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Sturdy Laptop Travel Cases? 100

Posted by Cliff
from the able-to-survive-long-airport-trips dept.
biglig2 asks: "You may have seen on todays news that, after a foiled attempt to smuggle explosives on a plane here in the UK, UK airlines are now banning all cabin baggage on outgoing flights. Great timing, since I'm probably flying to the States next week, and this means putting my laptop, iPod and cellphone into the cargo hold. Since I have to assume that anything I put in the hold is going to be frozen, depressurized, and repeatedly jumped on by the baggage handlers, what hard laptop cases have Slashdot users found to be indestructible?"
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Sturdy Laptop Travel Cases?

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  • all you need to know (Score:4, Informative)

    by gus24 (946010) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @09:34PM (#15886297) Homepage

    http://www.pelican.com/ [pelican.com]

    if you have the cash for the flash: http://www.zerohalliburton.com/ [zerohalliburton.com]
  • by jellomizer (103300) * on Thursday August 10, 2006 @09:36PM (#15886313)
    First get a good Hard Case for your laptop, while Soft Cases are good for normal usage, with luggage being tossed around and odd pressures being pressed on the laptop, a hard case will take the pressures not the laptop. Plus to keep it extra safe against all the tossing about I would put the case in with your clothing and have it packed tight (but not too tight) so it will can take the extra abuse of being tossed around a bit. Finally if you are worried about the cold Keep your laptop running as long as possible, perhaps with some app that gets it really hot, then when you need to give it to be shipped turn it off, and imeadtaely place it in the case, and in your clothing. The Case and your clothing will act like a blanket and keep the laptop warm for a few hours, and above damaging cold for more time. This should allow your laptop survive a trip.
  • Samsonite (Score:3, Informative)

    by joe90 (48497) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @09:38PM (#15886325) Homepage
    Something like this -> http://www.luggageonline.com/product.cfm?product_I D=1499 [luggageonline.com] as long as you don't mind the cost.
  • by picaro (871495) * on Thursday August 10, 2006 @09:39PM (#15886328)
    No, I don't mean this discussion. Aircraft holds are pressurized and generally heated, as least to keep them above 0C.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 10, 2006 @09:42PM (#15886346)
    Ship them ahead of time via FedEX / UPS / Purolator in the original shipping container or something close ?
  • theft (Score:3, Informative)

    by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @09:52PM (#15886407)
    People usually keep their laptops with because of the theft risk. So don't get someting that stands out as a laptop or other high value item.
  • by Tweakmeister (638831) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:52PM (#15886698) Homepage
    Pelican 1490 and 1520 fit/are made for laptops.
  • by Anml4ixoye (264762) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @10:54PM (#15886704) Homepage

    I second the Zero Halliburton cases. I used to work for a distributor, and kept my ThinkPad in one of the brushed aluminum cases. Never had a problem.

    My former employer's site [cases2go.com] has the cases for discount through an auction interface. They make cases for PDAs too - cool stuff.

  • by IANAAC (692242) on Thursday August 10, 2006 @11:05PM (#15886755)
    The onlything you'll have to worry about is baggage handling.

    It's a common misconception that cargo holds are not pressurized or climatized.

  • by gus24 (946010) on Friday August 11, 2006 @01:00AM (#15887208) Homepage
    Second, why would you link to a website "halliburton" site? Are you fearmongering (ala Republican: let's scare people and take their civil rights), or are you a Democrat: we're not afraid of being blown up in an airplane (because we know the statistical odds)?
    um they are currently unrelated fiscaly; from wikipedia [wikipedia.org]...

