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Monday, January 20, 2003

Review: Sputnik3 Laptop Bag by Chrome Industries

It's a problem for every laptop owner. To find a bag that looks as cool as your computer. Until relatively recently, most notebook bags stuck to the same basic design, suited more to the business room than a coffee shop. In the last few years, messenger bag makers, and others, have come onto the scene with bags that are functional but don't look like a briefcase. One company that got my attention was Chrome Industries, makers of rugged and stylish messenger and DJ bags. They were kind enough to send me a Sputnik3 bag for review.

The bag can be worn either over the shoulder or as a backpack, thanks to some hidden backpack straps. Unlike a messenger bag, the Sputnik is only as wide as an average notebook computer (there's about 2" to spare with my 12" iBook in it). Which is great for most users, but you'll be out of luck if you have to carry anything larger with you. The interior compartment has a padded insert for your laptop, which can be removed to use the bag for more general purposes. There's also two zippered pockets on the outside with plenty of room for cables, Game Boys, PDAs or other toys, plus a cell-phone pocket on the end of the bag. The exterior is made of vinyl which, while I haven't tried to beat up too much, seems to hold up well in day-to-day use.

Perhaps unwisely, I stuck an Apple sticker on the outside. Sure, it looks great, but it also tells everyone what I have inside. But it should also tell you that I liked the Sputnik enough to use it as my everyday notebook bag. And I don't think I can give a much higher recommendation than that.

The Sputnik3 laptop bag retails for $80 at chromebags.com and is available in light or charcoal Silver.
:: posted by Donald Melanson, 2:42 PM |

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