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Mobile Edge Maddie Powers Sheba review: Mobile Edge Maddie Powers Sheba

  • 1
MSRP: $79.99

The Good Funky design; removable neoprene laptop sleeve; compact shape.

The Bad Somewhat expensive; not expandable.

The Bottom Line The funky Mobile Edge Cutebug Sheba is a fashionable bag for women who only occasionally carry their ultraportable laptops.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 6

Most women's laptop bags we see function as a computer carrier first, fashion accessory second. The $80 Mobile Edge Cutebug Sheba reverses that order: it's a cute bag that you can also use to carry your laptop. Created in partnership with Chicago-based Maddie Powers, the bag's vinyl front flap features a striking image taken from a midcentury pulp magazine. Inside, a removable laptop sleeve provides a modicum of protection for your machine, and a handful of organizer pockets keep pens and other items contained. It's not a terribly large bag, though--our 13.3-inch MacBook was a tight fit and our 14.1-inch Acer TravelMate 4720 was too big for the laptop sleeve. Because of its limited carrying capacity, the Cutebug Sheba seems best suited for those who want a fashionable tote bag that can occasionally accommodate an ultraportable laptop.

The vintage magazine cover art on the flap of the Cutebug Sheba provides a lot of its appeal. Against a pink backdrop, a pinup girl looks out at you while resting her head on a manicured hand. The cover line next to her reads, "Kisses and more kisses"; above her, on the top of the bag, you see the magazine's title in red: LOVE Short Stories. The overall effect is quite girly, but in a funky way. The bag's back panel is made of black velvet, while the rest of the bag is made of typical black nylon. Two pockets on the sides--one with a Velcro flap, the other mesh--can hold a cell phone or an MP3 player and a small bottle of water. A single zipper on the back opens a slender pocket for reading material or folded papers (unfortunately the zipper isn't quite wide enough to accommodate a letter-size piece of paper without bending).

Under the graphic flap, which is held in place by a wide Velcro strap, a single zipper along the front panel opens onto a small organizer compartment with another cell phone or MP3 player pocket, a small pocket for cards, and a pen loop. Unfortunately, accessing these items can be difficult: the snug pocket isn't expandable, and the zipper is narrower than the pocket width. You'll find another zippered side pocket for papers inside the bag's open main compartment, plus a removable pink neoprene laptop sleeve held in place by a single strap. When the laptop's in place, there's not much room left for accessories; we were able to fit just our power cords and a magazine--enough for an afternoon outing. The advantage of carrying so little, of course, is that it's less weight on the bag's single adjustable shoulder strap; in this case the removable shoulder pad provides sufficient carrying comfort.

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