Top critical review
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Great Idea, But Poor Retractability, Cheap & Bulky Casing = Not Worth Price
on November 10, 2010
==Kensington Retractable Notebook Lock==
PROS: of all the notebook locks available on Amazon, this is the best product in theory. Retractability means you can carry the device easily around with you--which, if you're locking your notebook to begin with--means you probably need to do anyways!
CONS: I'm surprised by the great reviews on this device because for me, the Kensington lock felt much cheaper than expected in several ways. Retractability was not smooth; on my device, I had to manually "guide" the cord back into the device, even with the retract button pressed. Once that's over with, you have to carefully guide the lock portion of the device back into the plastic rails that hold it in place. Overall, the whole device felt too plastic-like and even breakable--surprising for a device made by Kensington. As other reviewers have noted, the cord is rather short and certainly cuttable, though I could have accepted these had the other qualities worked out. The fact that this device relies on keys is a true annoyance; who wants another key to carry around with them? Combination locks are more portable and would have been better suited to a device geared towards portability. Opening the lock with the key is, also, not as easy as it may seem. The lock itself seems quality constructed, but inserting the key and freely rotating it to unlock your computer is a bit more challenging when your laptop is sitting locked on a table--something to consider. Finally, the Kensington lock is bigger than you might expect from pictures. It's not as compact as I expected, and this begins to outweigh its convenience as a portable lock.
BOTTOM LINE: it's a GREAT idea that I hope will be picked up by other companies. But the larger size of the thing and its cheap plastic-like feel, combined with a (annoyingly keyed) lock that's difficult to retract and set back in place, begins to outweigh what the Kensington would have provided in convenience. I returned this lock in favor of a loose combination cord lock.