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Here's the whole reason for buying this backpack design -- the TSA approved laptop compartment. As you can see, you can fold it out in a "butterfly" fashion separate from the rest of the backpack, which can have its other compartments closed and zipped up while your bag goes through the scanner. The laptop is secured in a pouch with a Velcro strap, so it won't fall out during the scanning process. However, other than magazines and a few papers underneath I wouldn't store anything else in this section.