I recently had the opportunity to use and test a composite case for my 12-inch MacBook from Urban Armor Gear. This manufacturer’s sample states it is military grade and drop-tested. Although I’m not about to start drop-testing my MacBook, I have no reason to believe it’s not military grade. It feels very sturdy and well-built, while remaining lightweight.
So as I just mentioned, my initial reaction is that it is really light. I’m sensitive to things that add bulk to the MacBook since it’s size and weight are a key part of what makes it so nice to travel with. The UAG case does add a bit of physical bulk – necessary to provide the protection it does, I’m sure, but it is very light. It didn’t add all that much weight to the MacBook and, for me, that is a really good thing.
The case is mostly clear (UAG calls it “ICE”) with black trim – an excellent combination with my gold and black MacBook. The black “trim” is a somewhat rubbery composite and undoubtedly where the protection comes into play – especially at the corners. I’ve had many, many cases for my phones, and tablets, and laptops over the years and this case absolutely feels like it would hold up reasonably well in the event that I dropped it – especially on those rubberized corners!
The clear case also provides decent scratch protection against the hidden dangers (like power cords) that are often thrown into my backpack without much thought.
The top and bottom parts of the case are hinged together with a leather-like connector, keeping the whole unit from becoming rigid or moving against the MacBook itself as you open and close it. This is good since I had a little initial concern because there is no cloth or soft protection on the inside of the case, but most snap on cases I’ve seen don’t have this either and it’s never been a problem on any of my MacBooks before and I’ve certainly seen no evidence of any scratching or wear in the weeks I’ve been using this case either.
The one thing that took a little “getting used to” was the way the MacBook closes when the case is on. You close it, but you need to give it a little extra push because there’s a sort of latching that happens. Additionally, when you want to open the MacBook, you don’t grab it at the normal indent in the middle, rather you need to grab it at the 2 rubberized corners and pull out slightly to overcome that latching mechanism. It’s an interesting additional bit of “protection” that should do a good job keeping the unit from accidentally opening and becoming damaged in the event of a fall.
One last thing I should point out that the case is also vented, which is a good thing since the MacBook does tend to run a bit warm. The venting should help keep the MacBook from overheating, or at least it won’t add to the heat.
So in summary, I really like this case. I like the fact that it doesn’t add too much weight and that it protects very well. If I were to be able to change anything, I’d make it so that there was no additional bulk whatsoever, but without the bumpers or the slight additional bulk, they wouldn’t offer the same level of protection, so although I’d love less bulk, I think I’ll keep it as a reasonable trade-off for the protection it offers! I highly recommend this case as an excellent layer of protection for your 12″ MacBook.
The UAG Composite Case for 12″ MacBook is available here!
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Very lightweight; easy to take on and off.
What Needs Improvement: Nothing