With laptop prices coming down and larger screens becoming the norm, many buyers of laptop backpacks are narrowing their search for a 17 inch laptop backpack. I have reviewed the popular larger backpacks available and recommend the following products:
SwissGear ScanSmart 17 Inch Laptop Backpack
This SwissGear 17 Inch Laptop backpack is currently priced at around $60, it has received high praise for its build quality, roomy accessory compartments and unique ScanSmart feature. For those not familiar with this feature; it incorporates a plastic viewing window in the bag that enables airport security staff to scan the laptop without completely removing it from the backpack. In addition to this the main compartment opens like a clam-shell for easy access and viewing. While most reviewers were pleased with the storage capacity the SwissGear provided, however if your laptop is a full 17 inch with a 16:9 aspect ratio display it is questionable if there would be enough room. This is because although the specification is for 17 inch, some laptops come bigger than others, so if yours is quite bulky it may be a good idea to try it first in the shop before making a purchase.
One noteworthy feature is the the Airflow Back System which allows for circulation and cooling to prevent sweating as well as additional padding and back support. It also comes with an assortment of padded straps which adjust to accommodate laptops of different sizes to assure a snug fit. There is an interior organizer that has various sized compartments for items such as mobile phones, a computer mouse, extra battery packs and power cords. For more specifications and details click here.
Targus XL Backpack 17 Inch Laptop Backpack
The Targus 17 Inch Laptop Backpack is a great choice if you are looking for a larger bag to not only accommodate your 17 inch laptop but also carry an assortment of other items such as books, sunglasses, cell phones and PDA devices. This makes it a great choice for students and frequent travelers. In addition to its expansive size,the feature that makes this bag unique is that it is “wired”, meaning that is has an audio jack that allows connection of ear buds or headphones to a player that resides within the safe confines of the backpack. Other features include:
- Segregated well-cushioned laptop compartment
- Side pocket for drinks
- Pocket designed specifically for portable music players with an output jack accessible from outside
- Dedicated compartments for books, file storage and smaller items such as pens and car keys
Please note that this backpack is substantially larger than many other 17 inch laptop backpacks. In fact I suggest that selecting between the two usually comes down to your desired size. If you have a larger format 17 inch or even 18 inch laptop and wish to carry additional items such as books, then the Targus is the better choice. However if you prefer a less bulky backpack, and a normal sized 17 inch or smaller laptop then the Swissgear is a good choice.
Also note that there are two other versions of this 17 Inch laptop backpack: the rolling case and the top loaded case (similar in design to a brief case).