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Airport Security Made Easier

Futurelooks Holiday 2008 Guide for Travelling Techie Types

Oh, airport security. It’s never all that pleasant of an experience having to take off your shoes, dump your half-consumed bottle of Diet Coke, and forgetting about the handful of pocket change you have in your pocket. I understand that the guys and gals working the security checkpoint are just doing their job, but it’s not exactly fun for anyone involved.

While it won’t save you from the risk of being called into the back room for questioning, TSA-approved laptop bags can at least ease the process of getting your notebook safe and sound through the X-ray scanner.

Futurelooks Holiday 2008 Guide for Travelling Techie Types

With other bags, you need to physically remove your notebook from your bag and place it through the scanner on its own. Along the way, it might get scratched or damaged, not to mention the extra hassle of having to take your laptop out, only to stuff it back in a few seconds later. With a TSA-approved laptop bag, your notebook can stay put and stay safe.

In short, TSA-approved bags, like the Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer shoulder bag shown above, have a separate compartment specifically for laptops. The TSA regulations state that a notebook must go through the X-ray scanner completely unobstructed by pouches, zippers, and other items. This separate compartment complies with TSA standards, so you just need to unbuckle out that portion and lay it flat on the conveyor belt.

Tom Bihn isn’t the only company that sells these laptop bags. You can find TSA-approved bags from a number of other manufacturers as well. Just make sure that they are in fact TSA-approved and you’ll have a much easier time getting through airport security checkpoints.

A Green Option to Portable Power

What if you don’t have a USB port available? Perhaps an even more versatile solution would be something like the Solio Hybrid Charger, shown above in its Magnesium Edition (or below in its more economical plastic configuation). It’s got a trio of solar panels that soak up the sun’s rays, transferring that power via a mini-USB connection when you need it. If you don’t have the patience for solar power, it can also be precharged using a wall outlet.

In either case, you’ll have handy access to some extra power when you find that your portable device is running a little low. There are many solutions that are similar to the Ecosol PowerStick and the Solio Hybrid Charger, so shop around and be green about it.

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