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 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 Pro and point out a few of our favorites. Whether you have a 13-inch, 14-inch, 15-inch, or 16-inch model, Retina or non-Retina, with or without a Touch Bar, you should be able to get your desired product protected.
P.S. Don’t overthink it. Remember your main value of a hard case is to avoid the risk of breaking or scratching it 🙂
Do I Really Need a Hardshell Case for My MacBook Pro?
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 Pro is prone to bumps and scrapes. They’ll also offer protection if you travel with your laptop and don’t use a backpack 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.
Another scenario that you should consider buying a hard case is to perverse the value of your laptop. If you ever want to sell or recycle your MacBook Pro, the new buyer will usually give you a higher quote if the MacBook surface is almost like new.
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 Hard Shell Case for MacBook Pro: Our Picks
Below is a list of our recommendations based on the year model of your MacBook Pro, the size, and personal preferences. Whether you’re using the latest 2021/2020 MacBook Pro, or an old 2016 model, you should find one that fits.
1. IBENZER Hard Shell Case
Want to have a shell that looks unique while offering plenty of protection? Check out the IBENZER hardshell case. It is available in some cool colorways and made from light but durable plastic. Don’t worry, you can still see the Apple logo through the case.
This case also has vent slots that align perfectly with your laptop’s existing vents and rubberized feet that add grip and increase airflow.
- Many color and design options available to match any preferences you have.
- Well-placed vents and rubberized feet prevent overheating.
- An extra keyboard cover is included.
- None, this is a great value choice overall.
2. MOSISO Plastic Hard Case
Like IBENZER, MOSISO is also a great value brand when it comes to MacBook Pro hard cases. The reason why we rank it in the second position is that we find the price is slightly higher.
Nevertheless, it has an exquisite finish that 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.
- There are dozens of colors to choose from.
- Easy to put it on or off your MacBook.
- Super lightweight.
- NOT available for 15-inch MacBook Pro.
3. Incase Hardshell Case (for 13-inch MacBook Pro Only)
For excellent protection that looks great, the Incase Hardshell case beats out the competition in many aspects.
It’s made from a super strong and durable ABS plastic that will give you a thick layer to absorb any drops or dings that might occur. Form-fitting and still very lightweight, this case also has ventilation cutouts and rubberized feet.
- Strong protection made possible by ABS plastic, tougher than your average case.
- Stylized dot texture adds grip.
- Considerably more expensive than other options listed here.
- Limited color choices.
4. Se7enline MacBook Pro Hard Case
This hardshell from Se7enline is another value option that comes with a keyboard cover.
Made for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro 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. It even includes a keyboard cover set, value added!
- It has a variety of colors for you to choose from.
- 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.
- Slightly more expensive than other value choices recommended above.
5. ProCase Heavy Duty Slim Hard Shell (for 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020)
Strong, and easy to snap on and off, the ProCase is a good hardshell option for any MacBook Pro owner. It has a simple look available in several colors and will provide a reliable layer of protection for your laptop.
The heavy-duty armor shell is carefully engineered with the shock-absorbent wraparound bumper. A soft rubberized coating gives the case a smooth finish and a slight grip to keep it from slipping or sliding.
- Snap-on design makes the case easy to install or take off when you don’t need it.
- Has vents for heat disbursement and won’t block any inputs.
- Only fits 13-inch MacBook Pros at the moment.
6. KECC Laptop Case for MacBook Pro 15″
Available in a handful of colors, this simple staple is made to fit the popular 15-inch MacBook Pro (2016/2017/2018/2019 models).
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).
- Simple and classic design will last a long time, allows designs underneath to show through, and fits the most popular model of 15-inch MacBook Pro.
- Only available for 15″ MacBook Pro, not for other sizes.
7. Kuzy Compatible with MacBook Pro 13 inch Case
Looking for a simple but effective way to keep your MacBook Pro (2016-2021 models) safe from dings and dents?
The Kuzy hardshell case provides you with an ultra-lightweight option made from laser formatted cutouts that will fit your laptop perfectly. All you need to do is snap this option on, and you can rest assured your MacBook will be padded from accidents.
It also comes with anti-slip rubber legs for another line of defense.
- Slim profile hardshell case that looks great and is very functional.
- Perfect fit with a grippy exterior that won’t slide around.
- Snap pieces can wear out if you take the case off and install it back on often.
8. UESWILL Smooth Matte Hard Case Cover (for Old 15-inch Models)
Are you still using an old 15-inch MacBook Pro made between mid-2012 and mid-2015? Get this hardshell case to keep your Mac even longer.
It 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.
- Great feel to the touch and doesn’t collect fingerprints. You can even place your stickers, decals, corporate logos, favorite sports teams on your MacBook.
- 13.7 ounces, slightly heavier than other cases.
How to Choose a Protective Case for MacBook Pro
Take the following things into consideration when shopping for a hard shell case to protect your MacBook Pro.
One of the biggest differentiating factors in a case is the design it offers. Because most hard shells 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.
MacBook Pros (including the new 14-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 a few extra perks, so check and see if your preferred case comes with anything special.
Here are some related questions you may have about the topic, we’ll briefly answer them below.
Are hardshell cases bad for MacBooks?
No, as we already explained above. They are very effective in protecting your MacBook Pro from scratch, bumps, dust, and sometimes water.
Do hard cases damage MacBook Pro hinges?
Yes, only if the cases are poorly designed, or your MacBook hinges are already dusted before you put on the case. All the cases we recommended above won’t damage the hinges. And as a good habit, you should clean the hinges from time to time.
Will a hard case scratch my MacBook?
No, unless you choose the wrong case size. In particular, the case size is smaller than your MacBook screen size, then it might scratch your MacBook edges.
Do MacBook cases cause overheating?
No, unless they block the vents of your MacBook Pro. All the products recommended above won’t block your MacBook vents. You may want to learn more about the causes of the MacBook Pro overheating issue here.
ibenzer vs mosiso: which brand is better?
Both IBENZER and MOSISO are reliable brands for offering MacBook Pro accessories. We found that MOSISO is slightly more expensive, but IBENZER offers more product options.
Additional Tips and Advise
Very important! Before you put on any hardshell case, make sure to clean your MacBook Pro surface and make sure there’s no dust or other unnecessary materials sticking on it. Because they may cause unexpected scratches when you open or close your laptop.
One thing that many hardshell cases providers offer is 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 Pro’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 Pro.
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.
So, are you using a hard case for your new MacBook Pro? Do you like it? Share your experience below.About Lorena