Provides: Laptop protection and transportation
Minimum Requirements: 13″ or 15″ laptop
Price: $59.99 15″ Laptop Messenger – Ruby Series; $39.99 Laptop Slipcase – Cyan Series
There are a couple reasons why you should consider a bag/sleeve combo for your laptop. I’ll address many of them here, because Altego addresses them quite well across their product line. For this review, I’ve combined their Ruby Series 15″ Laptop Messenger bag with the 13″ Cyan Series Laptop Slipcase to create a complete, comfortable system I would’ve loved to have had back in college…
…if, you know, laptops had been around when I was in college.
The Ruby Series 15″ laptop messenger bag actually accommodates 13″ or 15″ MacBooks on its own thanks to the flannel-lined zippered compartment on the back of the case. You should have no worries about this being so close to the edge of the bag, though, as the back is protected with thick molded waffle padding.
The padding makes carrying the back quite comfortable, as it doesn’t bang against your body or get caught on clothing and accessories.
In the main compartment under the top flap is another zippered section that can hold an iPad,. The flip side of this compartment contains two pockets sized for an iPhone or other cell phone, and one larger pocket that can hold your power cables, a small USB hub, a mouse, or other accessories. The opposite wall of the main compartment has three similarly sized mesh pockets.
The open area of the main compartment is where i placed the laptop sleeve, which I’ll get to in a bit. If you’re not using the Ruby Laptop Messenger that way, then this is where you’ll put your books, work documents, entertainment for a flight, etc. There’s a lot of room and options here, but we’re not done. Both the flap itself and the exterior under the flap have additional small zippered compartments for extra storage space. The flap is held in place with a plastic clasp, and your carrying options include a leather-lined handle and the seat belt webbing shoulder strap with a slidable padded brace.
Your only color option is dark gray with red accents, but it’s a smart, stylish look that works for both personal and business purposes.
Unfortunately, the colors of the Coated Canvas Cyan laptop sleeve don’t exactly blend with this (black with light blue trim), but the functionality sure does.
You get three total pockets with the slipcase: a small zippered pocket on the front, a larger zippered pocket that runs pretty much the entire width and height of the back, and the main interior compartment. The interior compartment offered a perfect fit for my test 13″ MacBook, protecting it with a soft, quilted fabric lining. This and the other pockets don’t offer much functionality, however; there are no additional pockets inside, so your cables, pens, phones, business cards, etc. will have to sit loosely inside. Not an ideal way to go.
The exterior, however, has a nice coated feel to it that makes it smooth and comfortable to carry without making it slippery. There is no handle, but you get a should strap which attaches to sturdy plastic clasps to carry the slipcase on its own. I wouldn’t entirely recommend that, though; at least not on a permanent basis. The slipcase is sturdy and attractive, but it doesn’t provide the full functionality you’d want out of a regular laptop bog.
Rather, it works very well in conjunction with the Laptop Messenger Bag. The Messenger bag gives you the functionality and storage you need for treks across campus or across the country, while the slipcase can be quickly pulled out for shorter trips to the library, conference room, etc. Combining the two will run you $100, but that’s not unfair considering the quality construction. I’m rating the two products individually below, and recommend going with the Laptop Messenger if it has to be one or the other specifically because you get a lot more for your money ($60 for the Messenger is a great deal, while $40 is a bit much for the Slipcase). Going with both products is the smarter move, whether you combine these two or mix one with another brand altogether.
Appletell Rating: 15″ Laptop Messenger – Ruby Series
Appletell Rating: Laptop Slipcase – Cyan Series