15" Trademark II Laptop Case, by Targus
Posted: 30-Sep-2005

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Targus Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: HARDWARE

Overview
Owners of the Apple Powerbook understand the value of their machine, and they would want to protect it as best they can while still having it easily accessible and portable. The best way to achieve this is finding the right laptop case to carry it in. I am a regular attendee of San Francisco's yearly Macworld, and besides the standard computer technology, I am always on the look out for new Powerbook cases. My goal is to find a case to protect my investment, as well as carry the Powerbook in comfort and style. One such offering is the 15" Targus Trademark II laptop case.

Vendor's Description
A perfect fit for larger 15 inch Powerbooks, this Trademark II standard laptop case offers you a cutting edge urban sophisticated design. Weighing in at only 3.25 pounds, this standard case features a large workstation with multiple pockets for PDA, cell phone, airline tickets and removable media, and a removable accessory pouch to store power accessories, such as adaptors, tips and cords. There's also a comfortable ergonomic suspension shoulder strap with a cell phone holder, which offers you convenience and a less stressful carrying experience.

Features

  • Offers cutting edge urban sophistication
  • Light weight design - Just 3.25 lbs
  • Protects larger 15 inch laptops up to 13 x 2 x 11 inches
  • Large workstation with multiple pockets for PDA, cell phone, airline tickets and removable media
  • Includes removable accessory pouch to store power accessories; adaptors, tips and cords
  • Ergonomic suspension shoulder strap with convenient cell phone holder


Specifications

  • Color: Black
  • Device Compatibility: 13" x 2.5" x 12" (33.02 x 6.35 x 30.48 cm.)
  • Exterior Dimensions: 14" x 4.5" x 13"
  • Material: 840D Nylon and Micro Fiber
  • Warranty: Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Weight: 3.25 lbs.


Price

$49.99

Design
I have seen a lot of different case designs over the years, ranging from psychadelic colors to hard shell cases. For myself, I prefer a simple design that is easy on the eyes, comfortable to work with, provides protection for the Powerbook, and functional in terms of smartly storing what I need to carry with the Powerbook. Right off the bat I can say that the Trademark II is all of those.

The Trademark II sports a well-design black case made of durable nylon and micro fiber, with a long flap that attaches down the front. Lift the flap, and three zippered compartments are revealed. The outer compartment is the smaller one, about half the width of the case height, and meant for small incidental items (much like a purse). Then there are two major compartments that are as wide and deep as the case. The first is the main Powerbook pocket, meant for storage the Powerbook, and the second is a utility compartment, meant for all of your Powerbook accessories.

The Powerbook pocket is a padded compartment with a Velcro strap at the top to secure your Powerbook, which is then fully contained by a sturdy zipper that seals the top. There are two zipper sliders, and when the sliders come together, there are two metal loops that overlap, allowing you to lock your Powerbook for security. Granted, if someone steals the case with the Powerbook inside, it would not take much to cut through the case to get to the Powerbook. I see this security function as more for deterring a casual thief.

The utility compartment unzips down both sides allowing the case to completely open up. Within this compartment are several pockets for storing a variety of accessories and components. The outer side contains a windowed pocket for inserting your ID, two padded Velcro flap pockets (for things like cell phones, PDAs, mice, etc.), and a vertical row of 5 small pockets. The inner side contains two more padded pockets with open tops, both with smaller pockets on the outside. Between these pockets are vertical stretch loops for holding pens, and at the bottom is a wide zipper pouch with a screen-vented side, perfect for cords and other longer accessories (and the pouch is removable via Velcro).

On the back side of the case are two additional pockets. There is one pocket that zips down both sides, and extends outward with an accordion-style file storage of three pockets for manuals, books and papers. On the inner pocket are two smaller pockets. Then there is one more pocket on the very back of the case which is a single pocket providing quick access and secured by Velcro. This pocket is perfect for airline tickets or other items that you would need fast access to while on the go.

Finally, for carrying the case, the Trademark II sports both a handle and a carrying strap. The handle sits squarely at the top with reinforced anchors and an extremely comfortable heavily cushioned grip. The carrying strap is detachable and adjustable, with a comfortable shoulder pad and a sliding Velcro secured pocket for storing your cell phone.

In Use
The first thing I tested, of course, is how well my 15" Powerbook fit into the case, and how well protected it was. Once inserted into the case, the Powerbook fit snugly, yet it was still easy to slide it in and out; hence, it truly was a "perfect fit". With the extra padding on the sides and bottom of the case, the Powerbook is bumb resistent. After securing the Powerbook with the Velcro strap and zipping the compartment closed, then swinging the heavily padded flap over the top, I felt extremely secure that my Powerbook was protected. I did notice, however, that the thick padding on the sides did not go all the way up to the top, establishing a sort of "Achilles Heel" effect on the top corners. If the case were to fall on the side, the side padding would take the blow, and even if the case fell at a 45 degree angle on a corner, the top of the case is thick enough that it would take the blow. It's hard to imagine what accident would expose these Achilles points (perhaps if you were swinging a baseball bat at the case and landed the blow directly at the upper side). For all practical purposes, the case does an outstanding job at protecting the Powerbook.

I was also quite please at the number of compartments that the case afforded in such a compact and simple style case. I really don't like those bulky looking cases, and thought I might lose out on storage with such a compact design. That was not the case with the Trademark II. From the power cable, to my bluetooth RadTech mouse, to pens, books and papers, everything that I would want to accompany my Powerbook had a convenient pocket to store in. The only exception I could think of would be my
iLap tray that I would sometimes like to bring with the Powerbook for resting the Powerbook on my lap. On the other hand, I don't know of any laptop case that could hold both the iLap and the Powerbook (if you can find a case big enough, it would probably be a large piece of luggage, not a laptop case). I would have to say that some of those internal pockets, such as the strip of 5 very short vertical pockets, did not seem to serve a useful purpose. I cannot imagine anything that I would want to store in a pocket that small, open and unprotected. The majority of the pockets, however, were quite useful, providing an easy and secure means to lug around my Powerbook's accessories, as well as other travel materials.

Using the Trademark II to carry my Powerbook and accessories was a pure delight. It is far more convenient to carry the Powerbook in a case, and because the Trademark II is a compact and lightweight case, it made it even more convenient. Whether I was carrying it by the strap with cushioned shoulder pad, or holding the cushioned grip, portability was a breeze.

Summary
The Targus Trademark II laptop case advertises as being the perfect fit for a 15" Powerbook, and after using it for months, I can confirm that it is a perfect fit, and much more. There is nothing not to love about the design of this case, from the sturdy material, protective padding, compact size, multitude of accessory pockets, and comfortable carrying handle and strap. I prefer this simple black design over the overwhelming colored cases on the market, and prefer the flexible yet durable material of this case over other hard shell or oversized laptop cases. This case affords great protection for your Powerbook, is easy to work with, and it holds everything I need for my Powerbook and then some. Even when I'm not traveling, I prefer to keep my Powerbook stored in the case, as it keeps all of the accessories together, protects the Powerbook from incidental mishaps and dust, and is easy to remove the Powerbook when I need to use it. From all of the designs I've seen at various Macworld shows, this design was one of my favorites. After extensive use, the Trademark II has demonstrated excellent durability and function as well, making it one of the best laptop cases on the market. I highly recommend it.


Pros

  • Lots of convenient pockets
  • Comfortable to carry
  • Good protection for the Powerbook
  • Durable and flexible design

Cons

  • A few of the internal pockets were not that useful
  • Upper sides of Powerbook compartment not as protected as the rest


Overall Rating:

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice