My Unibody MacBook Pro laptop is one of the thinnest notebooks around. Within a few weeks of buying it, however, I realized that I needed something to protect it from dents and scratches. I had a neoprene sleeve that I put it in when I carried it around in my backpack, but somehow I still managed to find a few blemishes around the edges of the aluminum shell. Speck Products offers a lot of accessories for most laptops and also for iPods and iPhones. The particular hard shell case I chose is made out of polycarbonate plastic and comes in seven colors: Aqua, Clear, Green, Hazard Orange, Pink, Purple or Red. Speck has these for the list price of $49.95, but I got mine with a coupon code (20% off) for $39.96 plus shipping and tax.
My case is blue (Aqua) and fits a 15-inch laptop. The case is 14.5 inches long and 10.0 inches wide. It has a height of 1.25 inches and a weight of 14.5 oz. The case includes a top piece and a bottom piece. They snap on and stay on, but they are also very easy to remove to clean your laptop. I've noticed little pieces of dust and dirt do get in around the edges; I have to clean them out about once a month or so.
When this case is on my MacBook Pro, I have no problem accessing all the ports and important components. There are holes cut out on the front for the microphone and the place where you put your fingers to open the laptop. On the left side, Speck has left a large open area for the USB, Ethernet, FireWire, audio in and out, and DVI ports, the SD card slot, and the MagSafe adapter.
On the right, there is a hole over the optical drive so you can use CDs and DVDs without having to take the case off, and you can also use the security port to prevent your laptop from being stolen without removing the case. If the thief wanted your Speck case, however, there is nothing to prevent it from easily popping off even if you have your laptop secured with a lock. The top case does not obscure the iSight camera/webcam that is at the top of the MacBook Pro's screen.
The only thing you can't access with the case on is the battery. You do have to remove the bottom half of the case to take out the battery. The bottom has vents for air circulation and heat dispersal, and there are rubber feet on each corner to keep your laptop from sliding around.
The top piece has the Speck Logo and a cutout that exactly fits over Apple's logo in the center of the back of the screen. It is just as easy to open the laptop with the case on as it is without the case, and the screen still has its full range of motion when the case is on.
I haven't worried about scratching or denting my laptop since I got this case, and I can enjoy my computer instead of handling it carefully and worrying about every cosmetic flaw. This is the best investment you can make if you have one of the newer MacBook Pros.
I've had Apple laptops since 2002, and I have to say I never needed any type of hard shell case until Apple started making their notebooks thinner. My computer is now a year old, and I know that when I eventually replace it I will be ordering a Speck case to go with it.