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Having bought a laptop bag a few months before this one and having had it fall to bits on me, it didn't inspire me with confidence in buying another! As I did with the previous bag, I bought this one from WH Smith (I was the first to tell them the previous bag from them (another make) had fallen to bits!)
This bag cost considerably more than I wanted to pay, so I hoped that it was going to live up to the price at £23.95. Indeed it has, so far - I have owned the bag now for two years and used it regularly.
The bag is made of a very strong weaved nylon material, that certainly lives up to modern living. I take it with me on the buses, tubes and trains and it comes under a hard beating, especially during peak hours! It's also shower proof, but I don't think I would want to drop it in the canal! That said, in a heavy down-pour, everything stays dry inside.
The colouring is black, grey and yellow. The main body is black and the edging around the outer area of the flap and the bottom edge of the bag is grey. There is a yellow tab on the mobile phone pocket, for easy identification of the pocket lid. The zip tags have the word "Targus" in yellow and Targus is also stitched in yellow to the main carry handle and shoulder strap.
I am guilty of overloading my bags and putting undue strain on them! This Targus lives up to my reputation admirably! Not once have I had the need to worry about handles coming loose, bottoms falling out, rips occurring, or clips coming unfastened.
This bag contains no less than twelve pockets and compartments. On the outside there is a large document/magazine pocket on the rear of the bag, which fastens with a velcro tab. On the front flap there is a zipper pocket for things like glasses, tissues/cleaning cloth and anything that needs to be accessed quickly. At one end/side there is a mobile phone pocket, again secured by a velcro tab.
The main flap fastens by inserting the two parts together with a satisfying click and unfastens via a quick release spring clip, pressed with fore-finger and thumb. The clip is very robust and to date has not failed in any way. The bottom part of the clip has a webbed strap attached to it, so that it can be altered to maintain a close fit, reducing slack in the flap when closed.
Opening the main fold-over flap exposes three large compartments. The first, at the back is a space for your laptop. This compartment is divided off from the other two by way of a velcro padded divider. This can be altered to the size of your laptop to accommodate a snug fit. The bag can accommodate up to a 17" wide screen laptop. My laptop is a Toshiba L500 - quite a hefty beast.
The second compartment (the centre one) is just that, a compartment, which could in theory take a second laptop up to 17", but that, of course, would increase the weight dramatically. A small ring binder could be placed in the centre compartment or extra document folders.
The third compartment, at the front of the bag is a similar size to the others, except that it contains 6 sub pockets and compartments. There are two envelope pockets, secured by velcro, two net pockets (one of which is secured by a zip) one open, sub-divided pocket, for business cards and a large net pocket on the opposite side, for documents, with a zip fastener at the top.
Another very useful feature of this bag, are the two side zips that undo to allow the front panel of the third compartment to drop down, exposing the small pockets for easy access. On the outside front of the third compartment is another zippered net pocket, large enough for markers or pens and next to that are three elastic pen holders.
All of the exterior zip tags are made of tough rubber, extra strengthened by two studded rivets that go through each. The interior zips have conventional, double stitched nylon tabs. So far, none of the zips have failed on me. The main carry handle, is double stitched, cross stitched and has doubled material. Although the handle isn't padded, it is comfortable to carry, even with heavy loads. The shoulder strap is padded at the shoulder rest and is double and cross stitched onto the bag. The shoulder strap can be altered in length to suit different heights.
I am a very fussy consumer and complain about most things. For once I have found something I can't complain about! This bag carries everything I need it to, in comfort and is totally robust. It looks good too and doesn't look stupid when I pack it to the hilt! Could it be improved? Well now I'm being niggly! Yes, I think the grey coloured striping could be swapped for road safety, reflective, silver material - that would make it awesome!! But, Targus have designed and maintained a really fantastic product. Would I buy it again? Almost certainly!