While most of us have become fine-oiled machines in working our way through airport security without shoes, belts (and thereby sometimes pants), ripping one's laptop from its safehaven in your bag and placing it, cluckily, in an X-ray tray is never a pleasant experience. Luckily, the TSA has finally decided that laptop bags that meet certain provisions will be considered X-ray friendly.

But there had to be a catch...

The TSA is only releasing guidelines to manufacturers. The organization is specifically not approving individual bags for use in their X-ray machines. In other words, many who buy "security-friendly" laptop bags may find themselves among the dirty looks of fellow travelers and TSA agents alike.


Then again, the luggage market has certainly played well with airports when it comes to carry-on baggage. But that's just a question of dimensions that can be easily simulated in any warehouse condition, not X-ray interference.

Current prototypes resemble a clamshell that can be opened and laid flat for inspection. Such a design allows the laptop to be stored in one compartment completely isolated from papers, cords or any other objects that might complicate the scan. In other words, it closely mimics the way laptops are inspected now, save for a small bit of fabric.

We'll be interested to see just how practical (i.e. padded) these cases are. Hopefully travel really will get a little bit easier. [USAToday via Consumerist]


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Nick Veasey" />