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.
There's also a long open pocket on the rear panel for papers or a magazine, and two elastic straps along the same rear panel to use as either hand straps or roller bag straps.
The case hangs from a simple adjustable nylon strap with a cushioned shoulder pad. The strap attaches via plastic clips to the left and right edges of the bag, but we would have liked to see an extra set of clip anchors on one side so the bag could be oriented vertically, in a saddlebag style, which often looks better with a smaller laptop case such as this.
The Cocoon CLS456 fits the definition of a niche product. If you're carrying both a laptop and a tablet around at the same time, you might be a little too dependent on technology (or you might work at CNET), but this inoffensive-looking bag manages to fit both devices in a surprisingly small footprint.