Notebooks have always been easy to pinch: their practicality is also their downfall. Kensington have been securing notebooks for many years, being the name in notebook security. Most notebooks features a Kensington lock slot, and many other devices such as monitors and TVs are now incorporating them too. But can this ComboSaver really keep your possessions secure?

ComboSaver, as the name suggests, features a combination lock, but is otherwise a similar configuration to other notebook locks, featuring a plastic coated cable with a loop at one end and the lock on the other. To secure your notebook, you simply loop the cable around a secure anchor point, pass the lock end through the loop and then attach it to your PC, secured via a twist and pushing in the button on the end.

The combination lock, like other Kensington locks, is swivel mounted, both on the cable and within the housing within which it sits, meaning it is pretty easy to get into position without the cable being a hindrance. Equally, you can’t twist the cable to put pressure on the locking T bar slotted into the PC, although with the lock being about 5cm long, you can get your hand around it to perhaps snap it out it off. The mechanism does have a rubber cuff on the end, so when in position it doesn’t scratch up your laptop.

Equally, you’d be able to deliver a decent hammer blow to it. Whether the T bar, or the chassis of the notebook, would give-way first we decided not to test. Our tests caused very little damage, from general smashing to trying to yank it off.

The advantage of a combination lock is pretty clear - it means that you don’t need to carry a key, or potentially lose a key - and it means that you can share the combination with someone else, so if you are securing a notebook used by more than one person this won’t be a problem.

Setting the combination is also a breeze. Attached to the cable you’ll find a special key that inserts into the end of the lock and allows you to set any combination you choose. This presented no problems at all, and took all of about 20 seconds to do. The lock dials are also solid and click firmly into each numbered position, unlike some other locks where things are a bit slack. A yellow marker along the top shows you where you have to line things up, with four dials and ten digits per dial.

The cable itself is 5.5mm thick and 1.8m long, so should long enough to secure in most situations. The twisted strand steel cable is coated in rubber, meaning it won’t scratch everything else your bag. Whilst you’d still be able to cut through the cable with a pair of bolt croppers, this does provide a more secure solution than some of the thinner cables.

Within an office environment it would be pretty tricky to break for an opportunist, but a professional thief will probably be equipped with the right tools for the job. Out and about, however, such as at an airport or coffee shop, the lock is probably substantial enough to deter most.


If you are planning on using this as portable solution, there is a rubber tab to secure your cable in a tidy loop, although it will still catch on everything as you pull it out of your bag – a problem that the retractable lock we looked at last week doesn’t have.

With the world going into economic meltdown, protecting your laptop is more important than ever. The ComboSaver gives you the convenience of a combination lock with a cable option that will deter passing thieves, all in a good quality bundle.