LAbesace Lime Drop MacBook Laptop Bag
With out wishing to stereotype the typical MyMac magazine reader, let me ask you a question. Have you ever shopped for a handbag? If not for yourself, perhaps accompanied a loved one or friend? It is a frankly bewildering experience. They come in so many different shapes, colors, sizes and prices that I had no idea how my wife was ever going to be able settle on just one.
Laptop bags are a little like that too. You can pick up a cheap no-brand generic black bag from your local superstore, or you can spend substantially more on something with a particular design focus or features. Where to start? Be.ez, the French laptop bag specialist, reckon they have you covered with a wide range of bag styles and colors that stand out from the crowd. I reviewed their plum-colored LEvertigo messenger bag a while back, and found it much to my liking. This time round, I am looking at the LAbesace bag, sized for the 13.3-inch MacBook.
The base characteristics of the Be-ez range are common across all of their products, having seen a few of them now. Very high quality ballistic nylon construction and superb stitching and finishing is the order of the day, as well as a broad shoulder strap made of ‘seatbelt’ material. Annoyingly, the lack of a carry handle or a shoulder strap cushion also appear to be a common trait.
The top flap is zippered the whole way round nice and securely. With the Lime Drop model, the sober gray of the outside is offset by an acid green interior (though other colors are available of that doesn’t float your boat!). The arrangement of the MacBook in the bag is conventional – the machine goes into a suspended pocket at the back, retained by an elasticated strap. There is another pocket in front of that, and then a set pen, card and disk holders. However, the bag is not short of room – the bottom of the bag is stiff and curves up and out from the back, meaning that there is plenty of room in front of the pocket section for bulkier items like the power supply or a mouse. This feature makes the bag one of the most useable I have come across.
It also has plenty of zippered oddment pockets – a large one on the inside of the flap, a smaller one on the main inside section, and two external pockets on the top and back.
Padding is always a balance between bulk and protection, and I think the LAbesace gets it about right. The back is well padded, as that is where the laptop is in direct contact with the outside, and for other areas the suspended pocket acts as the primary protection from impact.
Overall, the LAbesace bag hits all of the right marks for me. There are still those couple of minor niggles around the lack of a handle and the comfort of the shoulder strap, but these don’t detract too much for me from the overall utility and quality of the bag, and it is much more stylish than your generic superstore cheapy. On a value for money front, the quality of design and construction make it a worthwhile purchase in my opinion.