8 laptop bags that will speed you through airport security

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

Targus' Zip-Thru bag shares many features with other popular Targus bags, such as the adjustable air cushioning system around the notebook compartment.

Targus' Zip-Thru bag shares many features with other popular Targus bags, such as the adjustable air cushioning system around the notebook compartment.

Pathfinder Wheeled Checkpoint Friendly CompuBrief

Pathfinder's two CompuBrief cases are both pretty generic looking in the usual basic black 1680D ballistic nylon. However, its Wheeled Checkpoint Friendly CompuBrief (US$149) is the only current option we found for those who prefer wheeled laptop bags. It holds notebooks with up to a 15.4-in. display and features an aircraft-grade aluminum handle and ball-bearing polyurethane wheels. It 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 the wheeled and unwheeled (US$99) versions offer rugged construction with "unbreakable" zipper pulls, multiple compartments and pockets both inside and out.

Skooba Design Checkthrough

Set for delivery in October, the Skooba Design Checkthrough (US$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.

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.

Constructed of ballistic polyester, it's also the least expensive bag in our lineup by far -- at US$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.

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Becky Waring

Computerworld

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