Even though it looks like a standard messenger-style laptop case, the $119 Pacsafe CourierSafe 100 packs a wealth of hidden security features into its unassuming frame. After all, it makes sense that a bag containing your valuable laptop, and potentially even more valuable data, should have some fairly robust security, and that's the mentality behind the Pacsafe line of cases, which all incorporate features such as slash-proof shoulder straps and tamper-proof zippers.
The CourierSafe 100 additionally offers a mini combination lock for anchoring the strap around a fixed object or locking the zippers closed, on top of the standard Pacsafe defenses against knives and box cutters. It's also a reasonably attractive, comfortable laptop bag that's bulkier than its saddlebag cousin, the Pacsafe MetroSafe 300, but has roomier, therefore more usable, pockets inside.
At 16.5 inches wide by 13 inches high by 6.5 inches deep, the Pacsafe CourierSafe 100 can hold a 15-inch laptop, and even a bigger one, such as the Toshiba Qosmio F45. The case is made from basic ballistic nylon, and the main laptop compartment has metal wires woven inside the material, which Pacsafe calls an eXomesh slash-guard panel. That's to keep someone from using a sharp knife to slice open your bag and snag your laptop. The shoulder strap is likewise reinforced with slash-proof, high-tensile stainless steel wire, to stop blade-wielding thieves.
A small combination lock sits at one end of the shoulder strap. The lock can be used to anchor the strap around a table leg, light post, or other secure object, and it includes a metal loop for threading through the zipper pullers to keep the bag closed.
The main compartment has a padded laptop section and a nonpadded one. There are two larger pockets in the nonpadded part, big enough to hold an iPod or digital camera, and several smaller ones for pens, cards, and other pocket-sized items.
Under the Velcro-sealed front flap there are two zippered pockets, but the extra long Velcro strips, while secure, make them hard to get to (and noisy--opening a bag with big Velcro straps in a quiet meeting is a serious office faux pas). A large zippered pocket covers the rear face, and is suitable for papers and magazines.
Two surprisingly nonsecured pockets sit on the left and right outside edges of the case. A perfect fit for a cell phone or iPod, but if you're paranoid enough to lock down your laptop bag, these probably won't get much use.
If you've never thought too much about someone slashing your laptop bag on the street before, the Pacsafe line is enough to make you positively paranoid about it. Fortunately, peace of mind doesn't have to mean lugging around a locked attachÃ© case, as the CourierSafe 100 provides more protection than anyone other than a secret agent or industrial spy would need.