I’ve never been one to put my devices into cases. I’ve felt that if they were made to be cased, then the designer would have shipped them with a case. I do see why someone would want a case, but it’s not been an accessory that I’ve ever put a lot of stock in. One of the issues I have is that cases — no matter how thin they are — always seem to add weight. It’s discouraging to have a lightweight case for my phone or laptop only to find that it suddenly makes my device feel like a brick when it’s installed. Unfortunately, this is what I found to be true with the UAG Ice Case for the new MacBook Pro. The case feels lighten its own, but when you first install it on the MacBook Pro, it feels like I’ve added a small weight. That said, the Ice Case does give your Mac great protection from scratches, drops, and dings.
UAG’s Ice Case is part of the Plasma series of cases, which means it offers three layers of protection — Armor Shell, Shock Cushions, and Impact Resistant Rubber. The case features a Dual-Lock closure, tactile grip, and cooling vents to prevent your machine from overheating. It’s classified as ‘feather-light’, but as I mentioned above, sometimes that can be a bit deceiving. Because the case is designed by UAG, it also adheres to military drop-test standards (MIL-STD 810G-516.6). To achieve their military drop test standards, UAG accessories must do the following:
- Survive a drop from a height of 48 inches on the face, each corner, and the back
- A device must be dropped a total of 26 times and function properly afterward
I wanted to test this certification by dropping my new MacBook Pro with TouchBar on a tile floor but Robyn, the other Co-Founder of MacSources, looked at me like I was crazy and said, “No.” With a sad, disappointed face, I refrained from doing my own drop test. If it wouldn’t be for her common sense, I would have nothing nice. I do think that based off of the feel and design of the case that it could sustain a beating if needed.
Installation isn’t very difficult as long as you follow the guidelines. First of all, please note that this particular case is made to fit the 4th generation of MacBook Pro (Oct 2016 and newer) and not the 3rd generation MBP (Mid 2012 and newer). The form factors of the two body types are different. Second, if you slide the base of the laptop into the base of the case first, the rest of the case will pop together around the sides and cover of the machine. You might end up with a couple of fingerprints on your screen, but once your laptop is securely in place, you shouldn’t have any issues with scratches or dents to the exterior of the laptop body.
The case does add just a little bit of size bulk so you might have some issues with fitting the laptop into slim-fitting bags. I am currently using a Lowepro Camera/Laptop backpack and I didn’t have any issues with it fitting correctly, but some smaller bags could present a problem.
My first impression of the Ice Case from UAG was: “Wow, this is really making my laptop feel heavier,” but after a short time, the slightly increased weight was something I no longer recognized. I really wanted to point that out for people who might think when first installing the case that the extra weight outweighs the protection the case provides. Trust me, I try to do as much as I can with lightweight gear — it’s an obsession of mine. So for me to say that you hardly notice the extra weight within a few minutes of use is really saying something.
If you want solid protection for your MacBook Pro, you couldn’t get much more than what is offered by the Ice Case. With its military drop test standard certification and the Plasma three-layer protection, it’s really going to be hard for other cases to stand up to the level of protection that UAG provides with this case. One other thing I really appreciate about this case is that it’s clear and you can see the natural design of the MacBook Pro. Some cases really mask that and I love the style of the laptop so much that I hate to cover it. The Ice Case simply redefines the style and makes it more unique.