Sunday, March 11, 2007

Review: SeeThru Hard Case for Macbook by Speck

Having recently upgraded from a Pismo G3 Powerbook to a black MacBook, one of the annoying things about my new laptop was its ability to look dirty. The matte finish of the MacBook tends to pick up the oils and debris from your hands easily. I found myself constantly cleaning the exterior and started to fear of taking it from my home, which kinda defeats the purpose of a laptop, don’t you think?

Then along comes Speck products, with a great solution I first saw at MacWorld. Unlike other cases that require you to remove the protection to use it, the SeeThru is designed to protect your Mac 24/7. This case is not designed to protect your Mac from impact but rather to protect the look of your MacBook and allow for easy cleaning.

Installation was a snap both figurative and literally. Snap one part on the top and another on the bottom and away you go. Here’s a tip I had to learn the hard way. Clean the exterior of your Mac before you put on the SeeThru, otherwise that fingerprint on your case will be trapped for all to see.

When I first viewed the SeeThru, I was concerned about heat dissipation. Speck assures it’s customers that cooling was not a problem due to 74 ventilation slots. After 3 months of using the SeeThru, my Macbook has never indicated a heat problem. In addition, the Apple Retail Stores were selling the SeeThru and I’m sure that if Apple was concerned about the cooling issues, they wouldn’t have put the SeeThru in the stores.

The SeeThru is currently made for both the MacBook and MacBook pro and comes in clear, blue, and red. Personally I got the clear because the red and blue looked funky with my black MacBook.

The product works just as advertised. I had no problem keeping my MacBook protected from the crud that usually accumulates from body oils and sticky cafe tables. I also found it easier to grip my MacBook when I pulled it out of my case. The case was generally unintrusive and I had access to almost every function and port. The SeeThru retails for $50, though User Group members can get significant discounts.

I only saw two flaws in the design of the product. Every port was accessible on the unit except the battery power button. Not a major problem, but annoying when your want to check the power of your Mac without the hassle of waking it from sleep. In addition, the mini-VGA adapter had a slight bit of trouble fully locking into the side of my Mac. Representatives of Speck indicated the mini-VGA adapter port would be modified to better accommodate external monitor use.

Pros: Works as advertised and protects your MacBook. Best used as soon as you get your MacBook
Cons: Battery button not accessible. Some problems using external video adapters.