CNET logo Why You Can Trust CNET

Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement

Belkin NE-WTL leather tote review: Belkin NE-WTL leather tote

A chic and practical tote that shields your laptop from shocks and doesn't scream "Rob me!"

Ella Morton
Ella was an Associate Editor at CNET Australia.
Ella Morton
2 min read

By and large, the laptop bags we encounter are drab, grey, mesh-accented monstrosities that scream "There is a $3000 item of computer hardware inside me; please steal me now!" to passers-by. That's why we were enthused to receive Belkin's leather laptop tote, which bypasses the standard rectangular or backpack design in favour of a shoulder bag.


Belkin NE-WTL leather tote

The Good

Simple, elegant design. Easy to remove laptop for airport security checks. Pockets to keep files and papers neat.

The Bad

Too much strain on shoulder if your laptops is heavy. Could do with a mobile phone pocket closer to the top.

The Bottom Line

Those who want to tote a laptop in style without sacrificing ergonomics will find much to like in this bag.

The NE-WTL has been designed with the "busy woman executive" in mind. Male laptop owners are unlikely to covet it due to its handbag style, even if they have a predilection for manbags, or "murses" if you will.

The laptop pocket is insulated from shocks and knocks with a layer of foam padding, and has a thick elasticised strap that goes over the top of the section and fastens with Velcro -- a kind of seatbelt for your computer.

The bag is designed to fit laptops with a screen size of 15.4 inches or less -- and yep, that includes widescreen models like the MacBook Pro, which is the computer we carried around in our test toting.

We found a lot to like about this bag. In terms of aesthetics, we appreciated the fact that there was no blatant logo slapped on the side, and found the overall minimalist look quite chic. We also liked the top-loading design, which allows you to swiftly pull out your lappy when going through security checks at the airport.

The snap-closing pocket allows you to keep A4 files, folders and magazines ordered, and also keep papers from getting scrunched or folded.

If your laptop is on the heavy side (say, more than 2.5 kilograms), and you'll be carrying the AC adaptor and a bunch of paperwork, the one-shouldered design may put too much strain on one side of your body. But for lighter computers, the design works well, and the shoulder straps are long enough to be comfortable without the bag swinging around and hitting your body.

Having seen a bunch of pink-hued accessories, we're a bit wary of anything that is marketed as being "for the ladies". But this tote manages to appeal exclusively to the females without resorting to gimmickry. Nice one, Belkin.