Kensington Contour Roller Notebook Case review: Kensington Contour Roller Notebook Case

CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
  • Overall: 8.0
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 9.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Accommodates large laptops; wheels roll quietly and smoothly, even on uneven surfaces; lots of room and pockets for gadgets; sturdy telescoping handle; contoured shape makes it easy to carry shoulder-style.

The Bad Somewhat expensive; some of the bag's contents are exposed when the telescoping handle is up.

The Bottom Line Designed to carry 17-inch laptops, the sturdy Kensington Contour Roller combines suitcase-like construction with the organization of a laptop bag.

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Let's make this clear: the $100 Kensington Contour Roller is not for amateurs. Designed to hold a 17-inch laptop with all its attendant cords, accessories, and work files, this bulky laptop bag weighs 7.4 pounds on its own--as heavy as many desktop-replacement laptops. Fortunately, you rarely have to carry the bag by its shoulder strap; its quiet wheels and telescoping handle let you pull it behind you, suitcase-style. Similar to the Traveler bag from the same line, the Contour Roller also includes plenty of organizer pockets to keep sundries contained while on the road. While its many pockets and features may be overkill for the occasional commuter, the Kensington Contour Roller will appeal to hard-core road warriors who travel with desktop-replacement laptops.

Made of ballistic nylon and measuring 17.5 inches wide by 13 inches deep by 9.5 inches thick, the dark gray Contour Roller is sized more like a carry-on suitcase than a laptop bag. In fact, it's too thick to store under a standard airplane seat, though it would fit in an overhead bin. In exchange for the bulky design and casual fabric, however, you do get a massive amount of space to carry all your stuff. On the front of the bag, a double zipper opens to reveal organizer pockets for your MP3 player, smart phone, flash drive, pens, business cards, and discs; there's also a hook for keys, plus several small, zippered pockets for valuables. A narrow zipper pocket above the front flap keeps your boarding pass within easy reach. On one side of the bag, a Velcro panel opens to create a handy holder for a water bottle or an umbrella.

The bulk of the Contour Roller comprises two compartments, each with a double zipper that opens halfway down the sides of the bag; though this does keep contents secure, we'd have liked the zippers to travel a little further down for easier access to the bag's deep interior. The first compartment offers two subsections, each large enough to hold a stuffed legal file or thick book. The second compartment contains a removable laptop sleeve (attached to the interior via a zipper) with a Velcro strap that holds your laptop securely in place. The sleeve's soft lining and thick padding reassured us that our laptop would be well protected. Even with a thick laptop in the sleeve, this compartment contains enough room for additional files, books, or spiral notebooks.

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