Having recently bought a V2000-series Compaq, which is smaller relative to my old fullsized 14-incher ThinkPad, I thought I’d also be better off getting myself a portable carrying case. I’ not fond of carrying around my laptop in those shoulder-type leather or nylon bags that come deafult with the package. Instead, I make it a point to get myself backpacks for easier transporting, and so it wouldn’t be too obvious that I’m carrying around a notebook computer (see my article on preventing laptop theft).
For carrying around my laptop and all the junk that I usually bring with me, I have a medium-sized Echolac laptop backpack. But it’s still heavy and quite bulky, especially with the junk I tend to carry along with me (which includes cables, coin purses, keys, notebooks, some extra shirts for emergencies, a small umbrella, documents, my toothbrush, and all that).
So yesterday evening, I finally got to buy that small-ish backpack I’d been eyeing for some time now. It’s the Inventure ICT Backpack A4 039 (pictured above) from Samsonite. It’s your basic one-zipper laptop case that’s designed to carry your laptop and only the most necessary of accessories (that is your AC adaptor and perhaps some cables and USB peripherals).
The backpack is designed to accommodate small/thin 14-inch laptops and of course smaller-sized ones such as 12-inchers and, of course, sub-notebooks. The V2000 initially didn’t fit as well as expected, because while it’s a 14-incher, it’s in widescreen format, so it’s as long as a 15-inch laptop would normally be. But a little adjustment does the trick and my laptop fits although there’s not much allowance in terms of play.
Inside the Inventure is your basic laptop case fare. You have the laptop pouch itself, which is padded but not as thickly as with larger ICT cases. The pouch is still suspended inside the backpack’s body, though, so that’s good for added protection, especially when you’re setting down the case bottom-part down. There’s a document holder, which is expandable by adjusting the velcro straps. Then there are two pouches that can hold PC cards or other accessories (such as my card-reader, which is the bluish thing you see on the photo).
On the front part of the internals are a set of businesscard holders and loops for holding pens/pencils. There’s also a mesh-type pouch where you can put in all those small articles you’d rather not lose elsewhere in the case. I keep my USB flash drive and earphones here. For those who like listening to music while on the move, the case has a small hole for earphone wires.
How it fares
- Protection. I’d say the Inventure gets a 6 out of 10 for protection, as it’s the padding is not as thick as I’d personally be comfortable with. Also, since the Compaq V2000 just fits the bag snugly lengthwise without any allowance, I wouldn’t want the top part of the case to hit something hard. If I were using a 12-inch laptop, I’d probably rate the backpack higher by two points.
- Comfort.I give the backpack a 8 out of 10 for comfort. It’s light and comfortable enough. My only gripe is that the shoulder straps aren’t made of that sweat-resistant material that lets your skin breathe (which my Echolac backpack has). The part that goes to your back actuall has this feature, but the shoulder straps have this velvety material that’s soft but can get hot with prolonged use.
- Portability. The saving grace in terms of comfort would be the fact that that the case is so light and that I’m not tempted to carry around all my junk. So my back’s saved from all the aches and pains associated with carrying heavy backpacks. In this area, I give the backpack a 10 out of 10.
Overall, I give the Inventure an 8 out of 10. Average in terms of protection. Not so perfect in terms of comfort. Perfect in terms of portability.