Macally BookShell2 full review

Mac accessory specialist MacAlly produces a range of hard case covers to help protect and keep clean most Apple laptops. The BookShell2 is a leather-look protective cover for the 13in aluminium unibody MacBook introduced last year. It comes wrapped around a card and foam MacBook complete with printed connections so you can see how it will look once snapped in place. Instructions are minimal so it’s just as well you get a visual clue on how to clip what is actually two covers – one for the base, one for the screen – to your MacBook.

The process is surprisingly simple, helped by the spaces left to ensure your power lead and USB cables can be connected. Several small lips are used to help hold the covers in place when you clip the covers on. Although a tight fit, it doesn't feel anything is likely to snap or break by forcing the covers on. The suede-style inner lining is soft to touch and should help prevent your MacBook scuffing up.

One noticeable issue was the BookShell2 didn't initially fit perfectly, a slight kink meant the two halves didn't sit true. A bit of manipulation, pressing the bottom half of the case into the back of the MacBook resolved this. Hopefully this is the exception, not the rule.

The rear of the case, where your MacBook's hinge is, is open and unprotected, but this allows for the necessary ventilation needed to make certain your laptop doesn't become a ball of flame. There was no noticeable additional heat issues with the case in place, although the further you attempt to open your laptop the closer the two halves come to restricting the cooling process.

Note that you will need to select the right hard case cover with care. The BookShell2 isn't compatible with the similar-sized MacBook Air, for instance, as the USB and power connections are different.

Styling is minimal, just a discreet embossed MacAlly emblem with no sign of an Apple symbol, which may be a negative for those who like being seen with a cool Mac. The BookShell2 is available in designer red and executive black.

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