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Review: Kensington contour roller laptop case

Review: Kensington contour roller laptop case

A premium solution aimed at aspiring road warriors

Notebook PCs may be getting smaller in size, but dedicated PC users likely have a growing collection of accessories to accompany the system, presenting a challenge when travelling or working outside of the office. The new roller based case from Kensington is designed to help manage this conundrum. The contour roller laptop case comes with enough pockets to store various accessories and cables, and the user has the option to either carry the case using a shoulder strap or wheeling it around with the help of a pair of wheels and telescopic handle.

Roomy and practical

The case measures at 47 x 37 x 23cm and is capable of storing notebooks with screens up to 17 inches, with a maximum dimension of 41 x 29 x 4cm. The bag comes with three main side pockets, with each one designed to store different types and sizes of items. The innermost pocket is typically suited for documents while the outermost one is used for loose items such as the phone, keys and pens. The three pockets provide enough space to store most important items related to day-to-day commuting, to the point where some of the space may be left unused by someone who only travels short distances. The midsized nature of the laptop bag, however, means that there is no dedicated compartment to hold overnight clothes and toiletries.

The cost of all this storage space is a combined weight of 3.12kg, which makes it heavier than most compact notebooks, such as Ultrabooks that tend to weigh just over a kilogram. Fortunately, Kensington has provided two alternate methods of transporting the laptop case. A unique feature is the contour system, which consists of a rounded case design that aims to reduce shoulder and neck fatigue when carried by the shoulder strap. Instead of having the side of the case press sharply into the midsection when carried, the rounded edge aligns with the natural curve of the human body and brings the bag closer to the centre of gravity.

A question of choice

A traditional handle is fitted at the top, though when one considers the weight of case, together with the added weight of the notebook and accessories, it is not the most practical method to carry the luggage. In most situations, it will only be used to pick the case up from the ground and place it on an elevated surface such as a desk. Instead, the preferred method to transport the bag will be with the help of the five stage telescoping arm and the two attached wheels at the bottom of the case. The arm is both firm and sturdy, and the handle at the top was easy to grip during use. The wheels had a smooth roll even with a full load, and the thin nature of the wheels means there is very little sound produced when moved over a smooth surface.

There is little fault to be found with the contour roller laptop case from Kensington, as it succeeds in the task it is designed to perform. With a price tag of $169.95, the bag is clearly positioned as a premium product, so the buyer will have to decide whether the investment is worth it. The bag may seem like overkill for someone who just travels short distance, so their needs may be better suited by a more compact case. Conversely, those wanting a more comprehensive solution design for the rigours of airline travel will probably want something more comprehensive, such as Kensington’s own contour overnight roller laptop case. However, a road warrior who has already gone through several laptop bags may be interested in investing in this rugged solution.

Patrick Budmar covers consumer and enterprise technology breaking news for IDG Communications. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_budmar.


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