NSP Cases iMac flight case full review
f you’re a hard-working rock band, a tough flight case is de rigeur for transporting precious instruments and equipment around the world. NSP Direct Ltd – trading as The Flight Case Company and branding its products as NSP Cases – makes just such kit for protecting the similarly precious Mac computer in your life, whether it’s a little Mac mini, MacBook Pro or even 27-inch iMac.
We focused on the traditional hard cases made for the iMac, available for either 21.5- or 27-inch screen models. They take the familiar flight-case style of sober black boxes with toughened aluminium edges and reinforced metal corners, to withstand the external battering of transport by plane, lorry and car.
Inside is high-density foam, custom-shaped to fit the model for which the case is designed. The grade was chosen for its shockmounting properties and is tear-resistant to ensure longevity after frequent use.
The main carcass of the case is 6.5 mm hexaboard, a heavy-duty birch plywood, finished with scratch-resistant black phenolic wrap. Metal extrusions are 1.5 mm-thick T6 6063 grade aluminium, the standard-issue fitting for quality cases.
Closing clasps are of the Penn Elcom industrial spring-loaded type, which you revolve to fasten. These can be secured by padlock if required. Solid thick rubber feet are attached to the bottom of the case, when laid flat; and two on the bottom when the case is stood upright. Opposing these feet are a pair of wheels, and with the help of a collapsable handle on top the entire case can be simply wheeled like an armour-plated shopping trolley.
When Apple introduced the current thin-screen style iMac in late 2012, it kept the same essential design in terms of its shape and size. The cases offered by NSP Cases will fit either version of Apple’s classic all-in-one, with an additional removable piece of foam shim included to secure the new thinner model within the same case.
The wheeled versions are priced from £239 for either size of iMac.
NSP Cases iMac flight case: Softly softly
Besides the traditional hard-shelled flight cases, NSP Cases also make padded soft bags. Think laptop shoulder bag, but made for a full-size iMac.
In fact these bags even include shoulder straps to help you heft your iMac over short distances. The current 21.5- and 27-inch generations of Apple iMac weigh only 5.7 and 9.5 kg respectively, so with the additional 3 kg for these bags the complete package is quite totable.
Bags for either screen size are both priced at £119.
They are made from strong 1680D nylon and feature rigid 3 mm plastic panels within the walls for added safety. Up to 25 mm stands between the Mac and the outside world, affording a good level of protection. But note that these bags are no substitute for the tough cases, particularly if your Mac is being shipped unattended.
NSP Cases iMac flight case: Open and shut cases
We also looked at hard and soft case options for the Mac Pro (2013) – the former with a low base and large box that lowers over the new-style computing cylinder.
The latter soft case has a zip-around top, and now features an added compartment to store the Mac’s mains power cable.
Besides those we were loaned for review, NSP Cases also makes cases for older iMac sizes, the MacBook Pro, Mac mini, tower-style Mac Pro – and assorted cases for related kit such as server racks, plasma and LCD monitors. The film and TV industries are well-served with many types of cases for professional recording and broadcast equipment.
NSP Cases has been in business since 2003, originally born out of a need by its design-professional founders for reliable flight cases. They carried their skills over to making the best cases they could, and today the company makes more than 500 units a month from its workshops in Kent.
To back up its confidence in these cases, the company offers a lifetime warranty for the hard flight cases, and we were told that in real terms they expect their case products to outlast the lifespan of the Mac by two or three times. The soft cases include a one-year warranty.
Besides the extensive off-the-shelf range, NSP can also customise to suit any individual customer’s requirements – for example in shape or fitting, or just through bespoke colour and finishing options.