Product review – Solo CheckFast Netbook instant messenger bag

In this product review, I’m going to give you a quick look at a new laptop bag. Of course, new laptop bags are introduced by the boatload every week, so you’ll understand that this bag is something special.

The Solo CheckFast Netbook Instant messenger bag does 2 things most other bags can’t do; it is TSA friendly, and it is designed specifically for Netbook computers.

The Solo Netbook instant messenger is the first true Netbook friendly bag I have come across. I’ve previously reviewed a different Netbook protective cover, but it did not offer the same features as the Solo.

As I mentioned earlier, the CheckFast Netbook instant messenger bag is TSA friendly. Being “TSA friendly” means that the bag can be folded open, allowing the airport X-Ray equipment to see the laptop, without having to remove your laptop from its bag.

The bag itself is quite impressive. The laptop portion of the bag is designed for Netbook computers up to 11 inches. In addition to this compartment, you’ll also find 2 other portions, one of which is designed to hold small items like USB flash drives or a portable hard drive.

Opening the bag for inspection at the airport is quite easy, and only takes about 10 seconds. When you arrive at the security checkpoint, you simply unclip the buckle at the front, loosen a piece of Velcro, and fold the entire bag flat on the conveyor.

Other features of the bag include a nicely padded handle and a non-slip shoulder strap.

The best part of this bag? It only costs $35 (when purchased from Amazon). I’ve been carrying the bag around for a few days now, and I absolutely love it. It suddenly dawned on me that it does not make sense to carry a small computer in a large bag, but until now, I did not want to say goodbye to my regular TSA friendly laptop bag.

Of course, with a smaller bag, you’ll have less room to carry stuff, but being forced to travel lighter is something you’ll learn to appreciate. Even if you don’t plan to travel with your Netbook, having a stylish bag to protect it is a wise investment.

The Solo CheckFast Nebook Instant messenger bag is available from Amazon, Ebags or one of the other retailers listed on the product page.

Daily deal – SwissGear computer backpack for $35

My daily deal for today is for the SwissGear computer backpack. This stylish backpack has compartments for your laptop computer, MP3 player, water bottle, books and more.

The SwissGear computer backpack has an MSRP of $100, but usually retails for around $60. currently has it on sale for just $34.25.

Amazon has not posted too many details about the bag, but the comments on the product page have quite a bit of information, and most customers seem very impressed with the quality and the amount of storage space.

Since the bag is over $25, you’ll get it shipped for free.

Tired of removing your laptop at airport security? TSA is looking into solutions

Are you sick of having to take your laptop out of its case every time you pass through airport security? Apparently, the Transportation Security Administration is sick of it, too — or at least tired of how this ritual is slowing down screening lines.

The TSA is busy soliciting prototypes for laptop bags that would be able to pass through X-ray with the laptop still inside. The plan is to begin testing these bags in June with the aim of rolling out a TSA-compliant model soon thereafter.

What would the bag look like? It’s unclear, though USA Today floats one idea: A bag that looks like a large book, with the laptop fastened to one side when opened and gear fastened to the other (though this still sounds to me like you’d at least have to open the bag, if not remove the laptop). Maybe there is a line of clear bags in the offing, like the ones that popped up in high schools after Columbine, to make viewing what’s inside easier.

Whatever bag companies come up with, TSA-approved bags are likely to have a few identifying features that screeners can spot, allowing the bag to go right onto the X-ray conveyor. (Right now, you have to remove your laptop because it is too difficult for X-rays to see through them and catch what else might be in your bag.)

Clearly there would be a huge market for this, as it’s hard to imagine frequent travelers (the vast majority traveling with laptops) not shelling out for a bag that is pre-approved by the TSA. But then again, who knows how much of an inconvenience travelers really see in removing their computers.

Blogger Andrew B. Einhorn over at OhMyGov has to be joking when he says that removing laptops is the most time-consuming requirement in security lines. Removing shoes and belts is far more cumbersome, in my view.

What do you think? Does removing your laptop each time through security annoy you? Let us know.