snap--in fact, the Codex 13 and 15 happen to be exactly the right size to fit inside a bag designed for the 15” and 17” MacBook Pro, respectively. Unfortunately, buying a larger case to carry the Codex is a likely proposition for two reasons: first and foremost, the Codex does not include a shoulder strap. This blinding oversight makes the Codex effectively unsuitable for commuters whose daily trek forces them to walk more than a mile or so. Second, the Codex lacks even a single pocket for storage, further limiting its applicability to users who either have ample pockets elsewhere, or professionals who can somehow manage without pens, paper, or AC power for an entire workday. On the positive side, the lack of internal storage makes it possible (and indeed, recommended) to operate a Macbook or MacBook Pro without removing it from the Codex--a windfall for users who fly the cramped skies often.

Like the outer shell, the interior of the Codex is minimalistic, but well-designed (omission of storage compartments aside), and protection for the Codex’s precious cargo turns out to be excellent. Beyond the 360-degree microfiber liner--a greatly appreciated instance of overkill--the Codex sports something that few other case manufacturers bother to include: padding that works. Unlike the commonly-used foam padding that can be informally called “squishy,” and formally deemed “nearly useless,” the Codex’s resilient, wall-to-wall and edge-to-edge padding is properly calibrated to give way only under impact conditions. While it won’t take a bullet, this lining will go a long way toward preventing cracked screens and corners--the two most common forms of damage that a fall can inflict upon a notebook.


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