The bag-making pros at Booq are back at it again. Just in time for back-to-school, they've introduced two new bags that are really a hybrid of the traditional computer bag and a stiff sleeve. The Booq Viper courier comes in both 13-inch (US$99.95) and 15-inch ($109.95) flavors, and we'll be giving away one of the 15-inch models later ... so stay tuned.
It's the design of this bag that makes it different from all the rest. Most computer bags are like the one I got from the company when I hired on: they have a shoulder strap, a padded pocket for the computer (with the requisite Velcro strap to hold it in place), a couple of other pockets for papers and accessories, and the ever-popular slots for pens. For those who love lightweight and compact protection for their laptops, there are a number of manufacturers who make sleeves.
Booq's contribution to the laptop sleeve market has been the Viper series, made up of the case (starting at $44.95), the hardcase (starting at $49.95), and the sleeve (starting at $39.95). This series has a semi-rigid exterior with a cloth finish, and provides extra protection for your laptop. Now the Booq folks have created a mashup of the Viper semi-rigid cases and sleeves and a more traditional MacBook bag with these two Booq Viper courier bags.
The exterior of the Booq Viper courier is covered in a waterproof and organically dyed natural fibre fabric in a neutral grey color. It has a nice feel and looks quite classy. Hiding inside the Viper courier are a variety of pockets into which you can slide a surprising amount of gear. Rather than describe the functions of all of these pockets, check out the following short video from Booq:
OK, so you can fit a lot of gear into the Booq Viper courier. I think that the high points of this bag are the padding around the laptop pocket and the internal iPad pocket. One other feature that Booq provides with many of its products is a serialized TerraLinq tag that is unique to your bag. If you lose the bag, the tag provides a way for the finder to hopefully get it back to you.
The shoulder strap was very comfortable, even when I weighed down the bag with my 13" MacBook Pro with Retina display, a full-sized iPad, an iPad mini, charging cables, my iPhone, and some assorted papers and magazines from my desk.
The other main selling point of the Booq Viper courier is how it looks; it's one of the more classy laptop bags I've seen in the recent past. I love the small touches that really add to the usability of the bag -- the cloth zipper pulls that make it easy to open the bag, the handles that tuck away if you're not using them, and the easy-to-remove shoulder strap.
The Viper courier is a bag that would look equally at home on the shoulder of a college student or in an executive boardroom. It's not flashy; instead, it's understated and professional.
Although the Booq Viper courier can hold a surprising amount of gear, you might need a bag that has a bit more space in it. Booq recently announced a new member of the family: the Booq Boa brief ($149.95). I personally don't think it's as nice-looking as the Viper courier, but your tastes may be different from mine.
For the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro user with a 13-inch or 15-inch model, the Booq Viper courier provides top-notch protection to your gear while looking good at the same time.
Comfortable removable shoulder strap
Surprising amount of storage space in a relatively slim bag
TerraLinq service can help you be reunited with a lost or stolen bag
Fabric material is waterproof
Zipper pulls provide ease of entry
Special interior pocket for iPad
None to speak of
Who is it for?
Anyone who wants a classy-looking, relatively inexpensive, and well-constructed laptop case for their MacBook Air or MacBook Pro.
And now it's time for someone with a nice MacBook to win this lovely bag!
Here are the rules for the giveaway:
Open to legal US residents of the 50 United States, the District of Columbia and Canada (excluding Quebec) who are 18 and older.
To enter, fill out the form below completely and click or tap the Submit button.
The entry must be made before August 27, 2013 11:59PM Eastern Daylight Time.
You may enter only once.
One winner will be selected and will receive a Booq Viper courier bag worth $109.95