Portable Armor for your MacBook Pro 15″ 4th generation.

Similar to my aversion to naked iPhones in the wild, I cannot fathom leaving my MacBook Pro unadorned; even with the Apple Cares+ safety net, a protective shell was an absolute necessity for me.  When I decided to upgrade from the 2015 MacBook Pro 15” to a newer MacBook Pro 15” with Touch Bar, I knew that I wanted a reliable armor.  Luckily, I knew that UAG (Urban Armor Gear) produced quality products.  With that in mind, they quickly rose to the top of my choice list.  I had previously tried a variety of sleeves/zip-up carry bags, but they tended to unacceptably allow the MacBook to slide around.  That experience was not found with the UAG MacBook Pro case.  When traveling to the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), in Las Vegas, Nevada, a few years ago, I found my MacBook Pro safely nestled within the UAG armor did quite well. I loved the secure closure, the plastic hardshell, the rubberized feet, the black side embellishments, and the full access to the charging ports.  Excitedly, the new model provided the same degree of protection and enjoyable features.  

The UAG Plasma Series case arrived in a classy 10 inches wide by 14 1/4 inches tall by 1 1/8 inches wide retail hanging package.  The cover displayed the large, bold-black UAG logo across the top and the “Plasma Series Three Layer Protection” name along the bottom of the panel in white/orange-colored font.  Just to the right of the product name, you will see a male downhill skier sporting the same black/orange color palette.  I loved the theme and the continued use of the elements throughout the packaging experience.  Along the center of the panel, the company provided three impressive features.  First, they provided a photograph-quality image of an encased MacBook Pro just above the “Plasma Series” name.  I loved the oblique angle, the slightly opened status of the MacBook Pro, and the grey/black color scheme.  To the right of the image, UAG provided a black/orange “THREE LAYER PROTECTION” icon.  Just above the image, you will find the black/orange Drop Tested icon, and “DESIGNED FOR MacBook Pro 15-inch 4th Generation with Touch Bar.”  The second main feature of the cover was a rhomboid-shaped cutout, which allowed the user to feel the rubberized accent material of the case.  Despite the effort to capture my attention, the first two features played second fiddle to the large clear window.  The ability to directly visualize the product had to be my favorite feature of the packaging. 

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The side panels each displayed a UAG name graphic with “Rugged, Lightweight Drop-Tested Protection” and a Plasma Series Three Layer Protection graphic.  The top panel housed the black plastic hanging tab, the UAG name and alike the cover, noted that the case was designed for the 4th Generation MacBook Pro with Touch Bar.  The bottom panel combined the white/orange “Designed for MacBook Pro 15-inch” icon and the same UAG graphic as the side panels. Pleased with the cover panel, I felt that the supporting side/top/bottom panels were a bit redundant.  The back panel, however, added a great deal to the overall feel.  Along the top of the panel, you will find a photograph-quality labeled picture of the UAG case. Beneath the picture, you will find five icons detailing the product features: 1. Dual lock closure. 2. Impact-resistant. 3. Feather-light. 4. Tactile grip. 5. Cooling vents.  Designed for 10/2016 and newer 4th Generation MacBook Pro 15” with Thunderbolt 3 & Touch Bar, the case will not work with older Retina Display MacBook Pro models. The three-layer protection was further detailed in tabular and visual diagram forms along the bottom of the panel.  Along each of the corners, you can enjoy an armor shell, shock cushions, and impact-resistant rubber.

Pleased with the outer presentation, I excitedly opened the packaging to evaluate the Plasma Case.  The 13.65-ounce plastic case measured 14 1/4 inches long by 9 7/8 inches wide by 1 1/8 inches thick.  The 6 7/8 inches long by 3 inches wide clear plastic window was surrounded by semi-opaque plastic, then by clear trapezoidal shapes, and ultimately by the same semi-opaque frosted plastic. The outer rim was accented with a smooth black plastic material, which widened at each of the corners.  Along the back of the case, you will find a rubberized 4 1/4 inches wide octagonal hinge.  Along the front, you will find a black plastic embellishment with raised chrome-colored UAG.  Flipping the case onto its cover, I was pleased to find numerous oval-shaped ventilation ports instead of a solid back panel.  Along each of the four corners, you will find a 7/8 inches diameter raised plastic foot with a centralized 1/2 inch diameter rubberized anti-slip foot. To open the dual-lock closure system of the case, grip either of the front corners and lift upward on the chrome UAG rubberized lock.  I removed the internal cardboard instruction manual, perused the dual-lock closure open/close icons, and then flipped the cardboard panel over.  With so much of the case/packaging in shades of grey, I was surprised to find blue embellishments on the panel.  UAG provided examples of the MacBook Pro Case, iPhone Case, and iPad Case.  Along the bottom of the panel, you will find well-diagramed installation instructions.  

To install the case, I fully opened my MacBook Pro, inserted the front lip of the keyboard into the case and then pressed the back of the keyboard down into the case.  I was pleased to hear the snap as the side plastic gripped my MacBook because it suggested a tight fit.  Next, I lifted the back cover over the monitor section of my MacBook Pro and snapped the corners, the sides and the top over the panel.  When fully installed, the case provided a secure armor around the MacBook.  Having installed several previous models of the case, I enjoyed the quick/effortless installation process.  If you need additional assistance beyond the visually diagramed instruction manual, you can scan the included QR code, or you can navigate to http://www.urbanarmorgear.com/MacBook-install for further assistance.  Astonishingly, when combined with the UAG case, the MacBook Pro 15” 4th Generation weighed 78.27 ounces.  I was very pleased with the posterior hinge, with the protection for the screen/keyboard, with the lower vents, and with the lock-closure system.  I do not fear putting my MacBook Pro into my backpack, nor do I worry about scuffing the top/bottom when using it. 

In conclusion, UAG worked their marketing magic with the Plasma series case experience.  I am a big fan of their artistic packaging design, color scheme, and layout.  At the risk of sounding too cliche, I had no issues judging this book by its cover.  I knew, with certainty, that the case would be great based simply on the fact that UAG utilized resources to woo us with their shiny graphics and designs.  If you are looking for a quality built, durable/secure, lightweight MacBook Pro 15” 4th Generation Case, look no further than the UAG Plasma Series Case. 

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