What exactly is a TSA-friendly laptop bag?

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I don’t have too much of a problem sliding my laptop out of my bag whenever I travel, but to be honest every second that’s taken out of that whole security situation is one more second I could be sitting at the gate playing SNES, so I might invest in one of these special bags. But what makes them so special exactly?

The TSA says:

  • It must have a laptop-only compartment. No pockets or anything are allowed in this section.
  • Said section must fold out completely to lie flat in the x-ray machine.
  • Any metal zippers or accoutrements must be clear of the laptop, so they do not interfere with the laptop’s image.

Okay, so you just need to be able to effectively take the laptop out of the bag, though the laptop doesn’t need to actually leave the bag. It’s worth noting that you may already have a bag that meets these criteria; a soft laptop-only bag with a zipper around the edge, for instance, should be fine. If you don’t have one, you can buy one. There are options for TSA-friendly bags from Skooba, CaseLogic and MobileEdge among others, but my question is this: are those dweebs at the TSA going to have their game together enough so that when I bring one of these to a checkpoint, the person doesn’t say “I don’t know anything about any special bags, sir, your laptop needs to go separately” the way I know they will?
[via PC World]

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