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For storing your notebook there's an exceedingly capacious self contained compartment at the back of the bag. It has a liberal lining of padding on all sides and its location means it's well protected from any potential bumps and scrapes. Bizarrely, this compartment is also a lot bigger than is advertised - hence the emphasis earlier. Though Dicota quotes this as being for 15.4in notebooks, we managed to fit a particularly large 17in laptop, a Rock X770, snugly but without difficulty. Of course, this doesn't mean all 17 inchers will fit, but there's a pretty good chance many will.
This roominess is matched in the main body of the bag. There's a slip case style space for folders, magazines, newspapers and other flat items. Indeed, with some padding at the bottom this could be used to store a smaller laptop, like an Eee PC, MSI Wind, Sony TZ or Lenovo X300, though we can't think of many people who would want to carry two laptops around with them...except for TrustedReviews Staff Writer Ardjuna, but then he's just plain odd!
On the other side of this there's a convenient compact camera/mobile phone sized pocket, along with business card holders, a pen holder and two elasticised net pockets. This leaves plenty of space for other odds and sods in the loose section and overall you'd need to have a lot of stuff to run out of space.
Especially since there's another compartment, a "multimedia pouch" as Dicota calls it, just above. This is its own self contained pocket and features a headphone loop, so you can house your MP3 player safely and listen while wondering around. Of course, this does mean you don't have easy access if you want to change tracks and don't have inline controls, but otherwise it's a neat and useful feature.
And "neat and useful" sums up the BacPac Xtreme very well. We're not totally mad about the looks of either our black version or the grey one, but it's not ugly and the nicely angled back gives it a low-profile appearance despite its comparative size. At around £50 it's pretty good value too given the quality, durability comfort and abundance of useful little features on offer, so if you're after a laptop back pack that offers a little more than the ordinary, this one comes recommended.
It's not stylish, but it's very comfortable, well made and comparatively weather proof. Add to this a not unreasonable price and you have a very versatile and practical bag that doesn't break the bank.
Many thanks to Simms International for providing our review sample.