About the only thing that made the machine look used was the outside of the case. As I had slipped it into my bag or carried it in my hand, objects like my watch band had rubbed against it and put a series of small scratches all over the outer shell. They were purely cosmetic but annoying nonetheless.
I’m determined to treat this new MacBook Pro with a little more care and as a result started searching around for a protective shell case for it. I rationalized that this would help maintain the resale value of my Mac in the unlikely event I decided to sell it or—more likely—it would look like new when I passed it down to one of my kids in the future.
Plastic Covered Couches
My grandmother was a fan of plastic covered furniture back in the 60s and 70s. As a young lady going through the Great Depression she developed a deep appreciation of the cost of things and wanted them to last as long as possible. As a result, her couches and chairs were hermetically sealed in plastic-wrap. You would sit on them in shorts and immediately begin to sweat and after just a few minutes you felt you were physically attached to the piece of furniture.
Sure, her couches looked like new and were preserved for future generations but I couldn’t help but think that the enjoyment of that particular piece of furniture was completely compromised. While I want to protect my new MacBook Pro, I don’t want it to suffer the same fate.
First Try - iPearl mCover Hard Shell Case
As I tend to do, I jumped on Amazon and found a number of cases available. I looked through the reviews and found a very affordable hard plastic shell that got pretty solid reviews: a Blue iPearl mCover Hard Shell Case. At $19.99 it was less than half the price of other cases so I figured I’d give it a try. I’m a member of Amazon Prime so 2-day shipping was free and as I’ve been finding lately, sometimes it arrives next day.
This case is a hard plastic shell that clips to the MacBook Pro and provides protection for both the top and bottom halves of the machine. It doesn’t impact the closing of the MacBook, nor does it seem to prohibit pushing the display back to a pretty aggressive level.
Pros: This case feels tough and pretty durable. When attached you can still see the Apple logo and the bottom half contains some small folding feet that can prop your MacBook Pro up a bit. It fits the outside of the MacBook case very well and snaps on in seconds. There is plenty of venting on it, especially on the bottom, so I didn’t notice any heat build up with it attached. All of the ports on the MacBook are readily accessible—the case doesn’t prevent any of the connectors from being used. The front edge of the case is flush enough that it doesn’t rub against your wrists as you type. There are two rubber feet on the front edge of the case that keep your MacBook from sliding around.
Cons: Since this a shiny hard plastic shell (it provides no shock absorption), your MacBook Pro now feels very plastic. The shell collects finger prints and smudges pretty easily and seems to attract dust statically. The shell doesn’t really touch the MacBook Pro surface other than at the clip points so the shell makes the MacBook feel significantly thicker. The folding feet on the bottom don’t feel very sturdy and are not useful when propping the device up on your legs because they have a small footprint and dig into your legs a bit, at least while wearing shorts. The cutout on the bottom (which I assume is for heat dissipation and/or cut down weight) makes the bottom of the MacBook look very odd and exposed.
I tried using this case for a couple of days and didn’t care for it. My MacBook felt very cheap with it on and carrying it under my arm felt odd because of the air gap between the MacBook and the shell; it just felt bulky.
Using this particular case just made me feel like I was doing to my MacBook Pro what my grandmother did to her furniture. If you are looking for very cost effective protection for your MacBook Pro, this may be a good choice for you. Reading through the reviews on Amazon it’s clear that quite a few people like this case and that it may be a good fit for some. I guess I’m just not one of them.
My search for the perfect MacBook Pro shell continues. If you have a recommendation for a good protective (and high quality) shell, please drop a note in the comments.