Holiday Buyer's Guide 2006, Part 5: The Mobile Stuff

Otterbox 7000 Rugged Laptop Cases

Otterbox has a well deserved reputation for building cases for a variety of mobile devices including portable music and video players and PDAs. The company's new line of rugged laptop (and notebook) cases builds on that reputation. The case shells are made of nearly indestructible polypropylene and the cases themselves are waterproof though not designed for immersion in water. In addition Otterbox supplies a number of moveable bumpers that assure computers stay in place during even the roughest jiggling and joggling. The cases have a very sturdy feel both with and without a computer inside.

Otterbox Rugged cases come with bumpers that are securely held in place using Velcro. The cases come with four standard laptop bumpers, four large notebook bumpers and two L-shaped bumpers. After the computer is positioned within the bumpers a traditional two part hold-down strap is run over the top and tightly secured using Velcro. The case also comes with a shoulder strap, two keys and an instruction sheet.

Otterbox 7000 rugged cases come in two sizes. One fits mobile computers with displays up to 15" diagonally; the other holds laptops and notebooks with displays as large as 17". Both cases are fitted on the back with a rectangular opening covered by rubber access plug. The opening can be used to bring cables outside the case when the computer is in use. While the flap fits tightly into the opening, it might loosen or come out, which is likely why Otterbox warns that the cases should not be immersed in water. There are also water drain holes on the case to get any water that gets inside out quickly and a vent to regulate pressure in the case while keeping it waterproof.

If you have trouble finding Otterbox 7000 series cases check the company website at The 15" case retails for $170.

Ed Tittel

Ed Tittel is a long-time IT writer, researcher and consultant, and occasional contributor to Tom’s Hardware. A Windows Insider MVP since 2018, he likes to cover OS-related driver, troubleshooting, and security topics.