Lock for an HP laptop
May 29, 2012 6:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for a hardware lock for an HP laptop.

I have a large HP laptop I mainly use a as desktop machine, but very occasionally take on work trips. One of those work trips is coming up, and I am looking for some kind of physical lock to secure this laptop now and then.

I'm aware that these locks are really not super secure, and that anything like this can be defeated, and often fairly easily by someone in the know, but I still want one to at least slow someone down if they are thinking about grabbing the laptop. I've googled the heck out this, but every lock type seems to have at least a few people talking really negatively, to the point where I can't figure out what lock might work for my limited aims.
posted by gudrun to Computers & Internet (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Your machine almost certainly has a Kensington Security Slot in it. Almost anything you buy that fits that slot will deter opportunistic theft. It is really up to your decision if you want to have a key to unlock or a tumbler code etc.
posted by mmascolino at 7:07 AM on May 29, 2012

Yes, the laptop does have a Kensington Security Slot. Just looking to narrow down my options a bit on what lock to get, if possible. Thanks.
posted by gudrun at 8:05 AM on May 29, 2012

Since you're talking about using it while traveling, you probably want a portable lock like this or this. The standard Kensington locks have a base plate which is permanently attached (glued or bolted) to a non-movable surface, the cable attaches to that, and locks to your device.

The portable locks are designed to be looped around a non-movable object and locked to your device. Of course, that means finding something you can use. The leg of a piece of furniture is no good, as you can just lift up the furniture enough to slide it off the leg. (Or sometimes, the legs are simply screwed into the underside of the furniture and come off with a few twists!) I usually wound up going around some large part of the bed frame. Some business-oriented hotels have lock points on the desk (often just a plate with an eyelet bolted to the desk with secure screws.)

Of course, anything can be circumvented (anyone can buy screwdrivers for secure screws online or at some hardware stores, and the early "barrel locks" could be easily defeated with a Bic pen.) and the locks really only serve to deter opportunistic theft. The problem is that in a hotel room, the thief is given a relatively secure and undisturbed place to work. If you're at a hotel attending a conference and he sees conference paperwork on your table, he can be reasonably sure you'll be out of the room most of the day, and he'll have plenty of time alone with your lock.

Where I wound up using mine the most wasn't so much in the hotel room, but at the restaurant or a coffee shop, when I had to use the restroom or go get another coffee. I'd lock my notebook to a chair or to the table. Generally works well for that. When staying in a hotel, I just assume that anything I leave in the room can be stolen, and plan accordingly. I'd leave the laptop locked up if there was no other choice, but I usually wound up carrying the laptop in its backpack for the duration of the trip.
posted by xedrik at 11:48 AM on May 29, 2012

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