The stylish laptop bag is an elusive find. Unless you happen to be Marc Jacobs and can fashion your own computer case contraption, you’re at the mercy of limited pickings.
The key to this conundrum is to think outside the box…or bag, in this case. Cushioned totes, cross-bodies or shoulder bags have the potential to be a perfect laptop case for women. (Sorry, dudes.) But how do you choose a cute laptop case from a sea of traditional handbags, clutches and hobos? You must take four points into consideration: size, shape, weight, handle and padding.
Laptop screen-width typically ranges from 12 inches, for the mini variety, to 17, for the big-daddy displays. Finding a 17 inch laptop case can be quite difficult, especially one with a design that doesn’t reflect a cardboard box with pockets. Approach this constraint logically; the carrier’s size should match the laptop’s. Do not buy a bag without evaluating its measurements, which can usually be found in the product description.
These days, typical handbag shape has strayed from the traditional rectangle. Thus, be cautious that your potential chic laptop case falls within the square or rectangle category.
Laptops can be weighty on their own, so no need to add extra lbs. to your load with a heavy laptop bag. To keep it light, stay away from excessive metal hardware, chain details or a kisslock closure. Don’t worry, you can still keep things chic by playing with color choices; a pink laptop case is just as fun as one covered in studs and grommets.
You need a handle long enough to fit comfortably over your shoulder, or across your body if a laptop messenger bag is more your speed. Thus, bags with “satchel” in the descriptions are typically to be avoided; look for “totes” instead. Also, keep the width of handle in mind. Tiny straps can cut into your shoulder when a bag is packed, so the thicker, wider and more cushioned, the better.
That laptop is precious cargo, which needs more protection than thin nylon or canvas can provide. Look for thick, quilted or textured leatherette or leather. A bag with some structure is also a smart choice, as this serves as a hard protective case.
Bonus Advice: If you’re traveling a longer distance with a laptop, an adjustable laptop protector is an important buy. This goes inside a laptop bag and offers that extra protective element a pretty purse might be lacking.