8 Laptop Bags That Will Help You Speed Through Airport Security

These new TSA-approved checkpoint-friendly bags mean you don't have to pull your laptop out at airport security.

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Skooba Design Checkthrough

Set for delivery in October, the Skooba Design Checkthrough ($139.95) is a functional black briefcase with a zippered double-compartment design. The laptop compartment has a clear window on the inside that lets the screener see the computer, which will hopefully make it less likely that you'll ever be required to take it out for screening. On the other side, you'll find loads of pockets and organizers, about 20 in total, including a drop-down workstation area with a file compartment.

The bag will fold back into place when you pick it up by the handle, so you can zip it again at your leisure.

TSA-friendly bags

Although it's 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. and is made of 1680D ballistic nylon with a nylon interior.

Skooba also makes a line of checkpoint-friendly laptop sleeves.

Solo CheckFast Laptop Clamshell

Solo's CheckFast Laptop Clamshell is so new that when this was being written, it wasn't even up on the company's Web site; it's slated to be available in November.

TSA-friendly bags

Constructed of ballistic polyester, it's also the least expensive bag in our lineup by far -- at $49.99 it's half the price of the Targus and Mobile Edge bags. It has a very space-efficient slim clamshell design that holds your laptop in padded safety on one side, yet has enough pockets on the other for the usual assortment of accessories. At 15.5 by 11.5 by 4 inches, it's the ideal nonbulky laptop bag, and looks good too, with a trim black exterior and gray interior.

The CheckFast holds laptops with up to 15.4-in. displays, and has a mesh window on the interior of the padded laptop side for visual screening. Solo also makes checkpoint-friendly laptop sleeves and will offer a Netbook Mini Instant-Messenger bag that holds an 11-in. mininotebook.

Targus Zip-Thru 15.4" Corporate Traveler Laptop Case

TSA-friendly bags

Targus' Zip-Thru bag ($99.99) won't be available until October, but shares many features with other popular Targus bags, such as the adjustable air cushioning system around the notebook compartment that helps prevent drop damage. It has a split design that unzips to lie flat, and an interior workstation panel equipped with a business card holder, pen loops, file section and accessory compartments.

Made of 1680 black ballistic Denier nylon, the Zip-Thru holds laptops up to 15.4 inches (it offers adjustable cushions inside of the case to protect your laptop and provide a snug fit for smaller laptops), and has overall dimensions of 17 by 14 by 6.5 inches and weighs 3.74 lbs.

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer Briefcase

TSA-friendly bags

At $220, the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer Briefcase is one of the most expensive bags in our list but also our favorite, thanks to its good looks, expert pocketry, and three hinged compartments that fold up into a compact case. It should fit even in the smaller overhead bins in commuter planes, yet still hold all your gear handily. It expands to 18.5 by 12.5 by 7.5 inches, and holds a full 1375 cubic inches, not including your laptop. Yet it weighs only 2.6 lbs., one of the lightest cases we surveyed.

The bag has more than 10 pockets, is durably constructed of 1050D ballistic nylon and 500D Cordura, and is lined with Dyneema/nylon ripstop. The detachable laptop compartment has high-density molded foam protection, comes in three sizes for 13-, 15- and 17-in. notebooks, and doubles as a laptop sleeve, complete with handles.

This story, "8 Laptop Bags That Will Help You Speed Through Airport Security" was originally published by Computerworld.

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Copyright © 2008 IDG Communications, Inc.

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