Speck See-Thru Satin for MacBook Pro

There are two types of MacBook owners. Those who believe it’s a sin to cover up the Apple logo and then there’s those who want to preserve that new-ness and will stop at nothing to protect it. But I guess that all depends on what kind of lifestyle you live with your MacBook.

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For those of us who take our MacBook’s with us everywhere we go, whether it be for work or just travelling, you’re right to be a little bit concerned about keeping that gorgeous aluminium body protected. That’s where the hundreds of sleeves, covers, bags and accessories you can buy which help you to achieve that goal. However, very few actually succeed at providing around-the-clock protection. This is where Speck come in with their See Thru range of products.

I’ve been putting the See-Thru Satin through its paces over the past month and using it around the house and wherever I need to take my Mac with me. The Satin range is part of Speck’s new range of protective covers and is a spin-off from the hardshell cases they’ve been making for the past few years. Satin is offered in a range of colours and has the same protective qualities as the See-Thru shells. Where it differs is in its appearance, with Satin having a textured finish that is less transparent. The idea behind this range of protective gear is to give your Mac a matte finish in one of the vibrant colours.

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Although I was testing the black version, you can get the Satin in a bright yellow and pink as well as cranberry and purple. With your MacBook switched off, the Apple logo remains hidden underneath the cover, unlike the transparent range of See-Thru covers. However, when the Apple logo is lit up, the light from the logo does shine through as the Satin cover is cleverly designed to be semi-transparent.

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The case comes packed in two parts that you clip on to the back of the screen and the underneath of the main body. Now that the unibody Macs have all of their ports on one edge and the optical drive on the other, they’ve made the smart move to just do the cut out for the optical drive. This solves the main problem of the plastic getting in the way of plugging in bulkier flash drives as they sometimes hit against the case and don’t allow the drive to plug in properly – a problem that I discovered with the first generation of See-Thru covers.

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Speck have a good job to mould the shells around the new shape of the MacBook Pro and forms a figure-hugging protective cover. The textured finish has a rubbery feel to it and is robust enough to with stand scratches. An air event on the bottom shell provides your Mac with some breathing space to let heat escape. Although the bottom shell looks like it has an air vent spanning across the width of it, only a section of it has been cut out, with the rest just forming as part of the pattern. I thought this was a bit odd since the last generation model provided a cut out for the entire width for the air vent. However, the new MacBook’s do run much cooler than the previous generation and having fewer air vents also gives dust and debris less opportunity to get inside the case.

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The case is relatively lightweight and when you’re holding the two shells in your hands they weight next to nothing. But when you apply it to your Mac, it does make it feel a little quite a lot heavier. The exterior cover is also weighty enough to make the screen close by itself once it reaches a particular angle. It’s a bit annoying when that happens because when that happens, your Mac then goes in to sleep mode.

Included with each See-Thru Satin is a soft cloth that Speck recommends you use to clean the inside of the shell to prevent any debris getting in and scratching your Mac. After using the See-Thru Satin for a week, the glossy inside cover was quite dusty but I wouldn’t say it was dusty enough to cause any damage to the aluminium body, but just to be on the safe it is recommended to take off the cover and give it a rinse under the tap to remove the dust.

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The Speck See-Thru Satin is the best example I’ve seen so far from any case manufacturer to put out something that provides decent protection with minimal interruption or disruption. The See-Thru Satin range has a selection of colours to make your Mac a little bit different, and not just when it’s in your bag because it’s designed to provide 24/7 protection. That’s the difference with the Speck, and that’s why I think it’s a cool product. Going back to the beginning of this review, I think it’s a sin to cover up the Apple logo, but I perfectly understand why you want to give your Mac some protection.

2009-03-08 Onwah Tsang

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