Speck’s SeeThru hard shell protects MacBook Pro (Updated) | iLounge Backstage


Speck’s SeeThru hard shell protects MacBook Pro (Updated)

imageIf you’re wanting to add some protection and a new look to your MacBook Pro, check out the SeeThru hard case from Speck Products. The longtime iPod accessory maker says the two-piece case features an “easy snap-on design” and protects the MacBook Pro from scratches and dings. The SeeThru is made from polycarbonate plastic, comes in clear or translucent red, and allows access to all ports and the disc drive. The case will set you back $40. Speck says a similar version is coming next month for the 13-inch MacBook.

Updated: From iLounge’s Jeremy Horwitz: Having used SeeThru now with a 15” MacBook Pro for several days, I have to say that I’m impressed - despite my initial concerns that the casing might trap heat and increase the already woeful issues my machine had with burning temperatures, it actually does the opposite: grooves on the bottom properly dissipate the heat and render the MBP capable of being used more comfortably on a bed. Speck’s design team also did a surprisingly good job of enhancing the computer’s aesthetic with the case, which has just enough accenting to bring out some of the nice details in the existing MBP shell - this is a good-looking enclosure.

There’s one and only one issue here in my mind: Apple markets the MBP as an inch-thick machine, and See-Thru basically chucks that out the window, turning my super-slim laptop into… well, a less slim, more non-Pro MacBook, but one that can actually be used on your lap. If you’re open to that compromise, you shouldn’t wait to try one of the SeeThrus - they’re great.

Update 2 (Mar 2, 2007): Speck has recently released SeeThru for the 13” MacBook - it’s essentially the same as the prior version, only sized for the body and ports of the smaller MacBook. We received a sample in blue, and are posting a handful of pictures here for those interested. Find them by clicking on the article’s title above.

« U.K. Mac Expo - a complete bust?

Motorola KRZR arrives »

Related Stories



I like it! I’ve got a MacBook at the moment and I don’t think it needs one, but I’m planning on getting a C2D MBP whenever they come out… and if the case isn’t redesigned, I think I’ll be getting one of these…

Posted by Piarco75 on October 18, 2006 at 12:30 PM (CDT)


I ordered mine yesterday. I take my MBP on sight alot and don’t mind a little extra padding, but more importantly I comute by bicycle and love having another layer of protection should I get into an accident. I will post my impressions of it when it gets here.

Posted by divigation on October 18, 2006 at 12:39 PM (CDT)


I think this is a great idea and have actually hoped for something like this. I don’t have a macbook or macbook pro but hopefully my future laptop will have an accessory like htis

Posted by anonymous on October 18, 2006 at 4:50 PM (CDT)


I definitely think it looks like its asking for trouble…seems like a cool idea, but I don’t see how the computer won’t over heat.

It does have a small vent on the bottom, but the wrist rests already overheat, and putting a piece of enventilated plastic over it…seems kidna stupid

But it looks cool and thats all that matters right? (sarcastic voice)

Posted by Brad on October 18, 2006 at 8:35 PM (CDT)


plastic conducts heat. you know?

Posted by reckless on October 19, 2006 at 11:58 AM (CDT)


Reckless, I did not say that, but it will hold heat in.  Why do you think the iBook G4s couldn’t run in clamshell mode without a hack?  Because they did not dissipate heat well enough.  The PowerBook G4 on the other hand, being aluminum, did disipate heat easily, thus, clamshell mode was enabled.

Posted by Brad on October 19, 2006 at 4:38 PM (CDT)


Oh, and I am not saying that the plastic will actually get hot, because I am sure it won’t, but the aluminum that is being suffocated under the plastic will.

That is what I was getting at, but I see how you read it differently.

Posted by Brad on October 19, 2006 at 7:24 PM (CDT)


Brad, the shell only covers the exterior of the MBP on the top and bottom of the case, it doesn’t have anything that covers the interior (wrist rests, etc.).  And there seem to be a ton of ventilation slots on the bottom, so it seems like Speck has taken these potential issues into acocunt.

Posted by Zadillo on October 25, 2006 at 2:34 PM (CDT)


I have been using my new case since Monday and have to say that I am impressed with the lack of heat since applying the case to my MBP. At home I use the machine on an iRiver stand and was not particularly concerned, but at work it just sits on my desk cranking away and is prone to heat issues. With the new case I honestly think that the machine does not get as hot, Horwitz’s update seems to confirm this. The case fits and looks great. My only complaint is inevitable, there is a loss of about a quarter of a inch of tilt from the monitor when opening the MBP up as the top and bottom covers meet at the joint. If you need the extreme angle of the display when it is all the way open, you will be annoyed. That being said, it is a wonderful addition to my MBP. My problem is that I will be upgrading my MBP to the new lineup (should be in store today!) and with the addition of the Firewire 800 port, I only got to use my Speck Case for a few days before it was outdated. On the upside, whoever gets this machine will have the pleasure of a brand new case. I am very pleased with the case and will buy another from Speck once they update it to have the new port alignments.

