I love change (positive change of course), but changing out my 9-year-old leather Port laptop case was not an easy one for me. I live with my laptop and had grown very familiar with the old case. But it was time for a change - and the Think Tank Photo Airline Check-In has now become my regular laptop case. Let's take a tour of Think Tank Photo's Airport Check In.
Starting in the front ... The Airport Check In is a quality-made, protective laptop case that does not forgo style. The cut-above appearance will help you make a good impression with clients. Think Tank Photo maintains a similar appearance across their lines, so if you are using TTP camera and gear cases, this laptop case will maintain your look.
Though stylish, the Airport Check In was designed with functionality as the foremost criteria. Mousing over the "Front Open" link above introduces this aspect. Opening the zippered front pouch reveals a wide range of zippered, expandable and open pouches - none of which will spill unless the case is turned nearly upside down. A black Western Digital Passport Portable Hard Drive can be seen in the center expandable pouch and another fits similarly beside it (to the left). Credit card-sized pouches, pen holders, a key hook and 2 more non-expanding pouches complete the inside of this compartment. The outer side has three short/wide see-through zippered pouches - one that extends the width of the flap and two that divide the width.
Mousing over the "Middle Open" link above shows a wide storage area with 3 file slots. The middle slot nicely holds Think Tank Photo's transparent "Cable Management 50" (included with the case). The Cable Management 50 can be seen by mousing over the "Organizer" link above. The modifiable (up to 3-sections) organizer is ideal for storing cables, power supplies and other items that do not fit well elsewhere. Seen inside my organizer are the Airport Check In's included rain jacket and shoulder straps.
The back compartment (mousing over the "Back Open" link above) is the one I am still getting used to. Ever since I used a laptop (since they first became available), the computer has been stored in the front pouch of my case. The laptop slot in the Airport Check In is in the back compartment. I'm adjusting. The slot will hold a 17" laptop - my 14" laptop is shown in the above "Back Open" image. The laptop slot is adjustable and the padded dividers are removable. There is room for file storage in this compartment even with the laptop padded dividers in place.
Moving to the back (mousing over the "Back" link above), a zipper can be seen at the bottom of the case and an opening can be seen at the top. Open the zipper and slide the Airport Check In over the handle of wheeled luggage. Very nice. Leave the zipper closed and the slot can be used for storage. There is always the risk of the zipper opening accidentally, but Think Tank Photo has provided a Velcro tab lock to prevent this from occurring.
Also seen in the "Back" image is the very-well-padded shoulder strap provided. My first impression was that it was too big - it was just in the way. But it didn't take many uses with a heavy load to make me understand the advantage of this pad. Comfort under load is one of the biggest advantages of this bag. The entire bag is somewhat soft - it does not dig into you. The handle is soft and breathes - your hands will not tire or sweat as quickly as with other designs. I'm not excited about the feel of the soft handle, but I understand its purpose clearly when carrying a load. The case does not balance very well when standing upright.
If you are hauling a load, you probably should be hauling some hydration. A zipper-expandable pouch and a mesh-elastic pouch on the sides of the bag allow easy access to a water bottle or other item(s) you decide to keep there.
For its size, the Airport Check In is rather light - 2 lb (930 g) to 3 lb 15 oz (1800 g) depending on accessories used.
|Internal Dimensions (Front Compartment):||15.5 x 13 x 2"||(395 x 330 x 50mm)|
|Internal Dimensions (Computer Area):||15.5 x 12.75 x 2"||(395 x 325 x 50mm)|
|External Dimensions:||16 x 13.375 x 6.25"||(410 x 340 x 160mm)|
My initial impression was that theAirline Check-In was overpriced. There are many good laptop cases available for less money. But, over time, my opinion has changed. I think the Think Tank Photo Airport Check In's features and included options are worth the price of this case.