When I saw that the 1UpKeyboards duo was releasing a sleeve specifically made for the HHKB, I knew that the time to acquire some of their products had finally come for me. I’d been around as the company started up, and their sleeves had always intrigued me, but up until this point I had been complacently using my Griffiti and Corus soft cases. Before today, the husband and wife duo only had a 60% case that was suitable for Poker sized keyboards, which would have been a very tight fit for the slightly wider HHKB. Along with the HHHB case I was also sent a Cable Bag, and the brand new Premium Cable Bag.
The cases all arrived very neatly packaged in a plastic bag inside padded envelope. I didn’t admire the nice packing job for very long though, as I tore right into it and went straight for the HHKB case. Up until now I haven’t had a travel case for my HHKIB, which regrettably forces me to leave the house without it on a daily basis. Like many, I have a very special bond with my HHKB, especially after I swapped out the stock 45g domes for 55g Realforce domes and turned it into the glorious beast that it is today. Having a case make that would me feel comfortable enough to take my favorite keyboard out of the house would be quite a feat, and I was rather curious if the 1UP sleeve would do it for me.
The sleeve fit my precious HHKB like a glove. The new HHKB Sleeve is the same length as the existing Poker Sleeve, yet slightly wider, so that none of the keys are pressed on by the case. The interior is nice and plush, leaving me without worrying about scuffs or scratches from sliding around in the sleeve while I’m on the go. The exterior fabric is also spillproof, which is nice as I tend to be accident prone. Still, I recommend that you have a 10ft no-liquid-or-Cheetos radius around any of your keyboards for additional peace of mind. The overall attention to detail was quite incredible, everything from the stitch work to the choice of materials was perfect. Little details like using plastic toggles, instead of metal ones, to prevent the keyboard getting scratched when putting it in the case really won me over. I’m also very pleased to announce that the new HHKB case is launching at the same this review is posted, so you can now head over to the HHKB Sleeve page on the 1UpKeyboards website to order one after you finish reading the review. Sleeves are $40 and come in a wide variety of colors, which is a steal if you ask me.
The next item I tested out was the brand new Premium Cable Bag. This is a stockier shape than the normal Cable Bag, and has a zipper instead of a plastic toggle to close the bag. The square shape is perfect for housing larger coiled cables as well as smaller accessories that may fall out of a bag with just a toggle. The interior is not padded like the keyboard sleeves because the cable zip ties would get caught on the interior otherwise. Again, that attention to detail really amplifies how good these products really are. I found myself toting around the slew of adapters that normally float freely around in my knapsack in the Premium Cable Bag in the days after the initial review. Never before have right angle micro USB adapters traveled in such style. These bags are available per request currently, with an official launch coming in a week or so. The Premium Cable Bags are $12.50 when purchased on their own, or $7.50 when purched with a sleeve.
The last case I reviewed was the standard Cable Bag. This is a long, slender case designed for cables and other odds and ends. For me it worked great with any standard cables as well as shorter coiled cables (my ~1.5ft coiled cable was about the longest coiled cable that would fit easily in the bag). The Cable Bag was also the perfect length to fit any of my wire keycap pullers in, which is nice because I always carry one with me. The Cable Bags are $10 when purchased on their own or $5 when purchased with a sleeve. In my opinion adding on a cable bag to a sleeve order is a no brainer.
Ultimately, the 1UpKeyboard sleeves are among the handful of products that I won’t hesitant in the least to recommend to people. The sleeves do exactly what they are intended to do, and they do it better than any other case I’ve come across yet. As far as soft carrying cases go, these are unquestionably the way to go. The Corus keyboard sleeve, while the most affordable option, offers no real protection and the case and gets dirty quickly, and the Griffiti case left black stains on my white keys before I washed it, which I wasn’t thrilled about. My favorite part of all is that these cases are lovingly made by members of the keyboard community, and I always enjoy supporting community members anytime I can.