Gravity – Newton’s law that describes the movement of celestial bodies in our universe, or as I prefer to think of it, the cowled spectre looming over (or perhaps below) us, laying in wait to instantly transform a few hundred quid’s worth of technology into a heart wrenching explosion of shattered electronics at a single misstep. Laptops are certainly no friend of gravity and yet surprisingly few laptop bags offer anything but the most rudimentary protection against a high speed collision with the pavement.
Luckily though, Tech air’s creators must have lost a few prized gadgets to the earth’s pull as its TechAir Protection technology offers about the most extreme protection you can get for falling laptops. Further features include the i-TRAK system, through which you register a unique number for your bag and that apparently helps you get your bag back quicker if you lose. I can’t say the odds of getting the laptop inside it back as well are that good, but it’s better than nothing.
Without actually throwing my laptop off my second floor balcony, I can’t really say for certain that the TechAir system lives up to its claims. Of course, if you want me to throw your laptop off my balcony, please feel free to send it in. But simply by feeling around in the bag, you can tell that the protective measures must be having some effect. It uses a special air-cushioning system that is supposed to be better than traditional foam cushioning, which apparently degrades over time. The 3707 also offers a lifetime guarantee, so Tech air must be pretty confident about its durability.
I do know of one example where the TechAir protection did show its merits – one of my friends had the misfortune of being caught up in last year’s airport security scares (the ones that resulted in the humble toothpaste being treatad as potentially deadly weapon) and was forced to put his brand new Sony Vaio in the hold. We’ll never know whether or not it suffered much abuse from the baggage handlers but at least it did emerge on the other side unscathed.
The disadvantage is that the air cushioning adds a lot of bulk to the bag. It also means the bag is pretty much impossible to fold up if, say, you want to fit it inside another bag when you’re travelling by air. This doesn’t make too much difference to the 3707 particularly as it is a pretty big backpack anyway, but this does detract from the visual appeal of Tech air’s messenger bags.
I did find one design flaw in the 3707. The front compartment contains an ‘accessories panel’ designed to fit your mobile phone, MP3 player, business cards, pens etc. The middle is for your laptop and the rear is for paperwork. The problem is that hole designed to feed your headphone cable through to the bag only leads into the rear section, i.e. not where you keep your MP3 player. It’s a pretty minor quibble though.
i-TRAK subscription for 6 months
TechAir Protection Technology
Fits laptops up to 15.4”
51 x 38 x 19.5cm
Admittedly, the 3707 may not be winning any awards for its visual appeal, but with a £34.99 price tag, it is a lot cheaper than some of those flimsy designer bags and those hideous creations that most manufacturers try to flog you when you buy their notebooks. Few other bag makers offer the same degree of protection either.