OtterBox 7030 Rugged Laptop Carrying Case

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OtterBox 7030
Rugged Laptop Carrying Case
June 7, 2006

  • OtterBox 7030 Rugged Laptop Carrying Case (one of three versions being released)
  • Polypropylene construction
  • MSRP: $129.95
  • Availability: Summer 2006

OtterBox raised quite a commotion at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The reason? The Rugged Laptop Carrying Case. Otterbox had a 250lb person jump on their laptop case as well as pour a bottle of water over it.

This is the first OtterBox product review by DigitalDingus and I am very happy to have them be a part of DigitalDingus as they feature a wide variety of protection cases for just about anything you own or imagine. If it's digital, they have something to protect from the elements.

Laptop Protection For A Mobile Society

It's certainly not breaking news, but every single year, we become more of a Mobile Society. Our lifestyles and jobs require it--even demand it. In order to get things done, you have to be able to multi-task in multiple environments which means you can't stay home and complete all your work. OtterBox recognizes this demand by creating a sophisticated, rugged, and professional laptop carrying case, built for the extreme conditions we often encounter outside our homes. Maybe even outside our doorstep depending on where we live.

OtterBox 7030 Rugged Laptop Carrying Case

OtterBox 7030 showing customizable shock-absorbing elastomer corner bumpers
Figure 2

I was fortunate enough to have shipped to me, a "first-run" sample of what the Rugged Laptop Carrying Case product line is going to look like, feel, and function. The 7030 version I received accepts 14" to 15" screen sizes (4:3 and ~16:9). For most laptop users, this size should suffice, but OtterBox does have the 7040 version which accepts 17" monitor sizes. The 7020 version is for laptops smaller than 14".

The weight of the 7030 case is not as light as it looks, and you will most definitely realize how serious the Rugged Laptop series is. The 7030 Rugged Laptop Case weighs in at just under 7lbs (6.82lbs to be exact) with the standard 4 rubber corner bumpers. Add the additional accessories shown below, and you'll go over the 7lb mark.

OtterBox 7030 Features & Specifications

  • 7030 version accepts laptops with 14" to 15" screens
  • High impact Polypropylene construction for maximum strength and durability
  • Automatic pressure equalization
  • Shock-absorbing, elastomer corner bumpers
  • Complete dust, water and drop protection
  • Easy-open and ergonomic latches
  • Comfortable shoulder strap
  • Integrated lock
  • 16.375" x 14.5" x 3.375" (W x D x H)
    (416.9mm x 368.3mm x 85.7mm) (W x D x H)
  • MSRP (7030) / Street Price: $129.95

OtterBox gives you a nice amount of additional elastomer (i.e., rubber) corner bumpers and straight-edge bumpers for your own special requirement. We all have our own unique ways of configuring our equipment, and OtterBox gives you the accessories to do this.

OtterBox 7030 accessories
Figure 3

Also note a pair of keys (shown in figure 3 above) for the lock OtterBox includes with the Rugged Laptop Carrying Case series.

High-Quality Product

I decided to show some images of how well built the Rugged Carrying Case and accessories actually are. First, let's take a look at the accessories.

OtterBox 7030 close-up of the high-quality accessories (the Corner Bumpers)
Figure 4

OtterBox 7030 close-up of the high-quality accessories (the Side Bumpers
Figure 5

The top images show the rubber corner bumpers and the side bumpers. Each bumper has the velcro kept together by metal. No cheap gluing of parts are found here.

Rugged Design - Built To Last

OtterBox 7030 front view
Figure 6

OtterBox 7030 backside view
Figure 7

Water Draining System

Another great feature of the Rugged Laptop Carrying Case series is the Water Draining System. The WDS allows water within the case to drain away without harming your laptop or anything inside the sealed barrier.

OtterBox 7030 Water Draining System
Figure 8

If you take a second look at the image above, you'll notice what looks like a "BB" lodged in the case. This is part of the automatic pressure equalization, which keeps the laptop case waterproof, but still allows the case to pressurize properly for opening on top of a mountain or on a plane, and from those high altitudes back to places at sea level or lower.

Latches & Grips

The latches on the 7030 are intelligently designed. It takes a few moments to figure them out, but they are designed to initially stay locked after opening, thereby protection your case one step further in case it was accidental, and by simply pressing on the latch again, it will open.

OtterBox 7030 latch
Figure 9

The grips on the underside of the OtterBox 7030 stick firm and secure to any surface.

OtterBox 7030 underside rubber grips
Figure 10

  • Highly customizable configuration of the elastomer corner bumpers for the laptop
  • Convenient access port in back of the case for the AC power adapter and other ports
  • Excellent gripping rubber feet
  • Laptop quick release strap comes in handy when you need to remove the laptop in a hurry (such as airports)
  • Very easy to open and close the case via the two non-slip grip locks
  • Made of Polypropylene
  • Integrated lock which is placed in the recessed area of the case, furthering security
  • Swiveling shoulder strap which moves when you do
  • Automatic pressure equalization (this is a really cool feature which keeps your laptop safe from different )
  • None observed
  • Tends to be ever so slightly "wobbly" when placed on it's spine end (handle facing up). Nothing major, but noticeable on a few occasions.

This is one tough case. After knocking it around the backyard and stepping on it, the 7030 was still intact. What surprised me was the lack of any marks or signs of scratches where the extreme contact took place. Apparently the type of Polypropylene used for the cases is resistant to scratches as well. The overall external design of the 7030 is quite intelligent. If you take a close look at it, you see a mold of a typical laptop case design, but then notice the improved protective additions around the edges, corners, and sides.

The two latches on the case which open it are some of the best designed I've ever seen. You can open and shut the case in a matter of seconds, without fumbling around trying to make sure the latches line up and make contact correctly with the case itself. On other laptop case designs, I've experienced this problem myself. The handle on the 7030 is very comfortable and has a "sure-grip" feel to it. There's no way the case will just slip out of your hands--even when they are sweaty due to warm and hot weather.

The internal design of the case is impressive. The sealing mechanism is one of the best designs I've had a chance to take a close look at.

Overall, the OtterBox 7030 Rugged Laptop Carrying Case protection is simple and elegant, and does not intrude on a person's use of the laptop at all. The way the case was made, was to have a low profile on the bottom part, versus most laptop cases which are split exactly 50/50 between the top and bottom.


The OtterBox 7030 Rugged Laptop Carrying Case is a godsend to those who want to keep their office mobile. Not only can small business owners and individuals benefit, but also the medical field, law enforcement, and construction environments.

Anyone with a laptop should consider the cost of replacing laptops. The average laptop price in 2005 was around $1000. This is less expensive than previous years, but still is a considerable amount of money. For about 13% of the cost of the average price of a notebook, you can get high-quality protection from OtterBox.

Since 1996, OtterBox has been making specialized cases for a wide selection of different digital devices, having experience and knowledge of how to protect your investment. In today's world where electronics are vulnerable and lifespan is uncertain, it's just a smart idea to keep your valued digital devices in a protective environment, extending its average lifespan.

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