I generally don’t use cases on my devices. My iPhone4 is mostly naked after finding both the Apple bumper and Zaag cover to be lacking. I tend not to resell my laptops but usually keep them till they die, so the odd scratch here and there doesn’t tend to bother me. Although having said that I’m more protective of my 13″ MacBook Pro than I have of any previous laptop I’ve owned.
I’ve been attracted to the Twelve South BookBook cases for the iPhone4 and MacBook Air. I like the idea of a case making a laptop look less like a laptop and more like a book or folder when it’s closed up. The Capdase case GearZap sent me is similar in those terms.
The case arrived in a clear plastic case and was very simple to fit. The base of the laptop slides into the bottom of the case. The top attaches to the laptop lid with two elasticated straps at the top right and top left of the screen.
There are gaps for all the connection ports, optical drive, kensington lock, battery light and button. The case covers the laptop wrist-rest area, and has a giant hole where the touchpad is. When closed there is a magnetic clasp which holds the laptop shut.
In general I like the feel of the case when it’s on my laptop. The padded dimpled cover gives a reassuring feeling that the laptop is protected to some degree, but without the high quality feel (and subsequent cost) that a leather cover would have.
I also like the wrist-rest which cover the razor sharp edges the aluminium MacBook Pro has, and provide a comfortable place for my palms. The stitching around the edges and on the clasp seems pretty good, with no frayed edges or obvious signs that it would break up anytime soon.
I have a few specific issues with the cover though. Firstly I’m concerned that the cover obscures the only air vent at the back of the MacBook Pro. When playing games I’ve noticed the fan spin up much more than it does without the case on, leading me to believe the case is contributing to the heat retention. This of course means the battery runs out quicker which is less than ideal.
The laptop has a tendency to ride backwards in the case which further covers the air vent at the back of the machine, exacerbating the heating issue. I can of course pull the laptop forward again but I find myself doing this repeatedly, which is not great.
The magnetic part of the clasp is somewhat wimpy, and hangs out the front of the laptop on the desk. I’m a born fiddler which means I play with this when waiting for things to happen, or whilst watching videos on the laptop. I expect this will be the first part to go as a result.
On a cosmetic note I really don’t like the straps in the corners of the screen but I suspect I’ll get used to them. When I initially open the laptop up, I find myself pushing the screen cover down because that rides up.
The cover obscures the giant illuminated Apple logo on the back of the screen. Whether this is a good or bad thing is a question of perspective I guess Personally I don’t care but I know some people like to show off their brand allegiance to Apple. Others might appreciate the obscurity.
Overall I quite like the case, issues aside, and will probably continue to use it. It’s pretty good for the price and does give me the feeling that the laptop is somewhat more protected against scratches and knocks than it otherwise would be.