Pros:Roomy compartments, rugged style, easy on the back.
Cons:Zipper pull tabs may be a bit thin.
The Bottom Line: Much easier on the back than carrying bags on your shoulder; easy to maneuver.
For way too many years, I was lugging two bags to the office each daya laptop case and a soft-sided briefcase. Why two bags? The laptop case didnt easily hold things like a lunch bag and other incidental things Id use in my commute, and its a nightmare to balance smaller loose objects on the train system in our city.
Recommend this product?
The problem, though, was throwing both bags over my shoulder going from the car to the train, and again from the train to the office (including a long walk through the train station). As someone prone to back pain, there were some days, especially after a long weekend of yard work, the strain on my shoulder of the two bags was wince-inducing.
This year, though, Santa took pity on my back and his elves whipped up a great rolling notebook case from Targus. Unlike some cases Id seen that were too small to accommodate both the laptop section (with files, cables, etc.) and a lunch, the Targus TCG717 comfortably holds everything I need on a daily basis without bursting at the seams
and I can roll it through the majority of my daily commute, saving my back and neck from added strain.
The case has four primary storage areas, with a host of little extras that make organizing quick and easy. The case is dubbed an overnighter, promoting the back storage compartment as able to hold a change of clothes and everything you need for a quick one-night trip. That may be stretching the point a bit, even for a guy, but for day-to-day use, the extra-sturdy compartment holds exactly what I want it to: a flat-pack lunch container (about the size of a frozen meal for one with a drink). Theres also ample room for a compact umbrella if it looks like rain or other similarly sized objects you might want to carry. The zipper extends all the way to the bottom of the case for easy access to the contents.
Moving forward to the laptop section, the Targus TCG717 has a smartly designed pouch with compartments capable of holding a laptop with up to a 17-inch screen. My laptop isnt that large, so I make use of the removable divider that sections off the back of this section to create a separate storage space for a power supply and long network cable. Directly in front of the laptop slot is a reinforced section for carrying files, thin books, etc. Its very useful if youre taking some materials with you to review, though I wouldnt put formal presentations to give to someone else in this spottheres still a chance theyll bend and crease. Theres also a pocket with a built-in CD-storage holder.
The next section moving forward is the all-purpose storage area. Built in pen loops, business card windows and assorted size/shape pockets make this the catch-all of the case. Theres also a built-in hook you can use for keys for quick access.
Finally, the front pouch zippers along the very front of the case, and has a fair amount of room for true incidentalsthe things you want easy access to on your commute, such as a CD or MP3 player, a Game Boy, etc.; in the winter, I kept a small de-icer container in this pouch just in case my locks were frozen when I got back to my car.
Bonus storage: one of the features I love about this case is that it has two built-in storage features on the exterior sides. One is a mesh holder you can access via a small zipper that holds a drink (perfect for waiting for the train on a hot summer day), and the other is a removable pouch that attaches to the other side designed to hold a compact cell phone. Since I carry my cell phone in my suit pocket, I use this pouch for my sunglasses case, so theyre always at my fingertips.
Ease of Use
OK, this ones pretty much a no-brainer. Like most modern carry-on luggage, its a simple extending handle that comes from the back of the bag and locks into place when fully extended. Then with the press of a button, you can push the handle back into place to carry the bag by the build-in handles when needed (like climbing stairs).
Ive been using this case daily for about five months and have never had a problem yet. If you pack the back compartment of the case extremely tightly, you may need to use a little extra effort to get the handle to extend, but thats all Ive noticed.
The TCG717 is basic black, with some gray accents, like straps, inside. With a completely professional case like this, youll be set for any environment.
Theres no way I would go back to throwing cases over my shoulder on a regular basis, ever. The Targus helps me manage my daily commute in style, and without pain.
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