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Does Your MacBook Need a Case?

MacBook in a users hand while walking
Farknot Architect/Shutterstock.com

MacBooks are a big investment, which is why many owners consider getting a MacBook case, sleeve, or skin to keep it safe from scratches and other damage. Being an Apple device means endless accessory options, but do you even need a MacBook case?

While a case and screen protector is a wise idea for something like an iPad, where you’re constantly using it on the go and touching the display, things are a bit different regarding laptops. Ultimately, though, it all depends on how and where you use the MacBook, and here’s why.

MacBooks Are Pretty Durable

A rose gold MacBook Air on a table.

Apple designs its laptops with a single unibody aluminum frame, which is quite resistant to daily wear and tear. All the ports are solid and robust, meaning the most at-risk parts are the screen and keyboard. However, each MacBook screen has a durable scratch-resistant glass panel covering the display. Apple’s Macbooks are pretty durable.

While your Macbook can last for years with just a little care and caution, it only takes one accident to turn it into a paperweight that requires an expensive screen repair.

It Depends on How You Use It

New Apple MacBook 16-inch with apps

Honestly, how many of you use your MacBook on your lap? Most laptops end up on a desk or table, meaning they’re relatively safe when it comes to life’s daily hazards.

Then again, that all depends on how you use yours. If it’s always on the couch or dinner table, it’s certainly at a higher risk of getting bumped, dropped, or damaged. Many business professionals take their MacBook anywhere and everywhere, like a photographer, meaning it’s more susceptible to accidents.

If you’re constantly on the go, a mobile professional, a road warrior, or take your MacBook out of the house often, you may benefit from a case or sleeve. Obviously, water can quickly damage your laptop, but a case may help with little bumps along the way day in and day out.

For those with a MacBook that never leaves their home office, you likely don’t need a case.

Can a MacBook Case Affect Performance?

Satechi Pro Hub Max dongle for MacBook

When you buy a MacBook, you know you’re getting a computer designed to run like a well-oiled machine. Apple builds each one to work perfectly out of the box, accept various accessories, and dissipate heat as necessary from specific areas. For most, air flows through vents on the bottom or the gap between the screen hinge and the body.

Getting a case for your MacBook can undoubtedly help keep it safe, but buying a cheap and poorly designed case could affect performance or limit accessories. For example, I love my Satechi Pro Hub Max dongle, but it didn’t work with the case on my MacBook Pro 16-inch. And it’s not the only accessory with that problem.

Another thing you’ll want to consider is heat. Apple’s MacBook dissipates heat when needed, and the aluminum design helps with that. Some poorly designed cases (or hardcovers) could prevent the machine from working as expected. We’ve seen some cheap cases on Amazon that cover the vents on the bottom, and technically a case could limit heat dissipation by trapping it inside.

Some hard cases could even scratch the corners of your MacBook over time, potentially limiting resale value, but I’ve never experienced that on any of the cases I’ve owned.

Most cases from known manufacturers should keep it safe without limiting ventilation or performance. MacBook skins, like a dBrand skin, are a popular option that typically only covers the top, which won’t cause any problems.

MacBook Cases Are Stylish and Help it Stand Out

dbrand leather skin

Perhaps the biggest reason most people get a MacBook case or skin is to help it stand out, be fashionable, or add a little style. You can get a MacBook Pro case to change the color, hide the Apple logo, or be a fashion statement. Or skins can keep the top safe from scratches and dings, too.

If you’re constantly out and about and want your MacBook to stand out in the crowd, consider getting a quality case. Or, if you work in an office with multiple MacBook users, a case or cover will make it easy to differentiate yours from everyone else.

Still Want a Case for Your MacBook?

MacBook cases are a great way to make your device stand out or keep it safe from life’s daily hazards if you’re always on the go. Most of them are inexpensive, especially considering the high price of the laptop itself. MacBook cases are easy to install, give you a little peace of mind, keep it scratch-free longer, and make it easier to sell when you upgrade in a few years.

If you’re ready to get a case for your MacBook, here are a few great options worth considering:

SUPCASE Unicorn Beetle Case for MacBook Pro 13 Inch (2022-2016) M2/M1 A2338 A2251 A2289 A1706 A1708 A1989 A2159, Slim Rubberized TPU Bumper Cover with Touch Bar and Touch ID (Black)

If you're a hard-working professional that needs total MacBook protection, this rubberized bumper case could do the trick.

dbrand MacBook Skins

dbrand’s MacBook skins come in a slew of colors, materials, and textures perfect for any style or occasion, starting at $24.95.

Incase Hardshell Dot Case for Mac

A quality hard case for your MacBook can give you peace of mind at you head to work. Give the Incase Dot Hardshell a try for $55.

Cory Gunther Cory Gunther
Cory Gunther has been writing about phones, Android, cars, and technology in general for over a decade. He's a staff writer for Review Geek covering roundups, EVs, and news. He's previously written for GottaBeMobile, SlashGear, AndroidCentral, and InputMag, and he's written over 9,000 articles. Read Full Bio »