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Skooba Design’s Netbook and iPad Messenger Bag might be designed specifically for those devices, but it’s actually big enough to swallow a 13-inch MacBook--as well as an iPad and accessories. The flexibility and extra room is nice, but if what you’re looking for is something to schlep your iPad around in, the Skooba might be bigger and more complicated than what you need.
So many pockets, you might need to draw yourself a map!
But if what you need is pockets, Skooba has you covered. There are mesh pockets with elastic bands, zippered pockets, neoprene pockets, and Velcro pockets. All in all, we counted 16 pockets and sleeves for you to stash your junk in. By our count, that’s a few too many to be convenient. It took us several days to decide which pocket to stash our iPad in because there are four (seriously, four) pockets that look as if they were designed to fit the tablet. And recovering smaller items from the plethora of pockets always entailed a game of “Where did I put that thing?” as we searched the compartmental possibilities.
Though having too many options can be a good thing, the bag suffers from a few larger design flaws. A quick cam-lock buckle allows for easy strap-length adjustments, but the Skooba’s thin strap makes the shoulder bag sit at awkward angles when holding a lot of stuff. The nylon exterior is water-repellent but feels cheap to the touch. In the Deep Sea Blue color, our bag was a bit loud, although Skooba offers other options--a pretty rad Inferno Red and less distinct Abyss Black.
Our favorite feature of the bag is the “Fast Access Opening.” A zippered slot along the top edge makes for quick access to the contents without unbuckling the flap. It’s designed so that you can quickly unleash your iPad with one hand. Even if it sounds like a silly party trick, we found ourselves opting for the quick-and-dirty approach more often than not.
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It can do double-duty, easily accommodating a 13-inch MacBook. But if what you’re looking for is a simple and small bag for your iPad, the Skooba might be overkill.
Netbook and iPad Messenger Bag
COMPANY: Skooba Design
REQUIREMENTS: iPad or netbook
Pockets for everything! Fast-access zipper slot. Good-looking
Thin strap. Sits a bit awkwardly, especially when packed with gear.