by Jerry Jackson
The new Targus Corporate Traveler line of notebook briefcases is Targus’ attempt to bring affordable yet rugged notebook cases to the market. Available in both “Ulrta-Lite” and standard versions, the Corporate Traveler cases are bound to become popular among business professionals looking for a good third-party notebook case … that won’t break a department’s budget.
For this review I used the Targus 14” Ultra-Lite Corporate Traveler ($79.99) and the Targus 15.4" Corporate Traveler ($89.99).
The 14" Ultra-Lite Corporate Traveler. (view large image)
The 15.4" Corporate Traveler. (view large image)
Design and Aesthetics
While the design of the Corporate Traveler line isn’t much to look at, it doesn’t take long to recognize (and appreciate) the excellent build quality in these less than $100 cases. Targus covers the Corporate Traveler line with a special blend of 1680 Denier Ballistic Nylon. In common terms, these cases should hold up to most abuse that customers will throw at them. The handles are leather wrapped and the stitching is rugged across the entire case.
Every Corporate Traveler notebook case includes the Targus “SafePORT” air cushion system, which combines high-density foam padding with air vents. In short, adjustable cushions line the bottom and sides of the notebook compartment to protect the notebook from side and vertical impact. What makes these cushions a little unique is that they absorb shock and slowly force air out of the vents upon impact, then return to their full protective strength in a split second.
A top-down view of the padded main notebook compartment. (view large image)
There’s nothing more frustrating than an uncomfortable shoulder strap on a heavy notebook case. Luckily the Corporate Traveler cases feature the “Equalizer II” ergonomic shoulder strap. The flexible neoprene strap evenly distributes weight and a cross-stitched assembly technique allows the material to stretch freely without ripping … and without becoming rigid or uncomfortable. The non-slip texturing on the strap also helps avoid accidental drops.
A closer view of the "Equalizer II" shoulder strap. (view large image)
Most experienced travelers are very familiar with the scratches and marks left on a notebook by a set of keys left lose in your case. The Corporate Traveler line features an easily-accessible key holder in one of the side pockets that keeps keys safely away from other accessories. The side pockets also protect your notebook from other loose items thrown into your bag while on the go.
The Corporate Traveler line comes equipped with the standard card holder, pen loops, accessory pockets, CD/DVD sleeves, and file folder storage compartments seen in almost every briefcase style notebook case. Some nice additions are removable mesh accessory pouches. Now you have a place for all your USB gizmos or convenient cases for other items while traveling.
The removable slipcase in the 15.4" Corporate Traveler. (view large image)
The 15.4” Corporate Traveler includes a removable slipcase for protecting your notebook when you don’t want to carry the entire case. While this idea is good in theory, the removable slipcase lacks any real protective padding and will only protect your notebook from minor scratches or light rain. Targus should have used rigid plastic inserts on the sides of the slipcase so that it could protect a notebook from minimal impact. As it is, the slipcase is almost useless for protection.
After using both bags for about a month I feel comfortable saying that the Targus Corporate Traveler line is an excellent (if a bit dull) set of notebook cases. The rugged ballistic nylon, leather-wrapped handles, durable stitching, non-slip neoprene shoulder strap, and excellent air cushion system make the cases quite impressive in their price range. The abundant storage compartments and accessory pouches make it easy to stay organized. The only real let down with these cases (other than the deign) is the almost useless removable slipcase in the 15.4” model. All Targus needs to do is add some additional material to the sides to improve it.
Overall, the Targus Corporate Traveler line is an excellent value and will serve business professionals well as everyday notebook briefcases.
- Made from quality materials
- Great for staying organized
- VERY comfortable shoulder strap
- Adjustable air cushion system works well
- Boring design
- Removable slipcase doesn’t provide much protection
- Boring design (Yes, I said it twice.)