Zero Case - Z5 Notebook Carrying Case Review

 Zero Case - Z5 Notebook Carrying Case Review
Reviewer: Tyler DeGiacomo
Category: 
Miscellaneous
Model: 
Z5
Price: 
$199.99
Tough. Lightweight. Elegant. Stylish. The Zero computer case is one of a kind in the arena of notebook protection. It's rugged construction from heat-treated aircraft-quality aluminum and shock-absorbent polyurethane padding is a force to be reckoned with. Providing your valuables with unparalleled protection. Boasting big-screen appearances in movies such as Austin Powers II, Entrapment, Mission: Impossible and X-Files, the odds of you seeing a Zero Case enclosure before are pretty good. No, this carrying case will not make you a movie star or an action hero. But it will protect your Notebook PC investment from accident and the elements.

Features

  • Colors: Gunmetal Gray and Silver
  • Unit Size: 13" x 18" x 4"
  • Interior: 10.6" x 15.6" x 3"
  • Aircraft-quality aluminum shell.
  • Neoprene gasket.
  • Triple combination lock.
  • Wear-resistant interior padding.
  • High-tension hinges.
  • Micro-cell structured polyurethane foam cushioning.
  • Light-weight (8oz/ft).
  • Sleek design.

The Exterior

Starting with a single piece of aircraft-quality aluminum, every Zero case is pressed into shape using 440 tons of pressure and then heat-tempered to give it exceptional strength. At just 8 ounces per square foot, the Zero Case exhibits the same strength characteristics as steel, while weighing just 1/4th as much. Boasting a tensile strength of nearly 50,000 lbs. per square inch! And because aluminum effectively dissipates heat and cold, the case's contents are kept from reaching temperature extremes no matter what the environment. This is truly an exceptional asset when dealing with heat sensitive electronics, such as your notebook PC. Standard on every Zero Case is a triple digit combination lock. Allowing you to set your own code scheme for additional privacy and physical security. And an intergraded neoprene gasket on the shell, which acts as a seal to keep out dust and moisture.

The Interior

As with all Zero Cases, the Z5 features an impressive combination of interior construction for added protection. The inner core of a Zero case contains a micro-cell structure of polyurethane foam, which offers grater protection in concentrated areas (Bottom of unit). Air chambers work with foam to provide addition cushioning to the walls of the unit, as the tapered conical design compensates a correct amount of resistance for the applied amount of shock. A remarkably thick interior padding covers the entire inside of the unit, providing an extra shock-absorbent layer of protection for your valuables. This seamless molded shell of cross-linked polyethylene (Interior padding) is covered by a spandex like material, comprised of a wear-resistant fabric which is made to tolerate usage and abuse. Other features worthy of note are the molded bumps along the bottom of the inner shell. Acting as shock displacements while your notebook is tethered in tightly by the Velcro strap. With an interior storage capacity of 10.6" x 15.6" x 3", the Z5 not only functions as a notebook carrier, but as a brief case as well. Housing supplementary folder space for your notes and paper work, as well as conveniently placed pockets for additional storage.

Real world testing

Recently Linuxlookup.com had the opportunity of taking the Z5 and Z7 on a staff outing. We thought, what better way to test the enclosures durability and protection then a 1300-mile (one way) trek cross-country? This trek included a total of eight stops in international airports (dreaded luggage carriers), numerous taxi rides (Over anxious cabbies throttling your gear in the trunk) and countless encounters with disgruntled venue staff tossing our baggage off their booths. Intentionally damaging the cases wasn't the goal here, it was more of a whatever happened, happens approach. But none of it phased the Zero case! With very few indications of physical abuse, we were pleased and decided to stop monitoring the outcome. A few days later, we encountered an environmental issue that didn't even cross our mind at the time. Mid-day heat! The Z5 case was carelessly left in a rent-a-car for 7 hours. During a time of day when most people didn't even want to sit poolside, let alone in an enclosed space. That afternoon, the valley temperature was an outrageous 121 degrees! We immediately thought the notebook inside would make a better doorstop then a PC after this roast. Evidently, we were wrong. Though the case was tremendously hot to the touch and could have been used to fry eggs, it was considerably chilly inside. Upon opening the Z5, I was relieved to feel a cool temperature. The dissipation effect of the aluminum shell deterred the heat. And in all honesty, saved the notebook. Amazingly, these cases had a minimal damage report. The Z5 had three black marks on a side panel from who knows what. Most likely scuffmarks from a luggage rack. The Z7 suffered a very small chip out of its plastic "footing" on the bottom of the unit. Hardly something to complain about after enduring a four (4) foot drop off the checkout desk onto a marble floor (Not planned). During this review, we planned to incorporate a "real world" test phase. But the over-exposure to heat and four foot drop were never part of the planned evaluation. Although we were happy to see the effect, it would have been a real bummer if we lost the notebooks to this type of incident. We do not recommend emulation of the above actions.

Summary

You've done all you can to protect your notebook from marauders on the Internet right? Well now it's time to implement some physical security! The Zero case is like a portable safety deposit box, without the extra weight of course. Precision engineered of quality materials that are unique yet incredibly useful and handsome in design. Whether it's used for travel, office work, personal use or an attention getter, the Zero Case is truly a delight. Offering a level of protection that will shelter your notebook computer in almost any situation. Compared to the more typically used soft-side, or "bag", type carrying case, the Zero Case makes those others look like grandmas purse!

Gallery

Conclusion

The Good - Pros
  • Timeless design
  • Supreme protection
The Bad - Cons
  • Plastic "feet" should be replaced with something stronger
The Ugly - Problems
  • N/A
The Verdict - Opinion
  • Excellent protection for your investment.

Innovation: 
5/5
Performance: 
5/5
Compatibility: 
5/5
Cost / Value: 
3/5

19/20

Overall score


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