While laptop security cables can be thwarted by a determined thief with the right tools, it's still a good idea to use one to prevent grab-and-go thievery. Most of these cable locks are designed to be looped around something immovable, usually a fixed piece of furniture. But sometimes that's not available—a desk, for example, might not be fastened to the floor, making it easy to slip a cable out from under the leg.
The Griffin TechSafe Locking Security Clamp ($20) gives you something to attach your cable to when there's no immovable object handy. It works through a screw-down clamp and a ball that covers it: You screw the clamp tightly to your anchor point and thread your cable through the ball. Slide the ball up to the clamp and lock the cable to your laptop, and no one can unscrew the clamp until you release the cable.
The clamp works with any security cable, such as the Kensington model we recommended in our 2009 back-to-school guide. Currently out of stock, the TechSafe clamp should be available again by the end of August, according to a Griffin representative.
Griffin also has a new take on the locking cable itself: the TechSafe Cable Lock System ($30). Rather than attaching the cable to a small hole on the side of your computer, you slide a hardened steel "LockBlade" through the hinge of the laptop. Affix the cable's 4-digit combination lock to the blade, and your laptop's secure, whether it's open or closed. (Note: The Cable Lock doesn't work with MacBook Airs.)
Another nice thing about the Griffin systems: The company will store your combination online. If you forget or misplace it (maybe it's in the pocket of your Tuff-Luv Kindle cover?), you can just log into the Griffin website to retrieve it.