If you’re gearing up for holiday — or business — air travel, you must be dreading the airport chaos of going through security screening lines. There are a couple of new products that I recommend for their clever designs and wallet-friendly prices. One is a (relatively) affordable Tumi design from its just-launched T-Pass line. It’s streamlined and sturdy, with stiff sides to protect your PC, and it zips open quickly so screeners can see what’s inside fast. A slim laptop fits, along with power chords. (FYI, a MacBook Air and seperate disk drive fit extremely well. But a standard-issue enterprise Dell laptop from a couple of years ago wouldn’t fit into the case.) At $175, the T-Pass slim laptop case isn’t cheap but is a bargain for Tumi’s high-end offerings. (An expandable version for less-than-skinny laptops is $375.)
I’ve also been trying out an unbelievably sleek suede sleeve from a San Francisco company called WaterField Design. The impossibly slim case is only $29 and fits a MacBook Air like a glove (there’s also one for MacBook Pros). The sleeve’s actually softer than the cleaning cloth that comes with the Air and can be scrunched up into a little ball, to give you an idea of its texture and how gentle it is on your laptop. You can buy a carrying strap from WaterField to attach to the sleeve for as little as $5. It’s about the most minimalist laptop-carrying option I’ve seen, and really lessens the load on your shoulders when you’re traveling for the holidays…or work.
What comes next? The Bloomberg Businessweek Innovation and Design blog chronicles new tools for creativity and collaboration, innovation case studies in both the corporate and social sectors, and the new ideas that have the power to change the way things have always been done.