For a long time, understandably, I didn’t have to move my laptop from my table at all. But now that everything has eased up, a laptop bag is in demand again.
Here are the things I would consider before buying one.
Main criteria for buying a laptop bag
Other than the type of bags you like to carry and the dimension of your laptop, you also need to look at the material it is made of, color, and quality of construction. You will want it to be padded and also preferably water proof.
Size of the laptop
First consideration is the size of the laptop, especially when you want to carry nothing much other than your laptop. You do not want to buy a small bag or a too big one.
Contrary to what I always thought, the size of the laptop mentioned on the sales page when I bought it is not the size I should consider.
The size mentioned in the webpage of my laptop was 14 inch but when I measured with a tape the real measurement was 13 inches width by 9 inches in length with a 1-inch height.
How to measure your laptop for buying the bag?
The measure that is usually shown to you is the measure of the display screen measured across (minus the bezel outside). You will have to measure the real width and depth and also the vertical height of your laptop with a tape. This will give you the space you need inside your bag.
You need space for the laptop’s true dimensions to fit inside and also a little extra for it to move about.
Types of laptop bags available
Briefcase style bags
The best laptop bag for office – spacious enough to carry other folders, documents, chargers etc.
This is a suitable laptop bag if big enough for your laptop size – you can carry it over your shoulder diagonally across the body, distributing the weight and keeping your laptop safe and your hands-free to carry other things.
The handles should be broad enough so that it would not hurt your shoulder, when carried for long.
Big Tote Handbag
The multipurpose tote bag that carries everything – I have one from which I believe my kids expect everything to come out – drinks, snacks, clothes and even uber. But it doesnot have a laptop space. This is essential if you are using your tote to carry along your laptop.
To carry a laptop, you will need the tote bag to have a dedicated laptop compartment with padding and preferably a flap closure. Your laptop surface shouldn’t rub against other things in your tote bag (believe me, if the flap is not there, everything else inside the bag will jump inside somehow) and also should be protected against inevitable bumps.
Not my thing, but I can see the appeal of backpacks. My daughter’s backpack has soft wide and padded straps to distribute the load and soft padded compartment inside to keep the laptop protected.
This is a compact padded zippered pouch for your laptop. It just about fits the laptop and nothing else. Maybe just some documents and a tablet. It may be without handles or have small handles for carrying by hand. If you find one with long straps, a laptop sleeve can be especially good – it can be tucked into your luggage when traveling.
Make of the bag
Leather bags are very costly, but they last a long, long time. There are many options available – and varying quality too. Leather comes in a lot of varieties. Leather bags are always an investment and ticks all the boxes for a laptop bag. Checkout this post on the different types of leather here and also what to consider when buying leather.
The natural leather-look may not be appealing to all – you may prefer the waxed look. Bonded leather is another option. Though not as long lasting as leather, because it is made of leather some may like it.
Almost equally good-looking but less expensive are bags made of faux leather. But these do not last long – the color and the top layer rub off after some use. Especially at the edges. And becomes very unattractive. But when you look at the cost you may want to compromise for the initial good looks.
Synthetic bags are a very good option – they are widely available and very cheap and made with all the specifications for a safe and sturdy laptop bag – but lookwise a little lacking. They are available in a lot of ranges – in terms of quality and price. Another popular option among youngsters are cotton canvas and waxed canvas.
All hardware on the bag should be of good quality, including zippers, rivets, buttons, etc. The stitching should be even and good without any loose threads showing out.
Finally I am going for the tote bag – very difficult to change people’s buying choices and living style.
Related posts: Names of different types of bags.