Portable computers are now commonplace in just about any setting. From universities to offices to WiFi enabled cafés and restaurants, people are bringing their computers everywhere. If you have a laptop, most likely, you’re bringing it often to school, to work. Carrying it around with the black shoulder bag that usually comes with the computer is oftentimes seen as boring and utilitarian. You do have several options.
Backpacks. The main disadvantage with briefcases and shoulder bags is that these put a heavy strain on just one side of the body. Therefore, these are not very ideal for people who are always on the move. Backpacks, meanwhile, distribute weight evenly across both sides—which can help with managing the weight better. This is ideal for when walking across campus, commuting to work, or hiking.
Backpack type computer bags are also ideal in situations in which the carrier needs to bring around additional gear or equipment, such as books, notebooks, and the like. Most backpacks have a padded compartment for the notebook computer itself, and additional space for documents, cables, and even books.
Messenger bags. For the more fashion-conscious, messenger bags are a preferred way to carry around notebook computers. These are slung on one shoulder, and therefore hug the body tightly on just one side. The main advantage of messenger bags is that the user doesn’t have to take out the bag just to get things from inside. The bag is situated near the hips, and all one has to do is open the zipper or flap, and grab whatever needs to be taken out.
As with backpacks, most messenger type laptop bags have a padded compartment for the computer itself, and extra space for peripherals and accessories.
Sleeves. For people who want to use their existing bags to carry computers, a sleeve would be a good option. These are made out of neoprene, memory foam, or other flexible, thin material that fits the notebook computer snugly. The user can then just place the computer inside a backpack or shoulder bag, as if it were a book. Some sleeves even have carrying handles, which can be useful for carrying it as a bag on its own. Sleeve type carrying cases are popular with miniature notebooks (called netbooks), which are often easily carried inside other bags along with books and other accessories because of their small size.
Multi-purpose bags. Most laptop bags are meant to carry the computer, some cables, and additional accessories. For the serious mobile professional, however, there are bags that carry more gear. Photographers might need to carry around camera bodies, lenses, tripods, and other accessories with their laptop computer. Some manufacturers have bags especially for this purpose. Multi-purpose bags are often heavily padded inside, due to the need to store and carry expensive equipment. These tend to be heavy, so most have wheels and can be pulled across the floor, much like luggage.
Computer bags are often used as functional, but fashionable accessories. With the popularity of portable computers these days, the choice of carrying cases and bags has also grown along with consumer demand and preference.