After years of harassing passengers and forcing us to remove our notebooks from their bags, the TSA has come to their senses and informed notebook bag makers that they would be relaxing the rules.
The new regulations allow some notebooks to remain in their bag, as long as the X-ray equipment can see through and nothing is placed in front of, or behind the notebook.
Another regulation change allows the notebook to be stored in a harness, or second bag, making removal much easier. The notebook can stay inside this second bag, and simply be placed back inside the main bag after you clear security. In both cases (no pun intended), the notebook no longer has to be subjected to sitting in a filthy bin and the risk of theft is decreased.
Several notebook bag designers have of course been working hard to get bags designed for these new regulations, and one of the first to announce a full lineup of TSA compliant bags is Mobile Edge. In their new ScanFast™ lineup, they have a backpack, a regular notebook bag and a notebook messenger. Their design allows the laptop to remain in the bag, and the owner simply unzips the bag and folds it open. This moves all the contents of the bag to one side, and leaves the notebook on the other side with no obstructions for the X-ray machine.
Of course, as Grant Martin already pointed out in a previous post, there is always the chance that a random TSA agent didn’t get/read/understand the memo, and still yells at you to remove your notebook. These are after all, the same people that saw a Macbook Air and decided it looked too much like a bomb.
No price has been announced yet, and Mobile Edge plan to have these bags available by the end of summer.