A few days ago I ordered the Kensington MicroSaver DS keyed lock from Amazon.com
I had a lot in mind when I weighed buying a new lock — the thickness of the cable was one issue, the lock itself was the bigger one, and the choice of keys vs combo. The one thing I did know was I wanted a Kensington lock.
I took a look at quite a few locks. For combo locks I looked at the ComboSaver Portable, the ComboSaver and ComboSaver Ultra. The advantage of the ComboSaver series is that you can set (and change) your own combination. So if you have a combo that you tell someone (or they find out) you can easily change it. The once complaint I did see a lot of is that the ComboSaver Portable had a lot of reviews saying that the cable was very thin. I just gave up a lock with a thin cable, and didn’t really care to replace it with another once. My other problem is, I sometimes forget combinations.
So on to considering keyed locks. The thing I look at with keyed locks is 1- don’t lose the key (or let it get stolen). That defeats the lock entirely. (It’s worth nothing that Kensington does offer free key replacement for registered locks) 2- I carefully look at the strength of the key/lock pair (especially after seeing this video about the insecurities of round keys). Locks with simple keys can often be easily defeated.
So I took a look through the keyed series of locks and saw only one that didn’t use a round lock. The Kensington MicroSaver DS. This lock uses a disc-style lock mechanism and has a “Safe Premium” rating: The highest security rating from Kensington.
And I got a mail-in rebate too :)
So I get this lock in the mail today, and of the first things I notice was the particular style of key cut on the key. Disc-style locks use a key with angles cut into the key (see the link above) which is very secure and very difficult to copy (and EXTREMELY difficult to pick successfully). Also, the steel cable is laminated and very thick, the lock itself pivots and rotates 360 degrees, making the connection to the laptop very easy.
When locking and unlocking the lock, I did notice it took a little bit of fiddling to get the key all the way in the lock. It’s very easy to turn the key while it’s still partway in, which will fail to unlock the lock. Just wiggling the key a little bit back and forth will get it in, and this quickly because habit. Chalk it up to the disc-type design.
I’m very happy with the lock, and it’s low-profile design will make a good match with even the thinnest laptop designs.