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MacFixer, the iPhone, iPod, and iPad specialists
Otterbox 7000 - Rugged Laptop Case Review 4th October 2007

Reviewed by Darren Griffin

 

Now let me start off by admitting this has almost nothing to do with GPS. However, I'll wager many of us also own a laptop and it is a substantial investment.

 

Here at PocketGPSWorld.Com we use a variety of kit and travel a lot so protecting the equipment is very important. When I'm out testing navigation devices I take my laptop along so that I can review pictures in the field and make notes and so a good case is a must have.

 

If I'm attending a business meeting I might use the smart leather laptop case I have but when I'm in the great outdoors the Otterbox 7000 Rugged Laptop Case is my case of choice. It's waterproof, accident proof and when it gets chucked in the back of my car under a ton of photographic kit and other gubbins I know it'll emerge unscathed!

 

Quick Navigation

Overview

Specification

Contents

Compatibility

Review

Conclusion

Resources

Overview

A laptop case is a laptop case is a laptop case right? Wrong! The screens on a laptop and the internal components are delicate and won't thank you for being squashed in a soft bag surrounded by chargers and other sharp objects. if you have ever suffered the ignominy of a cracked laptop screen you'll know that repair is rarely an option. The part costs is so great that coupled with labour charges it is often cheaper to throw away and buy a new replacement.

 

So lets take a look at the Otterbox solution.

 

Size:

External Dimensions:

416.9 mm x 368.3 mm x 85.7 mm or 16.375" x 14.5" x 3.375"

 

Otterbox review

 

What Do You Get

The Otterbox 7000 Laptop Case consists of the following parts:

  1. The laptop case.
  2. A sturdy should strap
  3. A selection of velcro backed rubber bumpers to secure your laptop
  4. A built in velcro safety belt
  5. Two keys

 

In common with other Otterbox products, the 7000 has an O-Ring gasket around the entire opening which means the case is waterproof when closed. Now nobody is suggesting you go diving with this case but you can be sure that if left outside in torrential rain it will keep the contents safe and dry (so long as you remember to close the lid!)

 

Compatibility

Otterbox advise that the 7000 will fit most laptops with 15" screens or less.

 

I tested this with an Apple MacBook (shown in the images) which has a 12" display and it fitted with room to spare. I also tested with an Apple MacBook pro which has a 15" screen. This also fitted, it was snug but it fitted!

 

Max. dimensions of the laptop the case will accommodate (with the standard bumpers) is:

 

14.2" (361 mm) wide x 11.2" (284 mm) deep x 1.9" (48.3 mm) thick

 

To make the decision easier Otterbox have an interactive tool on their web site, you input your laptop dimensions and it will confirm whether your laptop will fit or not. You can access this utility here.

 

 

The review

 

The first thing you need to do when you receive your case is fit the supplied bumpers.

 

A Selection of bumpers in different sizes is provided to cater for most possibilities

 

The bumpers are attached to a Velcro patch, when fitted to the case lining hold fast and securely. They help locate the laptop and isolate it from external shocks.

 

 

 

 

Once you have fitted the four corner bumpers the laptop will sit securely in the case. To secure the laptop and keep it in its place with the lid closed there is a fabric/velcro safety strap.

 

 

The big bonus of this case for field workers is that it can be left in the case and operated whilst there. The lower half of the case is low profile which means it does not sit higher than the laptop contained within making for much more comfortable typing.

 

 

The left and right hand sides of the case are dropped to allow cable access to ports. This works great so long as your laptop has power and other ports on the sides. If your power socket or USB ports etc are on the rear then you need to ensure you have sufficient room to access them with the laptop in-situ.

 

 

The case is secured by two very strong latches which have an over centre action. The key latch is in a compartment outside of the O-Ring so as not to compromise the effectiveness of the water proofing. there is also a strong and comfortable rubber/fabric handle.

 

 

The bottom has rubber feet to prevent scratching etc.

 

 

An extra cost option is the Business Card / File / Pen & Pencil Holder which attaches to the lid.

 

 

Conclusions  

The Otterbox 7000 case certainly affords your laptop the best possible protection you can give it. It's well made and works well. Although there is space to store your power leads, adapter etc on top of the laptop I would however have preferred to see better provision for these essentials.

 

Another minor gripe is it is top heavy, so when you remove the laptop the case flips on to its back. It is a petty gripe I know but one that caught me out on a number of occasions! It also doesn't sit upright very well when closed in briefcase mode.

 

If you use a laptop outdoors, on building sites, in extreme environments etc then this is the ideal solution.

 

The best compliment I can pay is that not only would I buy one, I did! Now it's a rare event when a journalist springs his hard earned cash for something I can assure you but this was one of those events!

 

 

Pros

  • The best protection available in a case
  • Waterproof
  • Secure against theft of contents
  • Adjustable to fit most laptops

Cons

  • No provision for accessories, power supply etc
  • Top heavy when open and empty

 

References

Suppliers Web-site www.otterbox.com
Pocket GPS Contributor

Darren Griffin

RRP  

 

 

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