Gear Review: Pelican 1090 Hardback Cases
Have you ever dropped an important device only to have it become damaged by force or water? Water and brunt force are the kryptonite to electronic devices and in your crazy outdoor life you don’t have any time (or extra cash) to deal with broken gear.
Pelican’s notebook computer case series tries to solve the impact and water dilemma you face on your adventures by offering a military level protection to your consumer goods. They offer the Hardback series in several different sizes. The specific model we tested is the 1090 HardBack case. This model is built to house notebook computers up to fifteen inches in size. This is the physical size restriction of the case measuring 15 x 11.32 x 1.92 inches on the inside. The model we tested also featured Pick-N-Pluck interior that is easily configured to conform to many different laptop sizes up to 15-inches.
- Shoulder strap in case you aren’t using a bag.
- Watertight enclosure.
- Hefty closing latch.
- Bombproof enclosure for impact protection, crush protection, and long life.
- Automatic pressure purge valve with Gore-Tex membrane for auto pressure balance.
- Relatively light weight for the level of protection it offers.
- Clean and professional design for all professions and walks of life.
- Lifetime Guarantee of Excellence
- Not a good fit for the Aluminum 13-inch MacBook Pro.
- Does not fit well in most backpacks (already the size of a messenger bag).
- A little cumbersome to operate in the airport TSA check points when in a hurry.
- The single direction latch is hard to open sometimes.
- The pull and pluck foam doesn’t offer a great fit for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
- Will not accommodate charging brick in case. This becomes a bigger issue when the case has its own strap and does not fit in a backpack. Now, where to put the charger…
- The original price of $100+ is a little steep for a product not specifically made for your exact computer.
Pelican has been in business for nearly forty years making cases to help professionals in a variety of markets protect their gear. Their cases are used by everyone from firefighters to policemen, to people in the military and aerospace, and of course to those in the photo and film industries and more. They have a strong reputation for building solid, virtually indestructible, cases and this case is no exception.
I chose the Hardback 1090 because it was the only size at the time that would accommodate my aluminum 13-inch MacBook Pro. The size below the Hardback 1090 was the Hardback 1080 that states it “fits up to 13- inch computers (12.3 x 9.3 x 1.5)”, but unfortunately the aluminum 13-inch MacBook Pro measures 12-13/16″ x 8-15/16″.. Bottom line, we picked the only size that would accommodate our computer and it has way too much play on the sides. (Note: Pelican has since released the Hardback 1085 measuring 14.29″ x 10.37″ x 1.97″)
We actually love the case and would only part with it for a better fitting case. It you don’t have a MacBook Pro, it’s probably not just your only choice for this level of protection, but it’s also your best choice. If you are in the market for a notebook case that will resist the elements better than you can, the Pelican Hardback case should be on your shopping list.
Product: Pelican® 1090 Hardback™ Laptop Computer Case with Pick ‘N Pluck Foam
Price: $53.00 -$101.00 (Shop Around) NOTE: Pelican 1090 case being replaced by 1095
Suggestion to Pelican: The Aluminum 13-inch MacBook Pro is a staple travel item for professional photographers, videographers, web-designers, bloggers, etc. If you keep an eye on Apple marketshare, of the over all laptop consumer market, it is undeniable that they have the market cornered for travel computers for adventurers. Apple only produces 3 MacBook Pro sizes and 2 MacBook Air models. Please consider making a Pelican case (or apple insert for existing case) for each Apple specific model or at the very least just the MackBook Pro line. IE:
Hardback Pro 13-inch: Equipped with a molded interior designed for the aluminum 13-inch MacBook Pro.
Hardback Pro 15-inch: Equipped with a molded interior designed for the aluminum 15-inch MacBook Pro.
Hardback Pro 17-inch: Equipped with a molded interior designed for the aluminum 17-inch MacBook Pro.
*Also available with Storage underneath for cables, and earbuds – your office on the go!
You can have that advice free of charge.