Small laptop computer bags are quite ubiquitous - so much so that it may actually seem quite a daunting task to choose the right one for your needs. Focus on a few key details when shopping around, so that you can narrow down your selections quickly and spend more time on only the most qualified and able candidates. After all, that computer is precious cargo!
Protecting Your Digital Technology
If you own a laptop, you know how important it is to handle it with care. Even the slightest jostle, sudden movement or, worse, a fall can spell disaster for your machine. Though some events are simply unforeseen and can't be helped, others can be prevented by using a high-quality laptop bag.
A laptop bag isn't just any old tote bag large enough to hold a computer. It is actually a specialty case with protective features to keep your laptop in place even when you're on the go. No matter how much of a hustle-and-bustle lifestyle you lead, your laptop doesn't have to suffer for it.
Shopping for Small Laptop Computer Bags
If your laptop is small and easily portable, life is about to get even easier. A laptop bag will keep your machine in great shape for years, barring any outside circumstances. There are plenty of options available in small laptop computer bags, ranging from simple to complex. When making the choice, consider these factors:
- If you only need your laptop and its accessories, then opt for a compact bag that offers only the minimum amount of space. Since small laptops are relatively light anyway, this will ensure that the bag does not add any excess weight to your regular load.
- If you need to carry important documents and other essentials with your laptop, consider a multipurpose laptop bag. These are designed with segregated compartments to accommodate various materials with ease, yet will still provide your laptop with all the protection it needs.
- Is your laptop thick or thin? This is quite important, because small laptop bags are sized to hold the machines very precisely. A thin bag will only comfortably accommodate an appropriately sized laptop, and vice versa. Take note of your laptop's measurements before choosing a bag marked specifically as "thin."
A "small" laptop is typically defined as one that is 13 inches or smaller. Again, know your machine's measurements so you don't end up with a bag that is the wrong size. There are laptop bags for all computer sizes, so search around until you find just what you need.
What to Look For
The most efficient laptop bags are loaded with useful, functional features that keep your machine safe. Look for these when shopping for the perfect bag for your computer:
- Material: Bags made of nylon or another type of water-resistant material are outstanding if you spend lots of time outdoors. Even if you don't, they add an extra element of protection should you ever find yourself in that situation. It also lends the bag a sporty appearance - and if you aren't concerned with trends, you'll find that nylon is quite timeless and enduring.
- Padding: The most important feature of any laptop bag is its padding. The padded area of the bag is where the laptop is safest, because the thicker cushioning protects the fragile machinery from damage due to everyday movement. Even with sufficient padding, however, the bag should still offer enough wiggle room for your laptop - that is, there should be a gap of at least two inches between the computer and the bag's opening. This ensures that the laptop is snug, but not tight. There is a difference!
- Ease: Laptop bags are built to support your computer. Many designs are thus loaded with all manner of protective mechanisms, ranging from buckles to straps. Though helpful, they may hinder accessibility to your laptop. Look for a bag that doesn't require too much effort on your part.
- Style: With so many options available, there is no reason you can't invest in a style-conscious bag if you so choose. Whether it's a specific color, pattern or designer you favor, you are likely to find a laptop bag that really meets your needs when it comes to style and function. Spend some time on this particular feature if it's important to you.
- Price: Perhaps your small laptop is your only laptop - or maybe it's a backup to a larger size. Whatever the case, you might want to weigh your options based on your laptop's importance. If you only use it in emergencies, you may not want to spend too much money on a bag. If you don't use anything else, though, it may be worth spending more to really reap the benefits of quality.
Types of Bags
Today's laptop bags are more advanced than ever before. There are backpack-style bags to suit college students, messenger bags for active professionals and basic bags for those who are comfortable swinging it on their shoulder. Depending on your needs, you will want to look to these brands for a strong selection of small sizes:
- Pinder: It's easy to shop for your 11-, 12- or 13-inch laptop here. They are all categorized, and you'll find everything from sleek sleeves to ladylike briefcases.
- STM: This leading laptop bag designer offers bags in sizes extra small and small, which are designed to fit computers up to 13 inches.
- Timbuk2: Look no further for all types of bags in one place. Timbuk2 offers messenger bags, backpacks and totes for transporting laptops.
- Tumi: Tumi bags are outstanding for their luxurious leathers and remarkable craftsmanship. The company categorizes its bags and sleeves for ease. They are available for laptops up to 12 inches.
Where to Purchase
Where you shop for your laptop bag largely depends on what type of computer you have, as well as how much you are willing to spend.
If you own an 11- or 13-inch MacBook Air or a 13-inch MacBook or MacBook Pro, head straight to the source. Apple carries an excellent selection of cases specifically for its small laptops, from brands like Incase (known for its protective, hard-shell covers), Speck and Oakley.
If you own a Windows-based laptop, you'll find a wide range of laptop bags at nearly any electronic goods store, such as Best Buy or HHGregg. Affordable styles are readily available at stores such as Target and Walmart.
It's wise to really investigate a few laptop bags before settling on the perfect one for your computer. Consider it the ultimate investment piece - one that you will use for years and that will act as a barrier between your laptop and outside disturbances.