updated 09:50 am EDT, Wed April 7, 2010
Tablet meets X-ray criteria
Travelers can keep an iPad inside of their regular carry-on luggage, the US Transportation Security Administration has declared. Under TSA regulations, any notebook-like device must normally be removed from a bag during the security screening process. The iPad sits in an awkward middle spot in terms of size, neither as easily examinable as a smartphone nor as large as hardware like the MacBook.
The Associated Press notes, however, that the TSA believes the iPad to be relatively small, without "bulky" accessories that might interfere with X-ray machines. Only if a scan proves difficult does the TSA expect people to pull an iPad out of a carry-on. If it were treated as a genuine notebook, many travelers would have to take it along in a separate gear bag to speed up screening.
Apple is meanwhile said to be delivering the initial round of first-party iPad cases for people who ordered online. The cases cost $39 each, and beyond protecting both sides of an iPad, use a lid which can be folded back into a stand. This addresses a fundamental limitation of the tablet, which is the difficulty of typing or watching video without a stable surface.