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Brenthaven laptop bags: Bag it or break it

If you need a classic laptop bag then check out Brenthaven's latest range -- they combine sturdy materials with sensible designs

Brenthaven started out life as an outdoor bag manufacturer and since then has turned its focus on laptops, while keeping some of its old-school ethos. Its range combines classic laptop bag designs with sturdy materials that will keep your technology safe.

We've had a quick hands-on with two of Brenthaven's latest bags, the MetroLite and ProLite III, to see what the company is up to these days. Our first impressions were that the bags are rather basic-looking, but at least you won't attract too much unwanted attention.

The ProLite III fits up to 17-inch laptops and comes with two main compartments and a variety of pockets and sleeves to store all your gizmos. The zips are big and tough and the handles are chunky too, so they won't break after a couple of months.

The Metro is a slender bag that's aimed more at women. It has a pouch on the outside for storing all your bits and pieces and a single laptop compartment that fits a 15-inch machine.

In terms of security, these bags are lined with foam padding and a kind of plasticky cardboard that provides a cushion if you drop your bag. It does work -- we tested it out on several different laptops, dropping them from waist height with no damage.

The ProLite III is available from Brenthaven's Web site, among other retailers, for around £100, while the MetroLite is about £50. -Andrew Lim