The Best Bag for Your 'Book (Part 3)

The Best Bag for Your 'Book (Part 3)

A durable, padded bag with handles and a shoulder strap. That’s the basic description of all six briefcase-style bags we looked at - but it’s pretty cool how much variety there is to choose from. None of these bags bowled us over, but we did like the slim styling on the Incase Nylon Sleeve Plus, a lightweight, sturdily constructed bag that’ll shield your 15-inch MacBook Pro from bumps and thumps (although we wouldn’t trust it to provide enough padding for long drops onto, say, concrete). The silky fleece lining in the laptop compartment is a nice bonus, as is the padded strap that adjusts on either side of the padding. Too bad it doesn’t come in a few more colors.

 

While the Nylon Sleeve Plus works for anyone, Timbuk2’s Soma is styled with the ladies in mind. It’s essentially a purse for your Mac notebook. Still, it’s one of the more practical yet attractive bags we’ve seen, and has more than one compartment, complete with separate pockets, in addition to the padded laptop slot. It’s equally comfortable to carry the Soma as a shoulder bag or like a briefcase, and its contents are easily accessible either way.

 

Men have a bag all their own - at least that was the consensus among the female reviewers - in the Mobile Edge Ultra TechStyle 2.0. Perhaps it’s the bag’s relatively large footprint that makes it seem like it’s made for guys, although that’s not necessarily a knock against it. The extra width affords you more room to carry additional gear, and the front pocket flips out just enough to make it painless to access the odds and ends stored there. We don’t understand the removable mesh “pencil bag” that sits next to the laptop, however, and the $79.99 price seems high for what you get.

 

You won’t have to root around blindly in the front pocket of the Mobile Edge Ultra TechStyle 2.0. Well-designed fabric hinges allow it to fall open without spilling any of the contents.

 

For something more compact, check out the Sumdex NeoMetro Interchange II Slim Brief, a lightweight bag that’s slim but surprisingly roomy. The big ding against this bag is its lack of a separate laptop compartment in the main pocket - there’d be plenty of room for a few magazines or file folders, but you risk scratching your laptop case unless you use a separate sleeve. This bag’s zippers and fasteners glide nicely, and are made of very high-quality materials.

 

Look, Ma, there’s so much room! Too bad there’s not a separate compartment for a MacBook Pro sewn into the main pocket of the Sumdex NeoMetro Interchange II Slim Brief.

 

If you don’t mind looking like you work for a covert government agency, Booq’s Vyper exo M can shield your MacBook Pro from pretty much anything you encounter, hard-knocks-wise. It’s on the bulky side, but not as heavy as it looks. The bag holds quite a bit - but we wish the lining didn’t feel so cheap, and the buttons on some of the pockets were a dumb idea. Be sure to get your company to pay for the bag if you can: It costs a whopping $175.

 

On the other end of the price spectrum, at 30 bucks, you’ve got the ultra-affordable Pacific Design Nucleus PC Portfolio. We hate to have to say it, but you get what you pay for: cheap vinyl instead of leather (or even a higher-quality faux leather), a strap “pad” that could rub the skin off a bare shoulder, sticky zippers, and a scuff-prone exterior.

 

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hinke

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