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Rugged 'turtle shell' keeps laptops dry

The new OtterBox Rugged Laptop Carrying Case wasn't intended to be an enabler of stupid stunts or to be used as a flotation device, but rather as insurance for your laptop when dumb things happen.

The waterproof case is like a turtle sealed in its shell, guaranteed to keep its contents dry for a depth of up to 3 feet. It's made from a lightweight high-impact polypropylene shell that provides water protection, dust protection and drop protection. The water and dust resistance is particularly useful for mobile workers like construction foremen and home inspectors who operate under adverse environmental and weather conditions. The case is able to withstand a 250-pound person jumping on it, so it will be able to protect your laptop from more mundane situations, like from some knucklehead stacking his luggage on your case at the airport, or from dropping it while pulling it out of your trunk.

OtterBox Rugged Laptop Carrying Case
Credit: OtterBox

Stabilizing and shock-absorbing features are prominent, including durable no-slide rubber grips on the case, rubber bumpers inside the case that form a shock-resistant envelope around the laptop and a Velcro strap to secure the laptop when the case is closed.

The internal bumpers come in standard, large and L-shaped sizes. All the rubber bumpers have Velcro backings that adhere to the inside of the case, making the internal cavity shrink to fit almost any laptop like a pair of Lee jeans.

A small portal in the bottom of the case is just large enough to allow access to the ports in the back of the laptop and let cables exit through the bottom. It may seem counterintuitive to put a hole in the bottom of a waterproof case, but the portal is sealed with a rubber plug thick enough to remain securely anchored.

The case is available in three models. The 7020 is for laptops up to 14 inches and smaller and the 7040 is for laptops up to 17 inches. Both cases will be available this month for $119.95 and $149.95 respectively. The 7030, which accommodates laptops with 14-inch to 15-inch screens, will be available in August for $129.95.

Caveat emptor: If the case proves to not be waterproof, OtterBox will replace your case for free. However, that still means you could be out one laptop. So if you feel the urge to go swimming with your case, make sure someone else's laptop is in it.