Usually we put the OR show vendor’s official product website stuff early in our coverage, thereby enhancing whatever worldly tone we can put forward…or at least, giving us a target for cynicism. But this new Pelican case presents a problem for our staff. Our most senior staffer has for years carried his notebook computers in hard leather, portfolio-style cases. Besides looking most business-like, our man about town appreciates the way his patina-aged computer case “holds on” to the leather seats of his Italian sports car. Think Fellini’s La Dolce Vita movie in black and white, Armani suits and Roma, and you’ve got the picture of one of our COG guys. (Just don’t call him Marcello.) Of course, this kind of action, sliding around and off car seats whipping though the via Veneto, sends shock waves straight through leather portfolios and rattles our COG issued laptops to their very photo-etched cores. Now our other senior COGger goes quite the other direction: full armored Pelican case protection before he’ll move his laptop across the room. And these are the full suitcase-sized, bullet-proof Pelicans that need a screw-mounted vent-port (releasing trapped air pressure) to get the case opened anywhere above sea level. One of these reporters requires a laptop repair every few months; the other guy’s computer works perfectly through the time the OEM stops making updates for it. It’s the old dating conundrum: no protection or too much?
Well, Pelican may have been a little slow to that laptop party, but the result debuting at Summer 2011 OR was well worth the wait. Our fashion forward reporter can have a lightweight, most European-trim case that’ll shed shock and water on any James Bond outing across the curbs and cobbles. Meanwhile our over anxious, mild-mannered reporter can get his notebook past the stewardess and into an overhead compartment without an excess baggage charge. Besides which, none of our COG laptops needs to be waterproofed down to 300 feet. We know it’s tough to give up that old Pelican, deep-water air-seal but we’ve just got to keep the TSA security line moving: enough with the old six-point locking systems!
Besides the information Pelican allows in the, there’s more to report. If you can believe this, the formal press release UNDERstates a delivered product’s features? We think this is entry #2 in the COG oxymoron sweepstakes, good-for-the-consumer category. But we saw with our own eyes. These new Pelican HardBack cases come in sizes to fit computers to 13 inches, not just the stated 10 inches. The iPad units look compact enough for a jacket pocket. Another configuration presents an Apple keyboard and opens as a stand to hold the iPad-as-monitor. Drop proof and water proof (OK, they still sport a pressure-release valve, but now it’s automatic) with form-fitted or custom interior cushioning, the new Pelicans are less than 1/3 the bulk/weight of the old, throw ‘em in the whitewater units…and so stylish your better-half won’t be embarrassed to go boulevarding with you. And as the copy states, the new HardBack will fit inside any soft bag, so you don’t have to go naked if you (or your laptops) need to go undercover.