The TSA blog article emphasized that TSA security officers may still give your bag or electronic device a secondary screening, so be prepared to take out your iPad or other device if asked. Although all TSA screeners are regularly informed about policy changes, some TSA screeners may not be aware of this new policy about smaller electronics, so don't be too upset if you still get asked to remove them.
What can you keep in your carry on?
The TSA blog article stated that the following types of devices can be kept in your bag: netbook computers, laptop computers in a checkpoint friendly laptop bag, iPads, Kindles, Noes, Nooks, and Sony Readers. This also implies that cell phones, Blackberries, personal DVD players, iPods, iPhones, PDAs, electronic cameras, and handheld computer games can also stay in the bag.
What do you have to take out for separate screening?
The TSA article listed the following items that must be taken out for separate screening: regular size laptops; video game consoles such as those from Playstation, Xbox, and Nintendo; full sized DVD players, video cameras that use cassettes, and other larger electronic devices. For the large game consoles, the TSA implied that you should take out the large CPU type unit for separate screening. Presumably accessories such as the the handheld controllers can stay in your bag.
What is the difference between a netbook and a laptop?
While opinions vary on what is and what isn't a netbook, in general it is a small laptop computer with a diagonal screen size of less than 12 inches (25.4 cm). The typical netbook also doesn't have an internal CD/DVD drive, so if your laptop has one, it probably isn't a netbook.
About checkpoint friendly bags
If you intend to use a "checkpoint friendly" laptop bag for your full size laptop, make sure to check that:
- It has a designated laptop-only section that you can lay flat on the X-ray belt
- There are no metal snaps, zippers or buckles inside, underneath or on-top of the laptop-only section
- There are no pockets on the inside or outside of the laptop-only section
- There is nothing in the laptop compartment other than the laptop
- You have completely unfolded your bag so that there is nothing above or below the laptop-only section, allowing the bag to lie flat on the X-ray belt
More baggage advice
Items prohibited and restricted by the TSA
Carry on baggage tips
Top baggage tips