by Philip Yip
Evolution; it is defined as a gradual process by which something changes into a different, and usually more complex or better form. It is also the name of a new series of computer cases developed by Targus, in collaboration with Hewlett-Packard. With the expensive nature of computers, we are always looking for new innovative technologies to keep our investments safe. With the introduction of the Evolution Series cases, hopefully it is the final word on notebook protection. I had the opportunity to try the Evolution Series model HP600. It is a nylon sports backpack, one of five new cases that make up the new Evolution Series.
At first glance, you notice the sleek design and clean lines, but taking a closer look at the exterior of the bag, you will notice the heavy-duty nylon used in its construction. This makes it sturdy yet light, weighing in at only 3lbs. The black bag with Azure blue accents has a professional feel even though it was designed for the person with an active lifestyle. The brushed nickel zippers incorporate the same Azure blue accents into the pulls, which provide a classic feel. The zippers open smoothly and quietly, which is expected from a Targus product. The front of the bag is adorned with the HP logo, but unfortunately, it was only a stick-on. A solid logo mounted directly on the bag would have given a more finished look.
Brushed Nickel Zippers w/Azure Blue accents (large view)
The front of the bag consists of 2 main compartments and an additional zippered pocket. In between these 2 compartments, you will find an innovative self-retracting hidden passport / airline ticket holder. Mesh pouches flank the bag as well as a zippered pocket that houses the water bottle holder. Thick padding was used along the back of the bag to increase comfort. The padding was tapered along the shoulder blade area for a better fit, and covered in a mesh to allow better airflow. This is where you will also find a fairly concealed pocket incorporated into the bag. This pocket allows for cash and other valuables to be stored without worry of them being stolen. The shoulder straps are also fitted with the same padding and mesh that the back received. The contoured straps were designed wide to allow for better weight distribution. A removable cellular phone case is attached to the shoulder strap, allowing easy access to your phone when needed.
Retractable Airline Ticket / Passport Pocket (large view)
Removable Cellular Phone Case
Water Bottle Holder
The main computer compartment is large and can store a notebook with dimensions of approx. 14 x 11 x 2 (W x D x H). A top-loading sleeve, located in the same notebook pocket, will allow you to store a smaller ultra-portable notebook with approx. dimensions of 11.5 x 9 x 1 (W x D x H). I was capable of putting my Toshiba Satellite Pro 4320 (12.25 x 10.5 x 1.75 ) and my Toshiba Port g 3015T ultra-portable (10 x 8.5 x 0.75 ) into the compartments comfortably.
A standard 14 notebook in the main notebook pocket and a 10 ultra-portable in the top-loading sleeve (view larger image)
The main notebook pocket is protected by Targus patented SafePort Air Cushion protection system. These cushions line the bottom and sides of the pocket to avoid damage if the bag were to be dropped or placed down heavily. There is also padding on the front and back of the pocket to soften any impacts from books and even to/from your back.
On closer inspection of the SafePort cushions, it was noticed that they do not encompass the entire height of the pocket. Placing a notebook into the pocket exposes up to 6 of your notebook to all the impacts your case may experience. The only protection this 6 is provided is 2 layers of nylon, which is not enough. From the placement of the cushions, one can guess that impacts are only expected to happen to the bottom of the bag. What should have been done was to extend the cushions the entire height of the pocket, therefore maximizing protection in a rollover situation. I myself had this happen to me; the bag tipped and fell off my chair and landing on the top portion of the bag. Luckily, I did not have anything in it at the time, but if there was, I m confident I would have been paying for repairs to my computer.
SafePort Air Cushions short by approx 6 (view larger image)
In the same main compartment, the other half of this bag can also be used to transport your textbooks. With the notebook in place, I was capable of squeezing three 700pg textbooks into this compartment, although it was a tight fit. There were also 2 storage pockets. One of these pockets also has a removable CD/DVD sleeve capable of holding 4 discs. A lock can also be attached to the notebook compartment zippers to prevent unauthorized access to your notebook or files.
The 2nd main compartment is primarily designed for smaller items. With the multitude of pockets, it will be easy to store the necessities needed for work or school. There is also a removable cable pouch to store your notebook adapter and cables. There are 3 pen loops, a business card holder and 5 more pockets. The zippers for this compartment go all the way down, therefore allowing easy access. If this doesn t provide enough storage, there s one large pocket on the front of the bag. It ll hold any item up to 7 x 7 x 0.5 , disks, cards or even CD s.
Secondary Accessories Compartment (large view)
Removable CD sleeve and cable pouch (large view)
I found the Targus/HP HP600 to be a well-constructed bag with a lot of storage space. Sleek designs and good color schemes allow this bag to be utilized in any environment, whether it is personal or business related. With the contoured padding, it was comfortable even after extended use. I feel, with the cost of the bag at a MSRP of $80US, Targus/HP would have provided a bit more protection in the notebook compartment. Otherwise, the bag functioned as it was designed to and, I would recommend anyone looking for a backpack notebook bag with an $80US spending limit, to consider this bag.
- Durable and light nylon used in construction
- Good choice in color scheme, adds flair without being gaudy
- SafePort Air Cushion Protection System
- Innovative Passport Pocket
- A lot of pockets for storage
- SafePort Air Cushion Protection System is short by 6 , leaving the upper portion of the notebook exposed to impact
- HP emblem was only a stick-on, a solid metallic emblem would have been ideal
- With notebook added, space becomes cramped
Rating (Out of 10)
- Design: 7
- Storage: 7
- Price: 7
- Protection: 6
- Comfort: 8
- Quality: 9
Overall Rating: 7.3