Review: DecoCases’ Alu-Magnesium Protection Case for MacBook is “heavy” on protection - Macenstein

Review: DecoCases’ Alu-Magnesium Protection Case for MacBook is “heavy” on protection

Not too many people buy a MacBook thinking it will be as scratch and shock-resistant as a Panasonic ToughBook, but usually after a couple of days (and the first couple of scratches) many MacBook owners begin looking around the web for a laptop case of some sort.

DecoCases’ Alu-Magnesium Protection Case for MacBook/MacBook Pro aims to offer the ultimate in laptop protection by more or less turning your MacBook into a ToughBook (well, on the outside at least). Let’s see how it does.

Unlike most other laptop cases out there, the Alu-Magnesium Case (as you may guess from the name) is made from a aluminum/magnesium metal alloy instead of plastic. Aside from being sturdier, DecoCase claims the metal housing helps dissipate heat from the laptop better than plastic cases. In fact, heat relief seems to be one of the bigger selling points of this case, as your MacBook sits on a special heat conduction plate to aid in cooling your system. In my tests (running 2 QuickTime movies simultaneously for 10 minutes), I noticed a 9Ëš drop in temperature when using the DecoCase versus leaving the MacBook on a flat table.

Above: Fingerprints are rather visible on the case, although they wipe off easily enough.

The overall build quality is excellent on the DecoCase, and when closed, your laptop does not move at all, even when vigorously shaken. The interior of the case is lined with neoprene, with rubber on all 4 corners to hold the MacBook steady.

When traveling, the case can be secured shut by sliding two plastic clips along the front of the case. To aid in carrying, there are two foldable shoulder strap clips that can be attached to a strap of your choice (no strap is provided, however).

You can leave your MacBook inside the case even when working, if you’d like, as all side ports are available when the case is open. When closed, you can still charge the laptop thanks to a cut out for the power plug. This works fine on a smooth desk, however, the DecoCase does not “snap” on to your MacBook as do some plastic cases. This means if you use your MacBook on a stand (as I do) the lid will “flop” all the way open and back, due to the angle. Not a big deal, but it looks silly, so I usually take it out of the case when I am working at my desk.

In our durability tests, the case was immune to scratches brought on my items such as car keys when thrown inside a bag, but if you took a key and applied real pressure, you CAN scratch off the black coating on the case. The plastic “window” on the front is another matter, however, and we would recommend keeping all sharp objects away from that area.


Above: Woah! The DecoCase adds about a pound and a half to your MacBook’s weight.

For me, the major issue with this case is the size and weight it adds to the MacBook. The DecoCase, as you can see above, adds nearly 1.5 lbs to the overall weight of the MacBook. That’s no small amount. Also, the case adds a considerable amount of girth to the equation as well. Those of use who bought form-fitting laptop bags (I have 2 Waterfield models) will find that the DecoCase just will not fit inside a tailored laptop bag. College students who just throw their laptop in a backpack or such will have no problem with the DecoCase, but it is hard to travel light with it. Of course, if DecoCase had included a shoulder strap, perhaps for shorter trips you would not need a bag at all.

I also think that the big, “figure 8” style window on the front seems a bit odd. I can see making a hole for the Apple logo to shine through (although the plastic used in the window is much more susceptible to scratches than the case itself) but the extra “bubble” to the side just seems odd to me. It’s an aesthetic preference, of course, so to each his own.

Another design issue that surprised me slightly is that while the only vents a MacBook has on are on the back of the laptop, the only vents the case has are on the bottom. I have a plastic clip-on case for the MacBook with both sets of vents. I did not notice this caused any adverse over-heating issues, I just thought it odd, and I wondered if perhaps heat could be taken down even a few more degrees with rear vents.

I also noticed that the DecoCase’s exterior seemed to attract fingerprints and smudges quite easily. For the most part these wiped off with little effort, but then, who wants to keep wiping off their case? (Although I admit having used an iPhone for a year, I am getting used to cleaning my gadgets).


The DecoCase Alu-Magnesium Protection Case for MacBook/MacBook Pro does a good job at protecting your MacBook from pretty much all bumps, bruises, and scratches, but it is a bit like putting a Ferrari inside a tank. The increased bulk and weight may be a turn off to true “road warriors” (with the possible exception of Mad Max), although there is something nice about knowing you could crush someone’s skull with your laptop if need be. This would be a great case for careless students or someone doing editing “out in the field”, but likely not an every-day case for most users.

Price: $99

Pros: Sturdy, protects the MacBook from scratches, MacBook can be used without removing from case, aluminum tray reduces heat

Cons: Heavy, bulky, may not fit in your current laptop bag, shoulder strap not included, fingerprints show up (but are easily wiped away), personally not a big fan of the oddly shaped “window”, a bit pricey

4 Responses to “Review: DecoCases’ Alu-Magnesium Protection Case for MacBook is “heavy” on protection”
  1. TheCos says:

    Looks pretty bad-ass, but too expensive. Maybe for $60 or so.

  2. JCM says:

    That case looks like it’s ‘Built Ford Tough…’

  3. TekSavvy says:

    What a Rip…

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