by Gerald Edgecomb
If you are investing $2000 in an Apple MacBook Pro, you will want to protect it. Cases and sleeves only protect your notebook computer while it is being transported, but what about while you are using it? Speck Products tries to fill this need with their See-Thru Hard Shell, which retails for $39.95 USD. What Speck has done is made a plastic see through case that snaps onto the MacBook Pro, in affect giving your MacBook Pro armor. The advantage with the Speck case is that you do not have to pack you computer into a bag to go anywhere. Just close the lid and you are off!
The design of the See-Thru case is solid. It manages to provide extra protection without taking away from the beauty of the MacBook Pro. The model I received is clear, but Speck also offers a red version; both look identical except for the color. The case snaps on and off with relative ease. However, if you are not careful, it is possible to scratch the paint while removing the case. Speck has also thought about connectivity. All ports are fully functional. I tested the fit of every one of them and the case never hindered any of the connections. They have also made sure the MacBook Pro’s vents are not blocked and even provided vents on the bottom of the case. The only thing Speck left out was the button for the battery; there is no way to press it. The other caveat with the battery is unavoidable: you have to remove the bottom portion of the case to remove the battery. This would be an annoyance for those with multiple batteries.
The ports on the MacBook Pro match up with cut outs for ports on the See-Thru case (view large image)
My first concern upon receiving the case was heat. We all know that MacBook Pros have a tendency to be hot, and the case looked as though it would make it even hotter. Seeing this as a big issue, I fired up Temperature Monitor to see if temperatures were affected. Fortunately, there was no difference in the temperature. In fact, it felt a little cooler on my lap because of the space now put between the aluminum case and my lap. After the heat issue was put to rest, I noticed that my MacBook Pro felt heavier than usual, so I weighed the case. It came in at a hefty 15.5oz. Now I know that does not sound like much, but it takes the total weight of the MacBook Pro from 5.6 lbs up to about 6.5 lbs. That is a significant jump. The MacBook Pro is, in my opinion, the most portable 15.4” notebook available, and the extra weight does take away from that. Clearly, though, the See-Thru Hard Shell will protect your notebook in the event you bang it against a wall or door jam.
I must admit, I was skeptical at first. I did not think the case would live up to its billing. I was wrong. It is advertised as being able to protect and beautify your MacBook Pro. Now, as far as beauty is concerned I will let you be the judge, but I can say it does protect the MacBook Pro. If you like the looks, can live with the extra weight, and do not change batteries often, the See-Thru Hard Shell is a bit of insurance to protect your investment. For MacBook owners, don’t be jealous; Speck plans on releasing a 13.3” MacBook version soon.
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