Many of us traveled this weekend for the holiday, and some of us probably brought along our laptops. Unfortunately, the odds are that a few of us dropped our laptop bags, or worse yet, dropped our laptop directly on the ground. For those owning a MacBook or MacBook Pro, the result may not have been pretty. These are beautiful machines, but their cases are rather susceptible to dings and cracks from the occasional bump or drop. Until Apple comes out with a ToughBook competitor, MacBooks should somehow be protected in case of an accident, which could even happen to the most careful computer owner. As an example, my MacBook Pro now has a minor dent on its side because the padded messenger bag holding my laptop took a tumble in Grand Central Station. What are your computer protection options, other than traditional computer bags? Here’s a round up of some other products out there that are designed to protect your Apple laptop.
Speck makes the SeeThru Hard Shell for both the 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pro, as well as the MacBook. The SeeThru (available for about $50) is a polycarbonate shell that fits over your laptop to protect the casing from getting damaged. The shell comes in 8 different color including clear, red, and black. It has vents on the bottom half so the shell helps keep the laptop cool and has cutouts for the ports on the side of the laptop. Techshell makes a similar product (starting at about $60) except it does not have any vents on the bottom part of the case, so I have to wonder about how well heat is dissipated.
When it comes to heavy duty protection, the MacTruck doesn’t look like it plays any games. It is a combination laptop enclosure and briefcase. As an added bonus, the case doubles as an angled stand for when you are ready to use your laptop. The downside to the MacTruck–pretty darn expensive with prices ranging from $199 to $229. To be fair, do you know what it costs to replace your MacBook’s casing? The same as the MacTruck, sometimes plenty more. MacService will replace either the top or bottom of the MacBook Pro casing for $225 each (that’s $450 if both the top and bottom get damaged). DT&T Services will cost $250 for the top casing, $295 for the bottom casing, and $495 to replace both casings. As a lesser expensive option, if you don’t mind looking like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, you could get a hard shelled backpack over at eBags.com and protect more than just your laptop.
Again, there is a lot of incentive to taking proactive measures to protect your MacBook or MacBook Pro. Replacing your case can be expensive, not only in terms of dollars, but also in terms of time. You’ll have downtime without your computer if you send it in for repair or you’ll have a new experience while trying to rebuild your laptop from spare parts you found online. Keep in mind, I am only talking about cosmetic damage which is largely not covered by AppleCare. Some of these cases may protect more than your Mac’s pretty case.