Mobile Edge The Element - notebook carrying case review: Mobile Edge The Element - notebook carrying case

The Good Attractive, fashionable design; choice of three colors; plenty of compartments; fits laptops up to 15.4 inches; lifetime warranty.

The Bad The shoulder strap on our review unit broke after very little use.

The Bottom Line We like a lot about the Mobile Edge Element: its sophisticated design is far more fashionable than your standard-issue black nylon bag, and its many pockets are useful for staying organized on the road. But it's best when carried briefcase-style, which may be too heavy for some women.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7

Mobile Edge has long been a trendsetter when it comes to women's laptop bags; the company was one of the first to concentrate on incorporating serious functions in a fashionable case. The Element briefcase continues the tradition, wrapping a number of thoughtful organizational touches--as well as solid laptop protection--into a stylish briefcase.

On the outside, the Mobile Edge Element looks like any other business tote, with colored poly-suede side panels in your choice of three colors: brown, pink, and green. (We carried the green.) Whatever your color choice, the handles and accents on the bag are made of brown faux leather. We're not overly fond of faux leather, but the high-end look of the poly-suede gives the bag a sophisticated appeal.

The exterior of the bag includes a shallow zippered pocket that's large enough for a paperback or a day planner; the opposite side includes a larger file pocket that secures with a single Velcro tab. A small mesh pocket on the side of the bag can hold sunglasses or a cell phone (though not a smartphone).

The bag itself consists of three main compartments, each accessible via a sturdy double zipper and lined with a satin fabric that's striped in the same colors as the exterior. (This attractive interior garnered more than one compliment from women at the coffee shop and library.) The front section opens wide to reveal a number of organizer pockets, with space for a cell phone, business cards, pens, and lipstick, plus Mobile Edge's "wireless security shield" pocket, which the company claims will keep phones and PDAs safe from hackers. There's also a deep zippered pocket for valuable items, such as a wallet or checkbook, and the front side of the compartment includes eight more file pockets for papers of various sizes. We really like that this section of the bag opens wide for easy access to the contents, yet has accordion-fold fabric along the sides to keep small items from falling out.

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