Job 1: Protect Your Notebook PC Investment

How to get the right carrying case for your laptop

By Rick Telberg
for Hewlett Packard

Does your laptop case reflect your work and travel style? Or is it the same one you’ve had for years—possibly included with a former laptop purchase?

Too many laptop users just use whatever is handy to tote their laptops, regardless of whether it’s the right choice.

Why the brouhaha over a simple case? After all, the point of a laptop case is just carrying your laptop. Isn’t it?

Actually, that’s just half the story—and maybe not even the more important half. The above statement about moving a laptop from one place to another is true, as far as it goes. But it’s missing one key word that makes all the difference: Safely. A major purpose of a laptop case is to safely move a laptop from one place to another.

That might seem like an obvious conclusion, but if your laptop case is not properly set up for your laptop, don’t assume it’s providing the necessary degree of protection. In this situation, one size definitely does not fit all!

There are different levels of protection, and these require different levels of fit. If all you want to do is make sure that your laptop doesn’t get scratched in moving, a slipcase is fine. These are often made of neoprene—wet suit material—and provide good scratch resistance, but little protection beyond that. Padded slipcases provide a bit more protection than a slipcase, but not much more.

The most vulnerable parts of your laptop are the hard disk drive, and the LCD screen. The hard disk is vulnerable to impact shock, while even a slight bit of weight or something as innocuous as a paperback book incorrectly positioned can crack an LCD display.

The best way to approach and minimize the risk of laptop damage is to first select a type of laptop case that works with your travel needs. If you frequently fly to client sites or conferences, a rolling case with an extendable handle makes it easier to maneuver around airports and down airplane aisles. A messenger style case is good for more casual use, and if you really want a great level of protection (and style) a hardshell attaché laptop case made of aluminum or molded plastic is the way to go.

Whatever style you pick, make sure that the padding securely holds your laptop in place, and protects it on all sides. Many cases come with movable bolsters that are held in place by Velcro and allow you to customize the case for your particular laptop.

Finally, when you start using your new laptop case, don’t compromise the protection by overstuffing the case. The whole point is to protect your laptop, not see how much you can fit in the case. If you know that you are a “stuffer,” choose a case with plenty of room for “stuff” and a well protected laptop storage compartment right from the start.

It’s all about protecting your investment. No finance or accounting professional can argue with that.

More at…
>> Carrying cases

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