How to Measure a Laptop for a Laptop Carrier

Although laptops have come a long way in terms of portability, they still work best when you have a laptop carrier. The carrier may be a simple case with a strap or a special backpack with pockets for extra cords and accessories and a pouch in the back designed for your laptop. Don't rely on guesswork to determine what size laptop carrier you need. It's important to measure your laptop before purchasing a carrier. Two forms of measurements exist, and it's best to get both before heading to the store.

Black laptop on white, side angle view.
credit: Ryan McVay/Photodisc/Getty Images

Step

Place a soft, flexible measuring tape in the bottom left-hand corner of your laptop screen. Line the beginning of the measuring tape up directly with the corner. Angle the measuring tape so you can extend it up to the upper right-hand corner, forming a diagonal line.

Step

Extend the measuring tape up to the upper right-hand corner of the screen while holding the bottom of the tape measure in place. Adjust the tape measure so that it forms a diagonal line between the two corners and does not bend or sag.

Step

Read the measurement on the tape measure in the upper corner. Measure only the inside of the screen, not the plastic frame around the screen. For a small laptop you may get a measurement around 10 inches. Larger laptops might fall in the range of 15 to 17 inches.

Step

Write this number down. When choosing a laptop carrier, it's better to get one that is too large instead of too small. If your laptop is roughly 15 inches, go with the 15-inch carrier instead of a smaller one. If you are unsure or your measurements didn't give you a whole number, round up to the next available laptop carrier size. Normally, the measurement will be on or close to a whole number if done correctly.

Step

Close the lid of your laptop and measure the width and length of the entire laptop. Some carriers may express measurements in the width, length and height instead of by screen size. After measuring the width and length, measure from the bottom of the laptop to the top, while it's still closed, for the height. This should typically fall between 1 and 2 inches.