If you’re anything like me, your first few months of owning a brand new laptop are characterized by an underlying sense of fear that it could be damaged at any moment. If the system in question happens to be as gorgeous (and expensive) as a MacBook Pro with a Retina Display, that uneasiness can be magnified. The Hard Candy Hard Shell Case for 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina ($59.99 list) provides a decent panacea for similarly neurotic folks as well as devil-may-care users that are simply interested in protecting their investment from dings and scratches.
At its most basic level, the Hard Shell Case is a form-fitting shell that can easily be put on and taken off of your MacBook Pro. While it’s available in four different colors (black, blue, red, and the lime of our review unit), and each is made out of a transparent material that allows you to show off the very handsome system being protected. As is often the case with protective gear, your system obviously doesn’t look as good with the Hard Shell Case on it as it does unadorned. But cases aren’t meant to make systems look more attractive. Rather, they’re designed to preserve that “new computer” look for as long as possible, presumably to enjoy it during those brief, rare moments when it’s being moved from one case to another.
The Hard Shell Case’s polycarbonate material is tough enough to withstand the scratches and scuffs that will invariably crop up whenever you toss it into your laptop bag. In other words, its main job is to protect your system and, for the most part, it gets the job done. Still, plenty of folks don’t want to see a case each time they use their laptop. If you fall into that camp and your primary concern is protecting your system mainly when it’s in transit, you’d be better served with a removable laptop sleeve along the lines of the Speck PixelSleeve for MacBook Air.
The Hard Shell Case consists of two main components: a bottom portion for the MacBook Pro’s underside and a corresponding section for the lid. After placing both of the Hard Shell Case’s main components onto your system, you secure them with Hard Candy’s corner snap mechanism. The corner snap mechanism is a separate plastic strip that clicks into each portion of the Hard Shell Case, locking the case into place while protecting the system’s edges. Since corner snap mechanisms can easily be pulled off, removing the Hard Shell Case also requires very little effort. Unlike other cases that simply grip the sides of your system to the point where removing it can damage the chassis, the Hard Shell Case’s intuitive design poses no such risks. At the same time, though, the corner snap mechanism adds about 5mm to each side of your MacBook. While these little “bumpers” are hardly noticeable, they still contribute to added bulk.
In use, the Hard Shell Case fit on my MacBook Pro as snugly as a glove. Moreover, the unobtrusive corner snaps don’t get in the way of the Retina Display’s bezel-free design. More importantly, the Hard Shell Case doesn’t block any of your system’s ports or its side air vents so users need not worry about overheating or having to toss out their flash drives.
The Hard Candy Hard Shell Case for 15-inch MacBook Pro Retina is a simple and relatively inexpensive way to protect your MacBook Pro from scratches and scuffs. It’s not the prettiest outfit to dress your system in, but it gets the job done in preserving that “new laptop look” that we all love.
Copyright © 2012 Ziff Davis, Inc