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Aluminum Carry Cases

Since we don't have the manpower or resources of the larger sites, often times we like to review some of the niche products that the big boys tend to overlook. Not only is this fun for us because it keeps us from getting burned out doing endless reviews of the same items over and over again but it also helps (I hope) shine a light on some lesser known--but still interesting--products floating around in the marketplace. With that introduction, today we will be looking at a pair of common storage “cases” that are nonetheless unique. The first item is a notebook case, the second is a CD carrying case. Both of these items are made from aluminum. The Aluminum Notebook Case as well as the Aluminum 200 CD/DVD Carrying Case was provided for us by Geeks our main site sponsor.

Aluminum Notebook Case:

The notebook case comes in a high-gloss white box which opens from either the top or the bottom. The notebook case itself is in a bubble-wrap bag. Of note are the dual front notebook case key locks. These differ from the single combination style lock pictured on Geeks website for their larger notebook case. Not a big deal IMO, but something to be aware of if you are constantly losing things when you travel.

Laptop Case Box     Laptop Case Wrap

Specs/Features:

-Aluminum case
-Padded foam interior with divider
-Velcro restraint strap
-Sturdy carrying handle
-Adjustable shoulder strap
-Inside flap pocket
-Key lock style
-Fits laptops with up to 15" screens

The outside of the notebook case looks to be brushed aluminum, the case edges are some sort of black plastic, the bottom of the case has four black plastic feet positioned at the corners presumably to minimize wear on the backside of the case. The hinges on the back of the case are raised and also act as a type of feet to minimize wear to the bottom upright-standing portion of the case. The handle is a fairly normal silver plastic one, wide enough even for my meaty paw. As mentioned earlier the case locks are of the key variety; the locks themselves looked to be chrome plated. On either side of the case you will find a small metal base riveted to the case with a protruding barrel that looks like the base of a snap, perhaps? More on this oddity when we look inside the case.

Laptop Case Top     Laptop Case Bottom

Moving inside the notebook case finds a mixture of good, bad and just plain strange. The good includes a black padded clamshell side and bottom which looks like it belongs in a much more expensive case. On the inside right side there is large Velcro strap for securing your laptop, as well as a removable foam divider for separating your laptop from the rest of your belongings.

The bad starts with the opening hinge. No, that isn't one of my frequent typo's: there is only one of them. Having carried a briefcase daily for years during my younger years while at college I can tell you that is a recipe for disaster, as a single hinge invariably will at some point in time get sprung and often times not hold up the lid. Worse than that, it will often times affect the opening and closing of the case itself, usually when you have something inside that you urgently need to retrieve. The inside flap pocket--while made of a sturdy cloth material that appears to be durable--doesn't have any elastic sewn into the top edges of it, so will be prone to spilling instead of grasping any larger items you place in it.

The strange is the shoulder strap that attaches to the outer sides of the case itself. Those odd protrusions mentioned earlier are the base of a snap as I guessed. So this means if you are so inclined that you can carry this notebook case not as a normal briefcase but as a giant aluminum square purse. What joy! So you can get a better idea of the size of the notebook case I put my old Toshiba Satellite 2100CDT laptop in it. Observant readers might notice that there is a good chance that the aluminum notebook case is actually worth more than my ancient laptop. Doh!

Laptop Case Open     Laptop Case Laptop Inside

Conclusion:

Priced at 20 usd the aluminum notebook case is a nice item, much more stylish and durable than most normal notebook bags/cases, especially those in this price range; it's safer, too. I was slightly disappointed to find only a single hinge on the inside of the case. As noted above this will likely eventually lead to problems. The omission of the elastic on the inside flap pocket is curious as well as this couldn't cost more than a few cents to implement. I give it four out of five stars.

Aluminum 200 CD/DVD Carrying Case:

Unlike the aluminum notebook case, the aluminum CD/DVD carrying case arrived in a ordinary brown cardboard box--nothing fancy here. Also, unlike the notebook case the CD/DVD carrying case came wrapped in plain clear plastic wrap. The carrying case itself features a single chrome plated key lock similar to the one found on the notebook case.

Carrying Case Box     Carrying Case Plastic

Specs/Features:

-Durable aluminum construction
-Felt lining interior
-Each sleeve holds 2 discs
-Easy to read and use index system
-Front index card
-100 double sided sleeves
-1 index card
-Key lock style

The outside of the aluminum CD/DVD carrying case is made of ribbed aluminum. The case edges are covered with quarter sized heart shaped chrome cutouts hammered flush and riveted in place designed to reinforce the case edges. The handle appears to be the same silver plastic one found on the notebook carrying case. Here, though, the handle base case riveted points are not quite as snug as the notebook case, and while well-attached they tend to rotate ever so slightly. As mentioned above the case lock is chrome plated and key operated and looks like the one on the notebook case. Here, though, only one is used and it is in the middle of the case.

Carrying Case Front     Carrying Case Back

Moving inside, the CD/DVD carrying case is a sparse yet functional design. Down the middle and on both ends of the carrying case are thin aluminum dividers; between them rests the CD/DVD sleeves, which are attached on both ends to the dividers with a horizontal plastic frame that runs the length of the sleeve and ends on each side with a hook. This hook slides back and forth between the dividers. Up top on the bottom of the lid is a matching set of dividers to keep the sleeves from coming out should the case itself be turned over. The whole thing functions somewhat like the old rail system that used to be so popular in PC cases (Shudders uncontrollably at the frightening thought of installing another optical drive in a rail case).

On the top of each double-sided sleeve attached to the aforementioned horizontal plastic frame is a thin strip of paper. On this is printed a numbering system where odd numbers are on the left side and even numbers are on the right side. The first sleeve contains an index card; this system makes it easy to label and find each of your individual 200 discs. The main problem with this system, as succinctly pointed out to me by my wife, is that there is only one index card included. This makes this perfect for archiving old collections but not so good for listing active and changing disc collections. To combat this, I plan on taking out the index card and photocopying it so I have some extras. It wouldn't have hurt the manufacturers, though, to have included a few extra index cards themselves.

Carrying Case Inside 1     Carrying Case Inside 2

Conclusion:

At 12 usd the aluminum 200 CD/DVD carrying case is priced lower than the other two nylon carrying cases I own and yet is more functional and durable. It is hard to pick a product like that apart; still, it is my job to try . My two complaints with this case are that the top handle, while firmly anchored to the base, is not tight and the handle swivels slightly, making it awkward to carry. The second one--and this is really nit-picking--but again, would it kill them to include a few more index cards? I give it four and a half out of five stars.

I would like to thank Geeks for providing us with the above items for review. More items of this type can found at Geeks site at this link. I also noticed they now have an aluminum camera case that looks to be this same design as well.

Geeks

Added: June 16th 2007
Reviewer: JimAdkins
Score: 8  
Hits: 12091
Language: english

  

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