10 best laptop cases and bags – The Independent

So you’ve spent a smallish fortune on a decent laptop. Now you need to protect it. A case means dropping it may not be fatal for the electronics and the delicate glass screen. Some are tougher than others, but all are better than nothing. Personal taste will guide you towards a rucksack or messenger bag with dedicated pockets or to a lighter, slimmer option such as a sleeve or a case which clips on to the laptop, staying on permanently. If you tend to forget a dark-coloured laptop in the shadows, choose something unforgettably bright.

1. Knomo Apple MacBook Sleeve: £69, Knomo

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London-based Knomo makes outstanding cases for phones, tablets and laptops, as well as a wide range of cases and handbags. This is a high-gloss, supple leather sleeve that has a reassuringly padded interior. Like most Knomo products, each one has a unique tag to identify it if lost. If the finder contacts Knomo, it’ll send them a reward and re-unite you with your product. This is a sumptuously well-made sleeve that’s a pleasure to use. Available in yellow, slate and black.

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2. Samsonite Ergo Biz 16in Messenger bag: £79, John Lewis

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If you have a hefty laptop, you need a bigger bag for it. This well-built messenger bag includes padding, a laptop slot and a water-resistant material inside. The Ergo Biz is big enough to handle a 16-inch laptop. Samsonite says the design is inspired by gull wing doors on a car. Whatever, this is an efficient bag with lots of useful pockets.

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3. Kate Spade Travel Stickers Sleeve: £75, Kate Spade

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Kate Spade’s bright laptop sleeve might suit when you’re taking your notebook on the road. It’s designed for a 13-inch laptop and has a solid zip that wraps round the top half. The design’s inspired by travel stickers for worldwide destinations, but most importantly, it’s one you will actually be able to see in your bag.

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4. Thule Gauntlet: £68.99, Argos

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If you’re going somewhere adventurous, or you’re just tremendously clumsy, the rugged Gauntlet may suit. This is a hard case designed like a clamshell so you can still use your laptop while it’s inside. There’s an iPad pocket and foam padding protects both tablet and computer. The base has room for power adapters and the zipper is water-resistant to keep your electronics dry. Fits a 13-inch laptop.

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5. Tumi Andersen Slim Commuter Briefcase: £395, John Lewis

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Tumi’s reputation is for long-lasting, stylish bags with great build quality. The Andersen, a well-thought-out bag made from durable nylon with leather trim, is a case in point. It’ll hold a laptop up to 15 inches in the dedicated padded compartment, alongside any files or papers in the main section, which also has a sleeve for a tablet. There are plenty of smaller sections inside and out, too. Wear it on the shoulder or by the top carry handles.

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6. Mujjo Carry-on Folio Sleeve for MacBook: £93, Mujjo

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Another case for the 12-inch MacBook, this sleek yet eye-catching option from the Dutch design house has a leather strap towards the base that makes it especially easy to carry – you slip your hand through the strap and under the case. It’s leather on one side and wool felt on the other. It’s also felt-lined, with an internal pocket for credit cards. Available in black leather. Mujjo also makes a series of MacBook covers in tan leather.

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7. GOJI GFLS13 Laptop Sleeve: £12.99, PC World

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Here’s a bargain option if you’re just after a padded case. This brightly coloured canvas sleeve (the design is called Birdhouse) is highly affordable and closed by a sturdy dual zip. It’ll hold a laptop up to around 15.6 inches. There are internal pockets for accessories and has a soft inner lining to protect your gadget. It’s coated to repel water, adding some protection on a British summer’s day.

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8. Acme Made The Skinny Sleeve: £29.95, John Lewis

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This is a great-value sleeve for slim laptops such as the 13-inch MacBook Air. It’s made from water- and stain-resistant neoprene and reinforcements keep your laptop safe without bulking the size of the sleeve, which is impressively slim. There’s an elastic band that stretches over the top to keep the MacBook in place without the need for a zipper. Choose from grey, black or purple.

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9. Firenze Toploading Laptop Case: £34.99, Argos

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A case as bright as this one may help you remember to pick your laptop up. It’s quilted so it’s both attractive and protective. Plus, there’s high-density foam lining the inside compartment to absorb any major impact. It’s big enough for a 15.6-inch laptop and there’s also a dedicated compartment for an iPad or other tablet. Lightweight, colourful and practical.

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10. Speck SmartShell Case for 13in MacBook Pro: From £32.99, Argos

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Speck’s range of hard cases stay permanently wrapped on your laptop to keep it safe from chips and scratches. The polycarbonate cover fits perfectly – it comes in two pieces to attach easily. There are carefully placed vents so it doesn’t over heat and of course there’s full access to all the ports and keys. The case is see-through but also comes in a range of colours including black, blue and pink.

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Verdict

The sumptuous leather of the Knomo case is very hard to beat, combining decent value with exceptional style. The Speck SmartShell is an efficient protector, keeping the laptop pristine (handy if you want to preserve resale value). And the Tumi offers a well-built bag that holds much more than your notebook PC.

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