Daily deal – Belkin mini surge protector with USB charger for $16

My daily deal for today is a product I reviewed several months ago. The Belkin mini surge protector with USB charger has a really long name, but can come in quite handy on the road.

The device plugs into a single outlet and turns into a 3-port outlet with 2 additional powered USB ports. This combo means you can power several devices and charge 2 USB gadgets at the same time.

The prongs on the rear can rotate, which should help make it fit into any outlet you can find.

The mini surge protector only works on 120V, so don’t plan to take it abroad and use on foreign power networks with higher voltages.

The integrated surge protector is a great way to protect your equipment on the road, especially if you plan to use them in places with a less than reliable power grid.

The Belkin mini surge protector with USB charger usually retails for about $25, but you can pick one up from Amazon.com for just $15.26.

TSA friendly laptop bags popping up everywhere – an overview

Back in September, when the TSA announced their new relaxed rules for laptop bag designs, virtually every manufacturer jumped on the bandwagon. We are now more than a month into the new rules, and the following 11 manufacturers have at least one checkpoint friendly bag available for (pre) ordering.

Here are the current bags with their prices and availability:

Tom Bihn Checkpoint Flyer

Tom Bihn bags managed to be one of the first to actually ship a TSA friendly laptop bag. Their Checkpoint Flyer bag was reviewed here in October.

The Checkpoint Flyer is available in three colors as well as 13″, 15″ and 17″ dimensions, plus an upcoming version for the new 15″ Macbook Pro.

The Checkpoint Flyer costs $225 and most sizes are available for immediate shipping. When you order, be sure to add a shoulder strap!

Belkin FlyThru

Once again, Gadling got the scoop with the first review of this TSA friendly bag. The MSRP is $59.99 and it is available from many retailers right now. At $36.81 (through this reseller), it is currently the cheapest TSA friendly bag on the market.

The Belkin FlyThru bag holds laptops up to 15.4″ and has an expandable front pocket as well as plenty of internal storage space.

Skooba Design Checkthrough Bag

The Skooba Design Checkthrough bag has a fairly standard design, and is made for most 15.4″ laptop, though Skooba Design report that it will hold many slim 17″ machines too.

The bag costs $139.95 and is currently in stock and ready to ship.

CODi CT3 Checkpoint Tested

CODi announced 4 different checkpoint friendly bags (a backpack, 2 regular laptop bags and a wheeled case).

With the exception of the Mobile Lite wheeled case, they are all currently available to order. Prices start at $200.

Mobile Edge ScanFast Collection

Mobile Edge was among the first bag designers to announce a lineup of checkpoint friendly bags, and their ScanFast assortment consists of 3 different bags.

The lineup offers a backpack, a briefcase and a messenger bag, and they all cost $99.99 each.

The backpack holds laptops up to 17″, and the briefcase and messenger bag are designed for laptops up to 15.4″.

Like most other bags in this overview, the checkpoint procedure is as simple as unzipping the laptop portion, and placing the unfolded bag on the conveyor.

Travelon Bags Checkpoint Friendly

Travelon Bags has announced not one, but six different TSA friendly laptop bags. Their collection covers everything from a simply laptop sling to a stylish ladies brief.

Prices start at just $24.99 (for the laptop protector) up to $189.99 for a wheeled laptop briefcase.

Briggs & Riley SpeedThru

Briggs & Riley is the clear winner when it comes to the number of checkpoint friendly bags. Their assortment covers a whopping 16 different bags, so they are clearly taking the market for these bags quite seriously.

There is however one big difference; not all the bags are dedicated “checkpoint friendly”.

Most of the other bags in my overview have special design features that allow the entire bag to go through the X-Ray machine without taking pieces out, but the Briggs & Riley solution depends on you removing their “SpeedThru” sleeve from the bag, and placing it on the belt. This obviously puts their bags at a disadvantage over most other bags here.

The Briggs & Riley SpeedThru compatible bags start at $167 for a basic messenger bag, up to $429 for an expandable leather overnight bag.

Tumi T-Pass

Tumi has taken a similar approach as Briggs & Riley, as their lineup also depends on you placing your laptop in a TSA friendly sleeve inside a regular bag.

The T-Pass lineup consists of 9 bags and 4 different sleeves for the various sizes of laptop computers.

The cheapest Tumi T-Pass compatible bag starts at $375 for the Alpha medium capacity laptop bag, up to $995 for their Sloane leather briefcase. The required T-Pass sleeve is an additional $60-$85 depending on the size.

FitzWell Checkpoint Friendly

Many of you will have heard of Zappo’s, famous for their online shoe sales. Their in-house brand is “FitzWell”, and they too have introduced a checkpoint friendly bag.

The FitzWell Wheeled Checkpoint Friendly bag is as the name implies, a wheeled notebook briefcase. The wheeled briefcase comes with an internal removable checkpoint friendly sleeve for laptops up to 15.4″.

At $139 it is one of the cheapest wheeled checkpoint friendly laptop bags in this lineup.

Aerovation Checkpoint Friendly

The Aerovation Checkpoint Friendly Laptop bag claims to be the world’s first TSA friendly bag. The bag is available in regular Nylon ($129.95) and Leather ($279.95).