    Zero Halliburton was originally a metal fabrication company called Zierold Company, which in 1946 changed its name to Zero Corporation. In 1952 Zero, which until then had no relation to Halliburton, bought the luggage division of Halliburton, the Texas oil company. Earle P. Halliburton, the founder of Halliburton, had commissioned the aluminum case in 1938 from aircraft engineers because other luggage could not endure the rough travel through Texas oil fields in a pickup truck.
    No I don't work there, but I do enjoy shiny things.
  • No (Score:3, Informative)

    by elronxenu (117773) on Friday August 11, 2006 @01:31AM (#15887300) Homepage

    Since I have to assume that anything I put in the hold is going to be frozen, depressurized, and repeatedly jumped on by the baggage handlers,


    None of that will happen.

    Your valuables will simply be stolen by the TSA.

  • by Skippy_kangaroo (850507) on Friday August 11, 2006 @01:46AM (#15887346)
    >The Case and your clothing will act like a blanket and keep the laptop warm for a few hours, and above damaging cold for more time. This should allow your laptop survive a trip.

    Flight time between Heathrow and New York is approximately 7 hours. Check in time prior to a flight is at least 1 hour. I suspect your plan will be about as useful as a snowball in hell.

    Furthermore, the specifications [apple.com] for a MacBook Pro (just picking a computer at random here) indicate that it is perfectly fine for storage between -13F and 113F (-24C to 45C) and a shipping altitude of 35,000 feet. It doesn't get that cold in the hold.

    Chill dude!
  • Pelican, one vote (Score:4, Informative)

    by anticypher (48312) <anticypher&gmail,com> on Friday August 11, 2006 @05:51AM (#15887923) Homepage
    I'll add another vote for pelican cases, as they are what I use. Strong, heavy and ugly, they are perhaps the best for the money. Z-H cases are just as good, show damage a bit more, and are more expensive. If you sprung for a black macbook, then you are the type to spring for a zero-haliburton. The pelican foam insert is easily configured for maximum protection.

    One caveat for anyone flying with pelican or z-h cases. They have been the drug smuggler's cases of choice for years now, and have a tendancy to get pulled by drug agency enforcers with alarming frequency (close to 100% in my case). There is a myth that having a nice rubber seal around the edges keeps drug sniffing dogs from doing their job, and the number of drug couriers lingering in prisons around the world shows that dogs are better trained than that.

    When you travel with an expensive case, always put it inside another bag, I use a backpack which makes it easier to transport, or it will attract thieves like nothing else. I've seen one computer guy who let his daughter decorate his pelican with pink hello kitty stickers after painting it fluorescent pink, it stood out in any crowd, and was a useful deterent to thieves walking off with it.

    You can't lock checked bagage any more, so just put a security seal on the case to see if it was opened. Ensure that your laptop cannot boot without a password, and any and all sensitive data is on a fully encrypted partition, with full backups left at home or online. All the other things you can do, such as noting serial and model numbers of everything you check is important, since if you fly regularly the chances of finally losing the laptop to thieves approaches one. Put the list of valuables on a post-it inside your passport and carry it with you. Airlines will not reimburse you for the cost of a laptop, you have to take out additional insurance which specifies full replacement costs. If you buy your ticket with a credit card, they may claim to cover losses due to theft, but often the small print requires you to provide them with a list of items well in advance of flying in order to actually have coverage.

    the AC
  • by jrvz (734655) * on Friday August 11, 2006 @12:01PM (#15889964) Homepage
    Right. The cargo hold is pressurized because it's much cheaper to build a pressure vessel with curved sides (the skin of the aircraft) than with a flat side (the passenger compartment floor). Also, pets are shipped with cargo, so temperatures can't get too low.
  • Re:Pelican, one vote (Score:3, Informative)

    by EvanED (569694) <evaned@@@gmail...com> on Friday August 11, 2006 @01:42PM (#15890618)
    They have been the drug smuggler's cases of choice for years now, and have a tendancy to get pulled by drug agency enforcers with alarming frequency

    I haven't had DEA issues, but I did have the TSA swab the outside and inside for explosives the one and only time I went through US security with it.

    You can't lock checked bagage any more

    Yes you can, if you get one of these [thetravelinsider.info] locks. There are a few manufacturers of them. Pelican has some in their lineup.

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