Posted by divigation on October 26, 2006 at 9:13 AM (CDT)


If they’d make this for the 17” I’d be all over it!

Posted by Cool Cat on October 26, 2006 at 11:28 AM (CDT)


or…you just keep your MBP caseless, and when you want to use it in bed on your lap, kick up the fan speed:


Posted by OnlyShawn on October 26, 2006 at 1:08 PM (CDT)


i’ve used that fan program (smcfancontrol), and love it.  mentioned it here: http://onlyshawn.blogspot.com/2006/10/if-youve-got-macbook-proor-macbookor.html

couple other applicable programs there…you really can end up getting your MBP down to very usable temperatures.  I wouldn’t want to have the fan blowing harder ALL the time, as that would probably affect fan life, but for the occasions when you need it, it’s good to have. :)

and then i don’t need to “thickify” my awesomely thin laptop.

Posted by OnlyShawn on October 26, 2006 at 1:10 PM (CDT)


I adore your red hard cover for the MAC Books. I desperately want one for my iBook G4 12”. PLEASE… so many of us are still in MAC-bliss with our late model iBooks and would buy these if you would hust make them available. Let me know if it’s at all possible. Thanks for yoiur creativity & style.

Posted by TheBlackGoose on June 28, 2007 at 2:25 AM (CDT)


I agree, I would love to get one for my iBook as well, hopefully Speck will make one.

Posted by Phillip on January 14, 2008 at 11:14 AM (CST)


sooo many people out there (including me) have ibook G4s.. we feel left out!
my computer is my baby, i bought her a new hard drive.. converted her original one into an external one for back up.. i am all over my computer.
make covers for ibooks too!!
its great!

Posted by an on March 13, 2008 at 3:53 PM (CDT)


Unfotunately I just purchased the Speck hard case for my 15” MBP and completely disagree with both the picture and depiction of heat trap.  Quite the contrary.  In fact the picture shows two lines of vents both at the top and bottom.  The fact is, Speck does not make that anymore.  The only they make has it only at the top.  My experience is the MBP gets so hot that I cannot touch the bottom or the areas above the speakers for any prolonged period of time because the case essentially superheats the computer from the inside out.  I bought it two days ago and as an engineer myself, have serious concerns what the developers what they were thinking. It looks nice, but that is all.  For anyone to twist this to try to convince people this model vents heat, quite frankly they’re complete crazy.  Once I took the Hard cover off,  dropped from absolutely super hot to barely warm.  I’m returning this product.

Posted by Harrier on August 6, 2008 at 4:04 AM (CDT)


The opening angle already sucked big time of my MBP, but the addition of the Speck nakes it unworkable.

Posted by Mc Prince on December 6, 2008 at 7:42 PM (CST)


Hi, sorry if somebody posted about this but, I just bought a used powerbook g4 on ebay and i’d like a hard shell case for it, do you make any for those? will the macbook pro case fit it? they look similar.

Posted by Daniel on February 12, 2009 at 12:48 AM (CST)


I’m also looking for hard shell for PowerBook G4. Have you found something already?

Posted by Krzysztof on March 31, 2009 at 4:52 AM (CDT)



I am a bot frustrated. I work hard for my toys and the one thing I want more then anything in the world is a red see thru cover for my powerbook G4 (yea I know its a dinasor but we been thru a lot fresh out the box ok) I would really like to get one for her. I have a corver that got creased up a little bit from when I fell with the laptop in transport. I would really like one. Red is my favorite color and Mac is my favorite computer. Thanks for your response.

Roger Rael

Posted by BIG ROG on January 2, 2012 at 1:48 AM (CST)

If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.

Commenting is not available in this channel entry.
iLounge Weekly

Recent News

Recent Reviews

Recent Articles

Sign up for the iLounge Weekly Newsletter

iLounge is an independent resource for all things iPod, iPhone, iPad, and beyond.
iPod, iPhone, iPad, iTunes, Apple TV, Mac, and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc.
iLounge is © 2001 - 2018 iLounge, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Terms of Use | Privacy Policy