13" MBP - Best combination of cases/protection

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by thesmoth, Jun 22, 2009.

  1. thesmoth macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    I've been doing a ton of research and there don't seem to be any clear winners as far as the best cases or combinations of protections go.

    Basically you want to cover 2 main points when trying to protect your new aluminum macbook pros

    1) Soft padded protection (incase, applesac, etc...) to help absorb impact and to protect from scuffs and scratches.

    2) Hard shell protection (spekt see through and ...?) to protect from any major impacts, from being crushed against books in your backpack, to prevent warping of the aluminum, cracking of the screen from pressure of various odd shaped objects, etc...

    Now number 1) is really easy. There are a lot of great options (personally I want to buy an applesac), but for number 2) it gets hard because there aren't really any choices. I went to the apple store and they only sell the spekt clear cases (non in stock yet for the new 13" mpb), but i've heard that they can actually scratch your macbook case from particles and dust and debris that get caught between the plastic and your macbook. Also i've heard that since the aluminum body of the computer acts as a sort of heat since (and they get HOT) that this may be trouble.

    So now it seems that the best choice would be to get a hardcase sleeve. So not a piece of plastic that clips on to the macbook case, but a small briefcase like protector (but very small that JUST fits the macbook) that is hard and offers some structural support and not just padding. I can't seem to find this option ANYWHERE.

    What combinations would you guys offer? I will be putting the macbook into a large backpack that doesn't have an additional notebook pocket/sleeve in it. It is just a giant hiking backpack that I will sometimes have textbooks in and always have a big lunch bag in, etc... I was thinking of getting a separate carrying bag with a strap for my shoulder like a crumpler bag (they have a crumpler store here in Vancouver), but it seemed stupid to have a giant hiking backpack AND a shoulder back.

    I know most people are fine with just a soft case and they toss it in their backpacks and no problems, and I may start by just doing that, but I saw too many pictures of warped unibody cases from minor impacts to be comfortable with just a soft sleeve. I am a student and paying for this all myself and so I can't just toss this thing around like some sort of a cheap frizbee.

    I know there have been lots of threads about cases, and i've read most of them, but i'm expanding the question here a little bit to combinations of protections, with a focus on hard shell protection.
  2. She macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2005
    I don't think a hard case is necessary. the aluminum is very durable and a soft neoprene sleeve should be enough. I never hard a hard case for my powerbook and in over 4 years of use it only sustained one ding on the back edge and I'm not the most careful person either
  3. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    The aluminum is actually very soft and malleable, and even small impacts can cause dents.
  4. friareunuch macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2009
    i've done a good bit of research on cases, and i think the only things i'd be able to justify spending money on are:

    1) pelican hard case. use-in capability, military-grade protection when that sucker is closed. (about 140 bucks i think)

    2) vaja leather shell. beautiful, stylish, use-in capable, and better than all the other use-in shells. also expensive as crap.

    3) a laptop briefcase, like this one:


    You get what you pay for with accessories. All the cheap shells I have seen lead to complaints about scratching on the computer from the case itself. Screw that. I'm gonna pay top dollar for a case with 100% positive reviews, and both the pelican and the vaja cases fit that bill.
  5. friareunuch macrumors member

    Jun 2, 2009
    fwiw, i have used one of those kensington briefcases for the past 4.5 years. daily use, travel, pretty much everything. it's falling apart, but i definitely feel like it was money well spent, for the time i got out of it.
  6. lavinci macrumors 6502

    Jun 19, 2009
    i stick with the incase neoprene sleeve and moshi clearguard
  7. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    For all of the people just using soft cases like the incase and applesac.

    Do you carry them in bags that contain other items (books, textbooks, chargers, food, etc...) or do you just have them on their own in a messenger type laptop bag?

    I will have mine in a backpack filled with other stuff (not too much stuff since i'm a grad student and I can leave most of my textbooks at my desk) so i'm concerned about pressure from other items damaging it, or on the bus if someone kicks my bag, it falls over, etc...
  8. Herrow macrumors regular

    Jul 24, 2008
    I have always used a ShaggyMac Screen Protector > with a Case Logic Sleeve > LLBean Backpack.

    Never had screen marks, secure, no damage, great resell value when time to upgrade.
  9. Smoothie macrumors 6502a

    Jun 23, 2007
    I've used a ShaggyMac with a Lenovo Thinkpad. The only concern I have is that it causes the hinges to creak a little when closing. I think the MBP has even less clearance, and I wonder if the ShaggyMac can damage the hinges over time. Do you feel there's any pressure being applied to the hinges?
  10. She macrumors member

    Jan 15, 2005
    Really? I guess I was lucky with my old one then.. only had one dent

    I carried mine in my purse, tote bag, backpack, carry on suitcase, etc, always with other things
  11. thesmoth thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 7, 2008
    i Guess I'll go with the applesac then I just wish I could get it in Vancouver because shipping is like 23-30$

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