Your MacBook Pro is an elegant machine, and there are dozens of ways to accessorize or personalize it.
From wallpaper to skins, it's easy to get caught up decorating — but don't forget about security!
By simple nature, you know your Mac is already fairly well protected on the software end of things, but it's still vulnerable to drops, scratches, and spills.
We've already talked about a few different ways you can prevent these scenarios, such as purchasing a MacBook sleeve or making sure to use a protective carrying case. But if neither of those is your cup of tea, you might want to consider a hardshell case.
In this guide, we'll outline how to select the best hard shells for MacBook and point out a few of our favorites. Whether you have a 12-inch, 13-inch or 15-inch model, Retina or non-Retina, with or without a Touch Bar, you should be able to get your desired product.
P.S. Don't overthink it. Remember your main value of a hard case is to avoid the risk of breaking or scratching it 🙂
Only have a few minutes? No problem! Here's a quick look at our top picks for hardshell cases.
- Are you on a budget? Se7enline Case for MacBook Pro offers a great package for those using 2016/2017 MacBook Pros with/without Touch Bar. Besides the case, you also get an additional accessory, keyboard cover set. It's a great option to consider if you are looking for something for the money.
- Prefer a sleek and classic style? Incase Designs Hardshell for MacBook Pro will protect your computer and look great doing it. The design is composed of slightly raised dots, and if you already have decals on your MacBook you should still be able to see them after adding this case.
- Can't live without customization? This MacBook Pro hardshell case from HDE comes in enough designs to please even the strangest taste in color and pattern while still providing the protection you would expect. The matte finish is smooth to the touch and the product comes with a keyboard skin.
- Using a 12-inch MacBook with Retina Display? Mosiso Plastic Hard Case Cover is one of the few options you can get in the market. It supports all 2017/2016/2015 MacBook versions and is available in many colors for you to choose.
Who Should Get This?
A hardshell case is usually a matter of preference rather than necessity, so the main factor in deciding to purchase one should be your own interest level. However, we can provide a few guiding points.
Hard shells will strongly benefit you if you know your MacBook are prone to bumps and scrapes. They'll also offer protection if you travel with your laptop and don't use a backpack (see our favorite backpacks for MacBook Pro) or if you frequently transport between locations even if you never leave a certain building. It's also great for storage and from the accidents of those around you.
If you already have a sleeve, laptop stand, or backpack though, a hardshell case could add unnecessary weight and bulk. It also might cause a tight sleeve to fit improperly or cover decorations you already have such as stickers and laptop skins. If this is the situation for you, we don't recommend you buy any hard shell.
Best Protective Case for MacBook Pro: What to Consider?
One of the biggest differentiating factors in a case is the design it offers. Because most hardshells are fairly similar besides the pattern printed on them, you should check out multiple brands if you aren't completely satisfied with the patterns available at one.
Since MacBooks (including the new 12-inch model) are coming in an increasing number of sizes, make sure to check the dimensions of the case you are interested in before purchasing. Since a hardshell isn't flexible, there is no way for it to fit the wrong size MacBook, so you won't want to accidentally order the wrong size.
Some cases are more than simple shells, offering extra support in the form of non-slip rubber feet or the addition of a slight angle while working on your Mac. Others might come packaged with other accessories such as keyboard covers that could give you a little more bang for your buck. It's always nice to have few extra perks, so check and see if your preferred case comes with anything special.
Best Hard Cases for MacBook Pro: Our Picks
Talk about best value — this hardshell from Se7enline comes with a keyboard cover. Made for new MacBook Pro 13" with/without Touch Bar & Touch ID, it won't fit any other model, but it does an excellent job protecting the one it does and gives you full access to all buttons and features.
- Pros: It's impossible to go wrong with such a valuable set of protective accessories included, and a clean matte finish puts the final touch on this case.
- Cons: Only available for MacBook Pros released after 2016.
Available in a handful of colors, this simple staple is made to fit the popular 15-inch MacBook Pro. It's durable and also offers sophisticated styling. In addition, the product comes with rubberized feet which helps keep your laptop firm in place, as well as for better air circulation (which helps keep your laptop cool).
- Pros: Simple and classic design will last a long time, allows designs underneath to show through, and fits the most popular model of MacBook Pro (15").
- Cons: A little bit pricey compared with most options in the market.
Also available in solid colors, patterns, and everything in between, this hardshell case is extremely light and well ventilated making it ideal for the everyday user who wants a bit of flair. It doesn't cut out the design so you can always see the Apple logo shine through the case.
- Pros: Extremely customizable, great feel to the touch and doesn't collect fingerprints. Comes with a keyboard skin as shown in the image that will protect your keys from wear and tear.
- Cons: Doesn't fit all 13" MacBook Pros — if you have an optical (CD) drive in your MacBook, you'll need to look elsewhere.
Like the name indicates, this is the case for those of you who use a 12-inch MacBook. It has an exquisite finish which can protect your MacBook from any scratches and scrapes. The installation process is fairly simple and if you want to remove the case you don't need to unplug your charger, cable or headphone.
- Pros: There are dozens of colors to choose from. Easy to put it on or off your MacBook. Super lightweight (only 5.8 ounces).
- Cons: It's only compatible with 12" MacBook, NOT available for 13" or 15" MacBook Pro.
Additional Tips & Tricks
One thing that many hardshell cases come with a keyboard skin or keyboard cover. These silicon accessories cover your keyboard and prevent dust or spills from invading your Mac.
However, they aren't the only way to keep your Mac clean. You should check out Apple's official guide on how to clean their products to make sure your MacBook is shipshape.
You may have also noticed that many hardshell cases specify size compatibility by model number. If you don't already know how to check this, here's how:
- Close your MacBook's lid and turn it over
- Look near the regulatory information for a line stating the model
The model number should begin with a letter and then a few numbers and should help you figure out which cases will fit your MacBook.
A protective hardshell case is a great way to keep your MacBook Pro safe from scratches on the go or at home. It's portable, doesn't add much weight, and effectively guards against everyday scrapes. These cases come in dozens upon dozens of colorful designs, so you can really make your Mac your own.
Published Mar 15, 2018.