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How To Measure Laptop Size and Why You Should Before You Buy A New Case

How To Measure Laptop Size and Why You Should Before You Buy A New Case

Why Do You Need a Laptop Case?

Perhaps there is no piece of technology more necessary for work and play than our laptops. Our laptops travel with us from the comfort of our desks to our favorite coffee shops, to the workplace, and then back home with us again. Often, they cover as much ground in a day as we do! 

Wherever we go, our laptop is the everyday item we carry that allows us to creatively and socially engage with the broader world no matter where we find ourselves. And that’s why laptop cases are a must no matter what laptop screen size. You can’t expose your precious MacBook to the elements without provoking the significant risk of irreparable damage to your computer. 

Not only are laptops somewhat awkward to carry on their own, but we’ve all had that moment in between dropping our phones and when they hit the ground––that liminal space where all our fears are realized. And how much worse would it be if it was your laptop--a much more expensive piece of technology--slipped out of your hand and crashed to the ground. Laptop cases and sleeves are the perfect solution.

Why You Should Measure Your Laptop Before Buying a New Case

But how can you make sure you purchase the right case for yourself? How can you know which case or laptop sleeve will fit your laptop? And how do you measure your laptop to avoid buying a case that is too tight or too loose, relegating your laptop to jumble and tumble around inside your case like a little kid in a gymnastics class? Different laptop models have different sizes, whether it's a Macbook Pro or a Lenovo ThinkPad. 

How to Measure Your Laptop Case Accurately

At Andar, we’ve made it easy to figure out the dimensions of your laptop. Here is everything you need to know to make sure your laptop fits snugly inside your beautiful new case.

Before we start, find a standard tape measure--preferably cloth or one that’s mutable and can bend. A yellow plastic tape measure used for household purposes is perfect, too. Whatever you have on hand will work--just don't use a ruler. They're too stiff and short to properly measure the size of the laptop.

Step 1: Turn On Your Computer

You’re going to start with the laptop screen before you move to the laptop body, so open it up and turn it on. You need to be able to see where your screen ends and where the black border begins. The height of your laptop is measured diagonally, not from the top to the bottom or side to side. This is where people usually make the first mistake.

Step 2: Find Your Starting Measuring Point For the Laptop Screen

Now, you will position your tape measure at the bottom left or bottom right corner of the screen, not at the end of the computer. Place the tape measure where your screen starts and where the black enclosure around the screen ends. 

You are going to be measuring diagonally. This is crucial. Do not measure from side to side or from top to bottom, but from where your screen begins at the bottom left or bottom right of the screen to the screen’s top left or top right corner. Laptop screens will traditionally be 11 inches, 13 inches (33.02 cm), 15 inches (38.1 cm), and 17 inches (43.18 cm).

Step 3: Measure the Width of Your Laptop

To measure the width of the laptop, take your tape measure, begin at the left side of your laptop, and stretch it lengthwise to the top right corner. Include the rounded edges of your laptop! Width measurement is crucial to finding the right laptop bag so if you have to take a few measurements to get the most accurate number, do it.

Step 4: The Depth of Your Laptop

Next, measure the depth of your laptop (also considered the length of your laptop) by measuring from the back of your laptop screen (with the laptop closed) to the front. Start from the top left corner and measure down to the bottom left corner. Depth measurement is most important for determining if you need a bigger case or sleeve than the standard size. 

Step 5: Now, Time to Measure Your Laptop Thickness

Lastly, it’s now time to move on to measure your laptop thickness. Sometimes, depending on the year and make of your laptop, your new case will fit perfectly for the screen size but fail to fit its thickness and prevent you from even putting your laptop in. Not to worry because measuring thickness is even easier than measuring the screen size.

Get your tape measure again. Now, close your laptop and measure the thickness from bottom to top where the screen ends. Be sure to include the screen when it’s flush with the bottom of your laptop, or your measurement will be skewed. You need to measure the thickest part of your laptop. Your result should be less than 2 inches.

Step 6: Make Sure to Keep Track of Your Measurement

Now that you have the measurement of the screen size secured and laptop thickness, write it down on your notes app or a word document so you won’t forget it later! We wouldn’t want you to forget your measurement and end up with the wrong size case!

To sum it up remember these 5 things:

  1. Turn your computer on and measure the screen diagonally from where the screen starts, not from where the black border starts.
  2. Close your laptop and measure the laptop thickness from bottom to top while the screen is flush with the base.
  3. Measure the width from the bottom left corner to the bottom right corner.
  4. Measure the depth from the top left corner to the bottom left corner.
  5. Be sure to write your finished measurement down!

What If I Don’t Have a Tape Measure?

You want to measure your laptop, but despite persistent searching and spelunking of every crevice, cabinet, and drawer, you still can’t find the tape measure your significant other assured you is somewhere in the house. That’s okay! You can use a piece of traditional A4 printer paper which is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. 

Use the longer side to measure your screen. Based on how much of your screen extends beyond the paper, you can estimate whether it’s 11 inches, 13 inches, 15 inches, or 17 inches. Even better, if you have the receipt from purchasing your laptop or know which model yours is, you can easily cross-reference your measurements to make sure they’re correct. Now you have your measurements. Now it's time to go out and find the right bag for you.

You Have Your Measurements. What Now?

There are many laptop bags on the market, from nylon to polyester, exorbitantly intricate to failingly simple. But most retailers carry "genuine leather," which, despite its name, is not as high quality as it sounds. At Andar, we’ve committed ourselves to these core values: minimalism and durability. That’s why we use premium full-grain oil waxed leather for our laptop cases. 

Leather is one of the few materials which has perennially proved its resilience. Not only does leather exhibit refined elegance, but it also communicates perseverance and durability. Military bags are outfitted with leather for a reason, and our waxed leather acts as a bastion against any invading moisture that tries to soak through, rendering our laptop cases impervious to the elements.

Moreover, we believe that elegance is perfected in minimalism. We don't add on a bunch of useless compartments or bezels. To us, less is more. In ancient Hebrew, there’s a word, tzimtzum – which you must admit is fun to say – and means that creation is achieved through withdrawal--that true creation is formed because of limitation and not despite it. We stepped back with our laptop cases and allowed rugged minimalism to be our guide to pure and cultivated creation.


External Sources:

How to Measure Laptop Size |

Laptop Size and Weight Buyer's Guide |

Measuring laptop screen size |