- Review Price: £34.56
While Logitech has long been associated with all sorts of peripherals and accessories, it’s only recently that the company started selling laptop bags. It’s no surprise, however, given the continuing popularity of notebook PCs that Logitech decided to move into this arena, complementing its other offerings like the Alto Cordless Notebook Stand we looked at recently.
Its bag range, titled ‘Kinetic’, comprises of two products, a 15.4in briefcase and the mobile backpack I’m looking at today. Both feature a predominantly professional design, finished mostly in black with some dashes of orange to brighten things up a little. It’s not really a look that excites, but this bag definitely doesn’t lack quality. Unlike the Exspect MiBag, the Kinetic 15.4 Mobile Backpack exudes solidity in both its construction and materials.
This is due in no small part to the large rubberised shell. This is meant to provide secure protection for all your belongings, but especially your laptop, and it certainly does just that. Though I wasn’t about to throw it under a car ala the Panasonic ToughBook CF-30 or the Sonim XP1 Rugged Phone, throwing it around a bit showed that the shell did its job well. It didn’t collapse immediately upon impact and helped maintain the bag’s integrity, ensuring that its contents weren’t crushed together after the slightest bump.
All of this is invaluable, especially for anyone commuting on crowded trains or buses, and anyone cycling for any segment of their journey. Indeed, this backpack version seems especially well suited for those who prefer to travel on two wheels, with the rubber shell helping to prevent damage in case of accident, while the backpack is well designed to provide a secure and comfortable experience. Its two shoulder straps are quite substantial, spreading weight evenly across the shoulders with plenty of padding, too. In addition, there’s a chest strap for extra stability, so however heavy your contents might be it should never be a struggle to carry.
In this respect, then, the backpack serves its basic function very well indeed. It’s only a shame that its main feature, that rubber shell, does make it look just a little bit silly. Call me churlish, but it’s difficult not to feel self conscious when everyone you meet insists you like a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle when carrying the bag. And, frankly, I can see their point.
Thankfully, though it does generate some unfortunate resemblances to said radioactive turtles, everything else about the bag is very good. I’ve already touched upon how comfortable it is, but it’s worth repeating because it’s exceedingly so. Not only do the two straps create excellent support, the whole back of the bag is covered in thick padding that’s well sculpted to follow the contours of the back. There’s also a small handle for quick and easy carrying, and this is covered by a soft grip so it doesn’t dig into your fingers.
And, if you’re after a bag with as much storage space as possible, the Kinetic Mobile Backpack may well suit you too. Before you even get to the main compartments there are plenty of small little zip pockets. On the right hand strap is a pocket with an opening for headphones, making it ideal for an MP3 player or mobile phone. Meanwhile, there are two other miscellaneous small pockets, one at the top wedged between the two main sections, and another on the side. These are all quite useful easy access pockets, but the real action can be found in the main body of the bag.
In the middle of the bag is the laptop section. On one side is the laptop pocket, which is padded on all sides and has a Velcro strap to help fasten your notebook. Both its location, right in the middle of the bag, and the plethora of padding means it’s well protected and there’s a removable padded insert that can be used to help fit smaller notebooks, while also adding extra padding – particularly at the bottom of the bag. Interestingly, though the bag is advertised for use with 15.4in notebooks, Logitech also claims it can fit a 17in Apple MacBook Pro and though I had none to hand to test this claim, there’s no reason to suspect that Logitech is fibbing in this respect. Opposite the laptop section are two unzipped pockets, one small and shallow and another deeper one that would be ideal for a spare battery, or any kind of papers or folders.
Adjacent to this compartment is the second larger section, which is placed towards the front of the bag between the outer shell and laptop pocket. This is surprisingly roomy, thanks in no small part to the natural arch of the shell, which creates space to jam stuff into. In here you’ll find all sorts of things, including pen holders, business card holders and a clip for a key ring. There are also two small Velcro pockets, designed for phones, MP3 players and other assorted accessories, and opposite this a small zip enclosed pocket. Below this pocket is another large segment for magazines and the like and an elasticised net creates one further area for large bulky items.
Overall, there’s a space for practically everything and it’s all easy to access and logically arranged. Handily, if left open on the floor, the bag also remains upright and the compartments wide open, so it’s easy to leave by your desk and reach in without rifling around.
If you’re after a sturdy, roomy and comfortable laptop backpack that doesn’t break the bank, the Logitech Kinetic 15.4 Mobile Backpack should be high on your list of potentials. It’s well designed, exceedingly comfortable and offers above average protection. Only the slightly unwieldy appearance prevents me from recommending it wholeheartedly, but if you can live with this then £35 is very reasonable for a very decent bag.
How we test laptops
Unlike other sites, we test every laptop we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.