by Chris Carnabatu
Kensington MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock Review
For over 25 years businesses and consumers alike have turned to one company as their solution for computer peripheral searches and needs. Today, Kensington remains one of the largest recognized quality brand names specialized in accessories for not only computers, but iPods and media devices as well. In this review, I will be analyzing the most secure Kensington computer lock constructed to date, the MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock.
The Kensington MicroSaver DS Lock. (view large image)
Uses for a computer lock (Read this – especially college students)
With road warriors, business professionals and regular consumers on the road more often than not, sales for notebooks and Tablet PCs have sky rocketed in the past years. Unfortunately matching this trend, is the number of stolen notebooks, which in recent years has experienced a boom as well. Most users will never be able to recover their precious laptops or the highly valuable information written on the hard disks within, whether it be credit card numbers, company data, or family pictures and personal music that took years to collect.
In fact, studies conducted by the FBI show that 97% of stolen laptops are never recovered. Of course, password protecting your important and sensitive information is a good start in the event that such an unthinkable event should happen. But what can you do to secure your notebook or Tablet PC and remain part of that statistical 3%? You can prevent theft by physically securing your laptop to a heavy object such as a large desk. If you happen to be a college student packing up and preparing to move in to your new dorm or you already moved in, imagine this very scenario. You share a relatively small room with your dorm mate and decide to leave momentarily to grab a bite to eat. You imagine that it will only take a couple of minutes so taking your notebook with you or shutting it down isn’t necessary, especially since your new roommate says that he/ she will watch over things. Now imagine that the very same roommate decides to get a breath of fresh air and forgets to lock the door, leaving your notebook in plain view should somebody decide to enter without permission. Later that day you return to your room only to find that your expensive new notebook is nowhere in sight.
Believe it or not, this is one of the most common ways notebooks are stolen on campus. One other important piece of information to keep in mind is that notebooks are the number one personal item stolen on every college and university campus. The only way to effectively guard against such a worst case scenario is by investing in a notebook lock and locking your computer every time you leave your dorm. Although, there are other companies that offer a selection of notebook locks, Kensington is the leading trusted source by consumers and businesses worldwide. With their wide variety of locks, Kensington offers two different categories: "Notebook Keyed Locks" and "Notebook Combo Locks". Each lock also carries a safety rating of "Safe", "Safe Pro", and "Safe Premium" to satisfy the needs of all users. The MicroSaver DS Lock is a keyed lock with a safety rating of "Safe Premium", making it the most durable and robust notebook lock in the collection to date.
The MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock right out of the box. (view large image)
Build and Design
Built from three layers of tempered steel, this six-foot cable of sheer strength will have the sharpest cutting tools crying for mercy. The cable itself is coated with a plastic layer, which adds to the overall durability. In the event that you do not need to utilize all six-feet of cable, the MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock comes with an orange rubber tie to secure the remaining unused portion (as shown in the picture above). Beneath the plastic finish are three layers of steel as mentioned above: the core is constructed from carbon-tempered steel; the layer around the core is composed of aircraft- grade steel; and the outermost layer before the plastic covering is a steel braided sheath. This dynamic combination allows for a design that displays unmatched durability and strength.
Close up view of the steel cable. (view large image)
To further protect your notebook or tablet, the lock itself has a black rubber covering around the edge of the locking mechanism that physically meets with your notebook to prevent any scratches.
Picture of the rubber covering and T-Bar mechanism. (view large image)
The T-bar, shown in the picture above, is another Kensington innovation that adds to the durability of the overall locking mechanism. When turning the key, the T-bar turns and covers two metal stubs thus allowing the user to insert the lock. When in the notebook lock slot, the user then turns the key 90 degrees which turns the T-bar in a perpendicular direction in relation to the metal stubs (as displayed in the picture above). The MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock shows no flex factor whatsoever when inserted and locked in place.
MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock locked in a Fujitsu Tablet PC. (view large image)
Included with the MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock are two, solid orange keys. Engraved on both keys is a unique string of letters and numbers that users are encouraged to register online. Users may find this feature very helpful because it allows Kensington to duplicate the keys in the event that the user should loose or misplace them. (Hint to all those college students.)
MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock key (serial number on the reverse side). (view large image)
The attachment of the lock to the cable is secured with a series of metal components bolted to the casing of the lock itself so that removal of the cable with conventional tools and force is nearly impossible.
Close up view of the cable attachment. (view large image)
For those of you curious as to how the lock is secured into place, the picture below will provide insight on this topic. Before obtaining the lock myself and looking over the diagram, I was somewhat curious as to how any type of computer lock was strapped to an object.
Diagram of securing the lock. (view large image)
I found that using the lock was extremely easy. Simply inserting the key and locking or unlocking the mechanism is all that is required to operate this device. The only recommendation I would give users of any lock is to be aware of the object that the notebook cable is fastened to. Try to secure the cable to a heavy object such as a well placed desk or bed post or an opening in a table if possible. The high quality of this product along with the security it offers should place the MicroSaver DS Notebook Lock on the top spot of every security conscientious college student’s list of computer accessories.