Monday, September 15, 2008

Laptop Bags that Breeze through Airport Security

If you remember the post about the 12,000 lost laptops in airports statistic then you should understand why Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has been working with case manufacturers to create "checkpoint-friendly" laptop bags that can be passed through security without have to remove your computer.

They started allowing the bags in late August so people can protect their notebooks from being damaged, forgotten (really?!!?) and stolen (makes sense because of all the laptops that get stolen). If your wondering whether your bag will breeze through the checkpoints, then check whether it meets the TSA's criteria. The TSA has five official specifications for bags:
  1. A designated laptop-only section.
  2. A laptop-only section that completely unfolds to lay flat on the X-ray conveyor belt.
  3. No metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on top of the laptop-only section.
  4. No pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section.
  5. Nothing packed in the laptop-only section other than the computer itself.
"To meet these requirements, case makers have come up with three basic bag designs: zippered clamshells that open flat with your laptop on one side and everything else on the other; double- or triple-compartment bags that unfold and lie flat like a garment bag, again with the laptop on one side; and simple notebook sleeves that either fit into a larger bag (in which case you'll need to take the sleeve out for scanning) or are carried alone. Many existing sleeves meet these criteria, as long as they don't have pockets or metal parts on the sides. "
Thanks to Beck Waring from Computer World's article, she lists eight of the best and latest TSA-approved notebook bags to cut the time spent at the security checkpoint.

  1. Aerovation Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Bag-The first checkpoint-friendly bag created for $129.95 is "designed to give the traveler access to files, pens, cell phone and media. There's also enough room for a change of underwear and toiletries."
  2. CODi Phantom CT3 - has many comparments and is 16.5 by 6.25 by 12.25 inches and 2.5 lbs. for $225
  3. Mobile Edge ScanFast Backpack - "hold laptops with displays up to 15.4 inches, cost $99.99. Most notable, however, is the ScanFast Backpack, also $99.99, the only such model we found. It holds notebooks with up to 17-in. displays and unzips to open flat for security. The padded notebook compartment is in the back, while the front half has several zippered pockets to organize your gear and reading materials. Overall dimensions are 19 by 14 by 7 inches."
  4. Pathfinder Wheeled Checkpoint Friendly CompuBrief - It has wheels for $149!! Unless you don't like wheels then you can buy it for $99. It can hold up to a 15.4-in. display and unzips to lie flat on the security belt. The Wheeled Checkpoint Friendly CompuBrief is 14 by 8 by 17 inches and weighs 7 lbs. Both have many compartments and zippers (like many bags do...)
5. Skooba Design Checkthrough - for $139.95, it has an inside clear laptop compartment that unzips to rush through the screening. Designed to hold 15-in. laptops, the vendor claims that many 16- and compact 17-in. models will also fit. Overall dimensions are 17 by 13 by 7.5 inches; it weighs 3 lbs.

6. Solo CheckFast Laptop Clamshell -Available in November for $50!! It's a very slim and efficent bag that holds a 15.4-in display and has padded safety with comparements.

7. Targus Zip-Thru 15.4" Corporate Traveler Laptop Case- Available in October for $99.99. It has "adjustable air cushioning system around the notebook compartment that helps prevent drop damage." Has many more comparemtents and holds 15.4-in or smaller displays.

8. Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer Briefcase- A favorite amongst travelers, this $220 case has three hinged compartments that fold up into a compact case. It can fit smaller overhead bins, expands to 18.5 by 12.5 by 7.5 inches, more than 10 compartments and "comes in three sizes for 13-, 15- and 17-in. notebooks, and doubles as a laptop sleeve, complete with handles."

I don't know about you but getting through those insane security checkpoints faster has got me booking a flight. LITERALLY!

[Via ComputerWorld]

No comments: