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Repair guides and disassembly information for the 14-inch MacBook Pro released in January of 2023, featuring Apple-designed M2 Pro and M2 Max SoCs.

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Do hard shell cases affect performance?

So im getting ready for the next school year already and they recommend to me that I get a hard shell case for my MacBook to protect it. i went online and saw that some sources say that cases prevent the fans from pulling in cool air and traps heat inside. i also saw that it can weaken the hinges, as they are only made to hold the screen and the lid, not any other weight. what do I do????

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Hi Tay,

My wife got herself a nice MacBook Air so I went looking for a hardshell case to protect it and keep it looking new. Here are my observations.

First of all, I doubt very much the cooling is an issue. The thing is, the manufacturers of these cases pay attention to the air vents and engineer their cases so they don't interfere with cooling. The exhaust vent on the back side of the MacBook Air is completely unobstructed. Since MacBooks don't rely on radiant heat from the metal case, having a somewhat thin layer of plastic over the top of the metal isn't going to affect anything.

Neither the MacBook Air nor the Pro have intake air vents, so there's nothing about the case to be concerned with in that regard. All in all, airflow really isn't a problem with hardshell cases.

As far as the lid; I'm skeptical of claims that the extra weight is going to be a factor there. On my wife's, the shell that covers the display is a fraction of the weight of the metal shell plus the display and digitizer glass. It really doesn't weigh enough to put any significant extra strain on the hinges.

All in all, I would highly recommend getting a hardshell case. It'll provide an extra layer of protection against drops or bangs and will also have the benefit of keeping your MacBook looking pristine. They weigh almost nothing and won't interfere with cooling or usage.

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I don’t recommend hard shells as they do tend to cause more problems then they solve. The edges of these snap on cases act as a wedge which damages the display hinges. If badly designed they can block the exhaust grills. The air flows in through the gaps of the keys in the keyboard. Only use a small strip of masking tape to cover the camera if you want to block it.

I would get a good case or backpack which offers hard sides where you store the laptop, when you move about. I would apply a skin to help protect the outer surfaces.

Just make sure not to place anything on the lid that can exert pressure cracking the display.

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tayola will be eternally grateful.
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