You've just picked out the perfect notebook computer, are next in line for the cashier and you're asked 'will that be nylon or leather?'

What a conundrum! You really gave no thought to what type of case you want to carry your prize possession home in. Baffled, you stammer 'nyeatheron'!Well, I'm going to spare you that embarrassment with this handy-dandy guide to notebook computer cases. Actually, it's only a look at two of the many types of cases that are available, but I believe they're worth your consideration.

The first is the LapDog from Shaun Jackson Designs, Ltd. ($139.95).

Mr. Jackson is a college professor that became disgusted by the weight and bulkiness of cases being offered to the notebook computer user. So he developed a nylon case that could hold the computer and accessories without tacking on extra compartments you may never use.

Basically, the Lapdog is meant to be used by the commuter that needs easy access to his computer and all of its paraphernalia while sitting on a plane or train. The case is designed so that its compartments fold down both sides of your lap or airline seat tray and the computer is supported on your lap by a heat resistant cushion. When you're done, you simply fold a nylon mesh flap over the top of the computer, fold up the two compartments, and you're ready to go.

If you need more compartments you can add Doggie Bags ($79.95), which are designed to attach to the handle of the LapDog and drape down both sides. The extra compartments can easily handle files, magazines or anything else you want to carry with you.

Obviously, the great thing here is that, if you don't need to carry the extra weight, you can leave the Doggie Bags at home.

The other case is exactly the opposite. The Targus Port 2.1 commuter case ($129) is designed so that you can carry your office with you.

This case is so big, and has so many compartments, you can get lost in it! In fact I often forgot (no senility jokes please) which compartment held my glasses, Palm Pilot and other gadgets I can't live without.

Of course, if usefulness was based on lack of weight and efficiency, Mr. Jackson's LapDog would win hand's down. But, for those needing to carry everything but a secretary wherever they go, the Port 2.0 would be my choice.

It comes with an adjustable air-cushioned compartment to hold and protect your notebook, extra wide feet so it can stand on it's own (it doesn't sag to either the right or left), extra sturdy DEFCON compatible zipper pulls and a cushion padded strap.

DEFCON, for those that don't know, is an alarm system that is about the size of a cellular phone, developed by Targus, that attaches to the case.

The case the folks at Targus sent me is made of leather, but the one featured on their web site is nylon, so there may be a difference in price.

So, if you're looking for a lightweight solution to carrying around your notebook and don't need all that extra 'office space', choose nylon and check out the LapDog at Otherwise target a leather Targus Port 2.1. And, if someone should ask how you can take the extra weight, just reply 'It ain't heavy, it's my office'.