Before setting forth on my travels in July I decided to try one of Speck's clear plastic cases for my MacBook Pro. I chose the clear plastic, but other colours are available. The clear version is unobtrusive and fits securely to become an integral part of the computer body.
At £39.95 (from the Apple Store in London) it wasn't particularly cheap, but I now have reason to think it has been one of my best investments. Last night the unthinkable happened: my new MBP fell three feet onto a hard tile surface. It was open at the time and was dragged off a table by an attached ethernet cable. As I scrambled to pick up the pieces I expected the worst. Certainly, if the computer had been unprotected there would have been considerable cosmetic damage.
I was pretty stunned to find absolutely no damage. Even the Speck plastic showed no sign of scratches or impact abrasion and the computer screen opened and closed without any obvious signs of trouble. It was still working, too, and I had reason to thank my decision to go for the solid-state disk which is less susceptible to trauma.
Having the case permanently fixed to the computer is a good safety precaution. Especially at airports, where the laptop has to be removed for inspection, there is always a danger of dropping it. The Speck case, unlike most protection, is fixed and is seen as part of the computer. I haven't been asked to take it off at security checks. Reading the customer reviews in the Apple Store I see that some buyers have complained that the case is hard to remove. I haven't tried taking it off yet, but will do so periodically to clean inside and make sure there is no abrasive dust around.
So the £39.95 has proved to be a wonderful investment for me and I would recommend the Speck range wholeheartedly as a first line of defence for any aluminium-bodied MacBook.