The Speck Products See Thru Slim Hard Shell Case for MacBook Air Review

I usually keep my MacBook Air nekkid as a jaybird because I love its skinny form factor, but the scratches I’ve begun to notice appearing on its metal shell have been causing me a bit of consternation lately. In an effort to keep my svelte beauty’s skin unblemished, I agreed to give the Speck Products See Thru Slim Hard Shell Case for MacBook Air a try.


Available in clear, pink, smoke, purple or the cranberry red I was sent, the Speck hard shell is composed of two pieces of plastic which snap onto the Air’s screen and bottom half.


Holes have been placed in the proper positions for the flip-down USB port and the AC charger on the other side. Four low profile rubber feet have been placed on the bottom’s four corners to keep the package from sliding when on a smooth surface.

Note how my wooden table’s grain is easily viewed through the colored plastic

Installing the shell is a matter of laying the shell’s pieces over their corresponding Air counterparts; they easily snap on, but can just as easily be unattached. Installed, the See Thru Case fits like a glove, and it adds very little weight and bulk to the Air. I much prefer that there is no clear window or cutout over the Apple logo area (as was seen in the Agent 18 shell Dan reviewed), but instead the translucence of the colored plastic allows the Apple logo to still be seen.


This photo shows the vent cutouts, which keeps the case from hampering the Air’s cooling system; it also shows the properly placed port cutouts.


I don’t know why, but it is important to Mac users that our glowing Apple logo be allowed to shine; the Speck case allows it to do so. Perhaps the best thing about this shell is that it does not restrict the screens hinge in any way – the screen can still be tilted back its full amount.


I am very happy with the Speck See Thru Shell. I like that it allows me to keep my Air protected without having to use a sleeve; the case is pretty, it doesn’t add a lot of bulk, and at the newly lowered sale price – it is a bargain!

The Speck Products See Thru Slim Hard Shell Case for MacBook Air is available directly from the manufacturer.

MSRP: $49.95 $14.95

What I Like: Easy to install or remove; does not add much bulk or weight; allows the Apple logo to glow through; protects the Air from scratches and other superficial dings; allows the screen to fully tilt back

What Needs Improvement: Nothing…did you see the price?!

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About the Author

Judie Lipsett Stanford
Judie is the co-owner and Editor-in-Chief of Gear Diary, which she founded in September 2006. She started in 1999 writing software reviews at the now-defunct; from mid-2000 through 2006, she wrote hardware reviews for and co-edited at The Gadgeteer. A recipient of the Sigma Kappa Colby Award for Technology, Judie is best known for her device-agnostic approach, deep-dive reviews, and enjoyment of exploring the latest tech, gadgets, and gear.

8 Comments on "The Speck Products See Thru Slim Hard Shell Case for MacBook Air Review"

  1. I've been using a Speck clear case on my 13″ Alum. MacBook since day one and I love it. Sure it would be nice to have that extra bit of thin lightness but the tradeoff for total protection and a pristine MacBook is huge. My only wish… LOVE the $15 price… I paid 3 times that.

  2. Yeah, I was shocked at the difference between the MSRP and the sale price. I
    guess you paid the early adopter tax. Not that I would know anything about
    it. 😉

  3. Kerry Woo | April 9, 2009 at 4:57 am |

    I can’t recall if it was you Dan that recommended the Speck case – but I’m using the Speck clear case on the MacBookAir. The price is a no brainer to purchase. I probably should pick up extra case in another tint. Nice review Judie; echoed my sentiments exactly.

  4. raymondu999 | April 9, 2009 at 12:10 am |

    I might've gotten one of these for my MacBook Pro. THe things keeping me off was the plastic finish, and the fact that I think the old-generation Speck case warped my old-gen MacBook Pro back then.

  5. I just bought 3 of these, a month a ago – they were on sale, but at twice the price! You do have to remember to take them off every so often to clean underneath, 'cos the plastic builds up quite a static charge and dirt gets in through the cutouts and sometimes leaves fine scratches. I left one on my Macbook Pro for a year, and I was quite horrified when I took the Speck cover off.

  6. Ray- thanks for the tip. Will have to do so in a bit… holding my breath until then…

  7. I need something for my new Netbook. It doesn't fit in the proporta gadget bag.

  8. What size is it? You might want to try one of the Tom Bihn 'Cells'. The Brain Cell is hard sided and the Soft Cell is… soft-sided. It's really more of a sleeve than a bag. Or if you fly a lot, checkout the TSA friendly Checkpoint Flyer. I like Knomo too – very stylish – but the smallest bags/sleeves they have are MacBook Air sized.

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