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This laptop case has saved me thousands of dollars in MacBook repairs

This $46 hardshell case is the only protective cover I use for my MacBook, and you should, too.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Smatree Hard Shell Laptop Sleeve

Smatree hard shell laptop sleeve - this one might be heavily used and battle-scarred, but it protects like new.

Screenshot by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The downside of taking your laptop anywhere is that there's a good chance it's going to get dropped or have something dropped on it. It's just a fact of life, no matter how careful you are. 

Also: This 4-in-1 charging cable from Nomad means I'm never without the right cable

Over the past decade, I've tested dozens, if not hundreds of laptop cases, and there's still only one brand that I trust to keep my MacBook Pro safe -- and that's Smatree hardshell cases. I've been using these cases for my MacBooks and MacBook Pros since 2019, and despite trying loads of different ones since, I can't move away. 

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The thing that drew me to the Smatree hardcase in the first place was the minimalist design. It's a case, pure and simple, and doesn't try to be any more. 

The thing I hate most about traditional laptop bags is that they get filled with stuff -- chargers (the extra-long battery life offered by the new MacBook Pros means I can get a couple of days of use from my laptop without needing a charger), external drives, cables, pens, toothbrushes, memory cards, books, and more. The result, traditionally, is you end up lugging a pile of stuff from place to place.

But that's not what happens with the Smatree hardcase. It doesn't have handles or pouches to hold chargers (although Smatree does make cases that have these features), and this keeps the case slim and lightweight.

Also: Hardware fails, but I've never lost data thanks to this backup plan

I've also battle-tested this case. And by battle-tested, what I mean is I've dropped it many times while my laptop has been inside it -- and that's happened many times. 

Some of those drops have been the 'heart-stopping, take-your-breath-away' drops where you're sure you're going to need to visit an Apple Store to get it fixed.

However, the 360-degree, all-round 600d EVA, foam and faux fur-lining protection does the job perfectly.

Also: Laptops will need to support growing AI and security priorities

What's more, the outer layer shrugs off water, dust, and dirt. I wouldn't say this case is in any way waterproof, but it keeps the rain away from my laptop if I carry it in a zip-down orientation.

And speaking of that zip, it features a double zipper for ease of access, and it's smooth and snag-free. After hundreds of uses, it still works like new.

The zip, after hundreds of uses, is smooth and like new!

The zip, after hundreds of uses, is smooth and like new.

Screenshot by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

And to top it all off, these cases are truly affordable. They range from about $30 for a case to fit an 11-inch iPad to $47 for a 16-inch case for larger laptops.

I've seen cases that cost twice as much that offer a fraction of the protection. 

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