We've reviewed our fair share of laptop cases over the years, and in the past year and a half we've seen (and reviewed) a good number of cases designed for Apple's iPad tablet. We've seen people shove laptops and tablets together into backpacks and messenger bags, but the $69 Cocoon CLS456 is the first case we've seen specifically designed to hold both a 13-inch laptop and a tablet at the same time.
The basic black design is inoffensive, but not exactly upscale--it falls into the great middle ground of anonymous-looking nylon laptop cases. Still, the clean lines and lack of extraneous detailing make it fit for casual, academic, and corporate settings. At 13.75 inches by 9.75 inches, it's small, but just big enough to escape being(though it's a close call).
The pocketless main compartment is padded and holds a 13-inch laptop. While Cocoon pitches it as being for a MacBook, it'll fit many other 13-inch laptops, but a 14-inch HP Envy was just a little too big. On the front face of the bag, a second, smaller compartment is divided in two by a large pocket. One side can hold your iPad (or other tablet), while the other half can hold an included .
The Grid-It, another Cocoon product, is a flat, padded board, about the size of an iPad, covered on one side with horizontal and vertical elastic straps. The idea is that you slide small objects, from power adapters to headphones to sunglasses, into the straps, and it holds everything neatly and securely. Cocoon describes it as "a rubberized woven elastic object retention system for gadget organization."
The company makes several different sizes and styles of the Grid-It. With the CLS456, you get one that measures 9.25 inches by 7.25 inches. The Grid-It board is handy for keeping small items such as USB keys and headphones from getting lost in your bag, but fitting things into it can involve a lot of finger-flinging for a relatively modest reward.