written by: M.S. Smith•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/24/2011
Netbooks and ultraportables are easy to carry around, but simply throwing them into any old bag isn't a good idea. A laptop is likely to bounce around if it isn't secured, and this might result in damage. Let's take a look at some small cases that provide a little protection.
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Protection for Netbooks and Ultraportables
Today's market for small laptops is more vibrant than ever before. There is a huge variety of laptops with 10.1, 11.6, 12.1 and 13.3 inch displays. These laptops often weigh less than four pounds and offer great battery life, making it easy to travel with these tiny computers.
However, lightweight computers are more likely to bob around when they're thrown into a bag or backpack. There are a lot of laptop bags and laptop cases on the market, but many of them are oriented towards slightly larger laptops, so they don't provide the best protection for smaller computers. There are some carrying cases specifically targeted towards pint-sized laptops, however.
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Case Logic LNEO-10 Netbook Carrying Case
This small and light carrying case is the perfect option for folks with a netbook who want a simple case that can be used to take their netbook - and not much else - down to the local coffee shop or library. The Case Logic LNEO-10 is a sleeve, which means that it is relatively thin and doesn't offer a lot of additional carrying capacity. However, the LENO-10 does have handles and the thin padding provides protection from minor bumps and scrapes.
This case can also be a good choice if you have a nice bag meant for a larger laptop and you don't want to throw it out. The LENO-10 will make sure that your netbook doesn't receive any damage from bouncing inside your bag. It's only 10 bucks, too, so you're not out much.
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Built NY E-LT13
Another sleeve-style carrying case, the Built NY E-LT13 can fit laptops with a display size of up to 13 inches. This is a thin case that isn't meant to offer room for much other than your laptop, but it does provide more protection than the Case Logic option thanks to a hard insert (which can be removed if you desire). The Built NY E-LT13 also has a shoulder strap, making it easier to carry your laptop from place to place. The better protection and design of this laptop does raise the price, however - you'll pay about $35 for it.
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Timbuk2 Slingshot Netbook Bag
If you're looking for a carrying case that can offer some more substantial protection, the Timbuk2 SlingShot is a good place to start. This bag offers a big heap of padding for your netbook, so your can feel confident that your computer will be protected from even fairly major bumps. The SlingShot also offers a fair amount of storage capacity - you can't pack a tent, but you can take a few small additional items.
While built with netbooks in mind, the Timbuk2 SlingShot is large enough to fit a lot of smaller laptops. The laptop storage compartment is 14 inches wide and 11 inches deep, so measure your laptop and see if it will fit before you buy.
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All images are taken from manufacturer press materials