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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2008
Verified Purchase
The photo of this product doesn't make this fact completely obvious, but the cable is about a fifth of the diameter of the standard Kensington security cables. I imagine it could be cut with a good pair of heavy duty wire cutters without too much difficulty, but it's probably good enough for the average thief.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2009
Verified Purchase
Well I suppose the only way to find out how strong the really thin cable on this is, is to go at it with pliers. But I am not about to do that. Keep that in mind. There'll always be some uncertainty and doubt in your mind about leaving your precious laptop behind.

I wish that Kensington had something to say about that - surely the thin cable is the first thing people will wonder about when they see this. Does the absence of any reassuring words mean that (1) they do actually know that it isn't the most secure and/or (2) that they think it is more a deterrent than a real security measure, but saying so will hurt their chances of selling this?

The only way to cast some of those doubts away is by using it in a relatively secure place to begin with, some place that has a steady flow of people in the first place. I would not leave my laptop behind in a coffee shop or my library or student lounge, without locking it. And in those places, I wouldn't mind using this, because any miscreant trying to fiddle with the lock or the cable is bound to be noticed. But I would probably use this only in those kinds of places. For anything that you would deem less secure and/or more secluded, go with the thicker cables. (The reason why I bought it in the first place is to use in my library, the Grad Student Center and the Chinatown bus, so I'm quite pleased with my purchase.)

The length of the cable could be a bother for some people too. It really is quite short. On a regular size table, you computer cannot be more than 1.5 or 2 feet from the edge/corner if you use this on the front leg of the table.

Unfortunately there isn't much choice out there with retractable locks (which is something I was looking for). This is the only one by a company of some repute. I searched about aplenty, including a bunch of computer stores, but this is really the only one.

The price on Amazon is quite good. I don't follow however, why it moves around about $1.

Hope this helps!
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2009
I prefer key locks (combos will sometimes get stuck in your computer), and this one is excellent. The chord is very thin, but the deterrent effect is enough to keep it safe unless you're leaving it in an empty room. My major quibble is that the chord is too short. If you are working on a wide desk or the part of the desk to which you want to tie the cable is opposite the lock, the cable will not reach.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 10, 2010
Verified Purchase
==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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2012
I bought this product even though many reviews were poor. The device is a great size and the concept really valuable to me. But...the device is too frail (all plastic) and the retraction mechanism broke on the first pull. The cord is very thin, but works to keep the casual thief away. The cord is only about 3.5 feet long. At the library I could not get it around a leg of table and back up to me laptop without working on it at the edge of the table...risky to fall off kind of close.
Overall, great concept. POOR QUALITY and need revised design for durability. Another thing that would help if the Mfg is listening to any feedback at all...put a lock receiver in the bottom of the device so that you can just make one loop around other items like a bag or luggage. It would extend its use and let it reach more items..
NOT WORTH THE MONEY AND WONT LAST. ;(
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2010
I ordered one of these off eBay, which ended up that it didn't have keys included with it. As the product is useless without keys, the seller refunded my money fully. Kensington does sell replacement keys, but you need the serial off the original key, which I obviously did not have.

Since I effectively got it for free, I wanted to test its strength before I decided whether or not it was worth my money to get another. Other security cables that I've had in the past have been much thicker, but I'm a sucker for convenient items in my laptop bag- a Targus universal charger, retractable network cable, etc etc, and so this retractable lock would work out better for me.

In one spot I used a pair of household scissors. I was attempting to cut at the spot for a good 5 minutes or so, and while the plastic sheath cut easily, the steel cable didn't even scratch.

In another spot, I attempted to cut it using a cheap wire stripper from Radioshack that I've used in the past to cut cables, with it set to the smallest opening. Five minutes with this, and the cable underneath began to fray. After ten minutes, I was able to cut through the cable.

I have no doubt that a pair of shears or the like would cut through it even quicker.

That being said, I'll probably still be purchasing another one. Pretty much any cable is only going to stop someone for so long anyway. If a thief is dedicated enough, they'll be able to get your laptop. This goes for any security cable, no matter how thick it is. The best you can hope for is that it'll take long enough that the thief will decide it's not worth it.

In my opinion, this product is perfect for that.

Sure, it could be thicker, but it works well enough that I think it'll stop all but the really dedicated thief. The only other con I've noticed is that the retractable cable sometimes seems to stick, and you'll have to pull it out and feed it back in on occasion to get it to retract.

In pictures, the keys also do look slightly more unwieldy than I'd prefer, but since mine didn't come with a key, I don't know that for sure. I also would prefer a black key rather than a bright yellow thing, but that's just a nitpick. I just would prefer a combination lock instead, and might look to see if other manufacturers do similar with a combo.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 30, 2010
Verified Purchase
I bought this for use with my new MacBook Pro. Of all the notebook lock/cable options on Amazon, I picked this one because it was retractable and thus less of a pain to haul around. The cable is thin enough that it wouldn't stop the most determined thief, but I highly doubt someone's gonna whip out a cable cutter or break the furniture my lock is tethered to while it's in the middle of a coffee shop or library. So it's strong enough for my needs.

Where it disappoints is the length of the cable and the poor retraction. You actually need to be closer than four feet from a table leg (or whatever you're tethering your laptop to), and it's pretty much impossible to get the cord to fully retract. I don't mean that it wouldn't fully retract after I'd been using it for awhile, I mean it wouldn't do so right out of the box. I wouldn't buy one again, but this thing still has a smaller footprint in my bag than a regular, thicker security cable, so I (somewhat begrudgingly) kept it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2010
Verified Purchase
I bought this lock a few months back to lockup my laptop at customer sites when traveling for business. When I received the lock, I messed around with it for 5 minutes or so and could not get it to work. The lock would not open. I didn't have much time to mess with it. So, here I am today, messing with it again because I have more travel coming up. Guess what, I still cannot get it to unlock with either of the keys. I've tried it on 3 laptops. And yes, I am in IT and I have worked with these types of locks many of times in the past.

So, now what? Packaging is long gone, and I've yet to use it a single time. Having spend 30 minutes screwing with it- what a waste. If you buy one, test it ASAP.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2009
Pros:
The retractable laptop lock is very portable. This device is made for someone who is on the go. You don't have to worry about winding up the long metal cord any more, because it only takes a couple seconds to put it away.

Cons:
The only thing that I would like changed on it is to make the cord a foot longer and a little thicker. Other than that, I have no complints about this device.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on July 13, 2009
Verified Purchase
This is a great locking cable. Very small and portable. It is the same size as my Logitech VX nano mouse and fits perfectly into a pocket in my laptop bag.

The retractable cable is solid and doesn't get hung up when retracting.

My only cons:
-Short cable that is only good if you laptop is with in a few feet of a place to wrap it around. But this is understandable with such a compact size.
-Bulky and overly long keys take up too much space on a keychain.
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