Travelling With A Computer

14.06.2012 In: Travel tips

Anyone who's had to go on a work trip knows the difficulty of trying to stay connected and productive can be challenging. Here are a few tips to help you protect a laptop or notebook while you're going from coast to coast.

Most people who buy their own laptop or notebook computer will show some care when moving it about, and they should, since their hard earned money is at risk. What about those who are more lucky? Sure: most companies will purchase computer equipment on behalf of their employees, but when you're 1,000 miles and three days from coming back into the office for a replacement, you may have to rethink your confidence.

Laptop cases come in three categories:

1- The lowest is given to a briefcase or backpack that is not made to carry a laptop, but happens to fit the laptop inside anyways. Needless to say, since the container wasn't meant for that purpose, you may get lucky, but you may also open up your briefcase to see scratches or dings in the investment you were trying to protect. With a slim enough notebook, you can fit it inside virtually any briefcase - even the Italian slimlines.

2- The middle grade is given to normal, generic laptop bags and cases. They typically are the most expensive option, give a fair amount of protection to the laptop, and usually offer enough pockets and storage areas to carry your paperwork, folders, and even a book and wireless mouse while your at it. For convenience, they are right at hand and ready to be used, but for protection, that same availability means they are more likely to get knocked about or even stolen. Any laptop vendor will have it's own branded selection - you can often haggle with them at the time of purchase to bring the price from a hundred dollars or more down to $50 or less.

3- The highest grade for protection is given to laptop sleeves. These are highly protective, padded laptop cases meant to snuggle the laptop tightly and then get packed themselves inside your luggage. As a result, they hide the laptop away and keep it far safer on your trip, but by staying so far away when you may need it, can be inconvenient. Typically, it has to be mentioned that sleeves usually have few pockets, if any, and some don't even have a handle for easy carrying - of course, this means that they pack away in far less space.

Over all, although there are a few laptop sleeves that do have pockets, handles and shoulder straps, you may want to stick with a standard laptop bag. They don't have the same protection as a proper sleeve, but the wide range of selections mean you can probably find a good compromise between protection and convenience. In case has some of the slimmest sleeves, and Brenthaven offers some of the best protection - both start right around $50, even with handles and pockets.