Aerovation has posted a 5 minute
video clip
on their site showing exactly how their bag and a laptop look when passing through the X-Ray machine.

TurboBag Checkpoint Friendly

TurboBag may be the brand with the silliest name in this overview, but their bags are nothing to laugh at.

The TurboBag checkpoint friendly bag lineup consists of 4 different bags, with 3 models for laptops up to 15.4″, and one for 17″ machines.

The bags are fold-open, which means you only have to unzip the laptop bag portion to slide it through the checkpoint conveyor.

Each bag even comes with a free “TurboLapDesk” laptop pad designed to protect your lap from computer heat.

The cheapest bag (in polyester) is just $58.95, and the most expensive is their T-400 TurboBag, in real leather for $109.95.

Product review – Belkin FlyThru TSA checkpoint friendly laptop bag

In this product review, I’m going to give you a brief look at the newest checkpoint friendly laptop bag from Belkin.

The new regulations from the TSA permit you to keep your laptop inside its carrying case if the bag meets certain rules.

Essentially, the TSA X-ray operator has to be able to see through the laptop, with nothing obstructing it.

The Belkin FlyThru checkpoint bag accomplishes this by placing the laptop in its own compartment, like any other bag, but adds the option to unzip that compartment from the rest of the bag and fold it flat.

Unlike any other checkpoint friendly laptop bag I have seen so far, the FlyThru even has a large clear window showing the laptop, which should make the screening process even easier for the TSA agent, as they’ll instantly be able to see that you are using an approved bag.

The FlyThru bag has 3 sections; one for the laptop, one on the front, and one main section for your paperwork and other larger items that also hides a small internal zippered pocket. The pocket on the front is expandable, making it perfect for stuffing full of any last minute things you decide to carry on your flight.

The FlyThru bag is designed for laptops up to 15.4″. The FlyThru pocket itself is very cleverly marked, with a zipper pull that attaches to the bag using a velcro strip. When you arrive at the checkpoint, you simply unzip the laptop portion, and fold the bag flat. It’s a simple design, but one that should help get you through the security screening nice and quickly.

The Belkin FlyThru checkpoint friendly laptop bag costs $59.99, making it one of the cheapest in its class. The bag feels very well made and is surprisingly light; just a little under 2lbs including the strap.

The Belkin FlyThru checkpoint friendly bag will be available later today directly from Belkin.com and many other (online) retailers.

Belkin announces a lineup of “netbook” cases

There is no denying it; the netbook is the new hot seller in the world of portable computers.

For those that have not been paying attention; a netbook is a small notebook with a screen between 7 and 10 inches, often running a slim version of Linux or Windows XP.

The craze started last year with the Asus Eee PC, and currently every major PC maker has at least one netbook in their lineup. Netbooks even make up 15 of the top 20 selling computers on Amazon.com at the moment. With prices as low as $300 and at around 3 pounds, they are the perfect machine to carry on a trip.

One thing that was missing for the longest time, were accessories for these computers. Most netbook users had to improvise using portable DVD player cases or even a toiletries bag. That has now changed, thanks to a new lineup of netbook cases from Belkin.

The Belkin 7″ laptop cases are, as the name implies, designed for most small netbooks like the Asus Eee. There are 3 different 7″ cases, available in up to 4 colors per model. The first case is a fairly basic neoprene case, the second case is a very cool looking carrier with 2 large handles and the third one is a “quilted” carrying case.

The neoprene case retails for $19.99, the other 2 cost $29.99. Belkin even designed some portable computer accessories in matching colors, like this mouse with retractable cord ($14.99) and this wireless travel mouse ($24.99).

The accessories are currently listed as “coming soon” on the Belkin web site, but I have noticed that many Target stores have them in stock along with the $299 Asus Eee 900 that hit Target shelves last week. If you carry a netbook, and would like to keep it shiny and new, then I highly recommend placing an online order, or popping into your local Target store to check them out.

Update: A quick word of warning for those planning to purchase these cases for the Acer Aspire One netbook; the machine will not fit! The same probably goes for similarly sized machines like the MSI Wind, Lenovo S10 and the HP Mini-Note.

Daily deal – Belkin laptop lock/alarm free after $10 rebate + free shipping

My daily deal for today is for the Belkin Audible USB Laptop alarm/lock. This device plugs into a USB port on your laptop, and produces a loud alarm if your laptop is disconnected or the cable is cut.

The alarm is activated by removing the included key , and deactivated by inserting it again.

Alarm units like this are perfect if you leave your laptop in a hotel room, or if you need to step away from your table in the airport lounge for a few minutes. The bright orange plug and cable are bound to scare off any thieves.

This item normally retails for $24.95, but Frys.com has it on sale today for just $10, with a $10 mail in rebate. They even throw in free shipping, making it 100% free after the rebate.

Needless to say, deals like this don’t last very long, so don’t delay, and get your order placed as soon as possible!

The deal itself is here and the required rebate form can be downloaded here (PDF form).

(Via Fatwallet.com)