Models and packages
There are several models in the Corporate Traveler series. The one I tested is the standard Corporate Traveler, a traditional laptop computer bag with a handle and shoulder strap. It's made to fit standard-sized laptop computers with up to 15.4" screens. That's all but the largest notebook systems -- the kind made to be desktop replacements.
Other models include:
- Corporate Traveler Vertical Roller: Much the same as the regular Corporate Traveler, except it's turned sideways, and instead of a shoulder strap it has an extendable handle and two wheels that allow you to pull the case behind you in a manner similar to today's modern airtravel bags.
- Ultra-Lite Corporate Traveler: There are actually two editions -- one for computers with 15.4" screens, and one for people with 14" screens. These have slightly fewer features, are slightly smaller, and use thinner material, but they're lighter -- 2.8 or 3 pounds, compared to 4 pounds for the (unladen) standard Corporate Traveler.
- Leather Corporate Traveler: Just like the Ultra-Lite Corporate Traveler for 15.4" laptops, except the outer shell is comprised mostly of real leather instead of nylon. Despite the change in material, it still weighs in at 3 pounds.
Like most notebook computer bags, the Corporate Traveler is comprised mostly of nylon. It has the standard over-the-top handles for carrying, and an exceedingly comfortable shoulder sling for traveling longer distances. I say it's exceedingly comfortable because the part that contacts your shoulder is a neoprene-like stretchy material with a partially rubberized surface. This prevents the strap from putting all of the case's weight on a small number of contact points, and prevents the contact patch from slipping off of your shoulder accidentally. The handgrips are leather, making them almost equally as comfortable on the fingers as the sling is on the shoulder.
Unlike most notebook computer bags, the Corporate Traveler is not meant to split through the center and open clamshell-style. Instead, it acts more like a large document folder -- you unzip the top opening (the zippers come together in a hoop, in case you want to lock it) and slide your computer into an armored interior compartment, then zip back over it. Though this is foremost a convenient feature, it's also more secure because if you forget to zip up, your case won't flop open and risk dumping your computer on the ground.
|The Targus Corporate Traveler: functional and elegant|
All around the center of the Corporate Traveler is a zippered gusset that allows the case to expand by about an inch, depth-wise. This is particularly helpful for business travelers who are coming back with a pile of handouts, documents, brochures, or a new book or two, and need a convenient place to store them.
The Corporate Traveler includes a thin, zippable, skin-tight nylon carrying case just for your computer. This mini case is designed to fit nicely into the cushioned center compartment. So if your computer bag doubles as a briefcase or "man purse," but you need to temporarily ditch the accessories and just carry your computer down the hall from your office to the meeting room, you can easily do so. 15.4" notebooks are a tight fit in this slipcase, but it does indeed work.
Because the Corporate Traveler is top-loaded, the front compartments can have more features than more traditional "split open" carry bags. Expect to find a secret compartment just below the handles for a cell phone or wallet; a drop-down front pocket with internal compartments for business cards, pens, four isolated pouches of varying sizes, and five soft-padded compartments for unprotected CDs or DVDs. In front of that is an unzippered pouch big enough to hold most paperback books, PDAs, or any stray cables you might need to pack in quickly.
In the back of the Corporate Traveler you'll find a top-loaded, velcro-secured pouch; and a side-loading, zippered pouch that spans the length of the case. You'll be amazed at the amount of stuff you can jam into this computer bag; the number of convenient storage options can't possibly fail to satisfy frequent business travelers.
Putting it to the test
From the moment I unpacked it, I was impressed with the Corporate Traveler. My expectations were pretty low, though, because I lost my affection for old-style computer bags a long time ago. The features were a nice little surprise, but the comfort and practicality of the Corporate Traveler were a much bigger and more pleasant surprise. Shoulder straps on computer bags have always been uncomfortable to use for more than a few minutes at a time -- or at least it's been that way until now. Even with all of the fanciness of the Corporate Traveler, the one thing that really impresses me above all else is that it is comfortable to carry, even when fully loaded.
Someone at Targus must have read my mind when thinking of features for internal compartments. Having slots for pens and protected slots for bare CDs/DVDs are two things that seem small, but when you run a mobile office out of your computer bag, it's really important to keep it clean and organized. Nothing wrecks discs like being loose among cables and other loose odds and ends in a frequently-used bag, and if you're like me, you have a dedicated place for a reliable pen for moments when you're struggling to write things down before you forget them. Every feature of this bag is useful.
Years ago I gave up on traditional-style computer bags because they were just not terribly convenient for traveling. You can't lean forward in your airline seat and remove your computer from a clamshell-style bag -- you have to take it out from under the seat in front of you, unzip it, take the computer out, and then put it back on the floor. I replaced my previous computer bag with a laptop-centric MobileEdge backpack (though it was a toss-up between that and a competing Targus backpack) and haven't looked back. The Corporate Traveler has made me reconsider that decision, though -- it's even more travel-friendly than the backpack (at least for cars and airplanes) and it's attractively styled, to boot.
I can't recommend this computer bag enough to people who frequently travel with a laptop computer or do any amount of business work on the road. If you're a more casual computer user, though, the Corporate Traveler is probably overkill and a little too expensive for what you need.
|Device||Laptop computer carrying case|
|Device support||Laptop computers with screen sizes of up to 15.4"|
|Market||Laptop computer owners, frequent business travellers|
|Price (retail)||U.S. ~$85 Buy it now from Amazon.com|
|Product Web site||Click here|