The GoodThe Booq Cobra Courier XS iPad bag has a sleek design, solid construction, and enough side pockets for a charger, keyboard, a notebook, or other commuting needs. The lined iPad pocket is soft and padded, and a rubber bottom offers some wetness protection.
The BadThe bag's leather flap closes with noisy Velcro pads that don't always rest evenly; there aren't any zippers or weatherproof flaps to additionally secure the iPad in its pocket.
The Bottom LineThe Booq Cobra Courier XS is a slick, leather-and-nylon iPad bag with enough compartments to be practical, while looking good enough to take out at night if needed.
Carrying an iPad a year ago involved searching for the perfect bag, and the problem back in 2010 was that many bag makers hadn't figured out the iPad yet. Flash forward to mid-2011, and the iPad 2 and original iPad feel nearly ubiquitous--so, too, do iPad bags. Finding one that matches the iPad's sleek styling is a harder challenge, and one the Booq Cobra Courier XS meets while still offering ample storage in a small package. Though $145 is a lot to pay for a small bag, it's hard to do better for a sturdy/stylish/practical triple-threat.
The Booq Cobra Courier XS feels in some ways like a microminiaturized version of the Booq Boa Squeeze, a backpack we loved back in 2009. The Squeeze managed to be thin and small, yet it packed lots of pockets with plenty of padding. Similarly, the over-the-shoulder Courier XS is a tightly built little black bag made out of ballistic nylon and topped with Nappa leather, with a thick rubber bottom underneath.
Scott Stein is a senior editor covering iOS and laptop reviews, mobile computing, video games, and tech culture. He has previously written for both mainstream and technology enthusiast publications including Wired, Esquire.com, Men's Journal, and Maxim, and regularly appears on TV and radio talking tech trends.