Hardshells are not necessarily hard, but are definitely waterproof. Hardshell refers to a waterproof membrane that is incorporated in the fabric of a jacket to keep you dry, inside and out.
Fabric technology is advanced and impressive these days and waterproof jackets or hardshell jackets can combine so many features including softness, breathability and windproofness. But hardshells are always waterproof. Such clothing can be made from Gore-Tex for example, or other advanced storm and waterproof fabrics and membranes. No longer is the word hardshell descriptive of the feel of the fabric as it once was.