by Twyner Jones
Overview and Introduction:
So you’re in the market for a laptop bag that can fit your 15.4″ screen machine, but you don’t want a messenger bag, or something as large as a suitcase, but something that you can carry around fairly easily. Basically, you’re in the market for a book bag style laptop bag. If you’re looking for a book bag that has style, qualities, and a lot of features, then look no further than the Targus Feren backpack.
Targus Feren backpack style laptop bag (view large image)
Targus has made this bag to allow someone to put their laptop in a bag, and also put some other accessories in the bag. If you ask me, this bag is pretty close to a perfect bag. The Feren comes in 2 colors: orange, and olive. You can see I picked the orange, I wanted it to stand out! Not only that, but it would be easier to find than something that’s just generic black. As a side note, the bag is not as bright as it seems on the Targus website. It will actually be more of a burnt orange color.
Reasons for Buying
The reason I first went to Targus when looking for a bag is because I’ve only heard good things about the company’s products. Once I knew that I was going to get something that was a Targus, I decided I was going to get a book bag, because I’ll be moving this laptop back and forth between classes in college — I needed another book bag anyway, so I decided to just get this. I see it as the best of both worlds, I’ll be able to use one bag to carry both books and a notebook.
Some other bags I had looked into were the Targus 16″ Sport Deluxe Notebook Backpack, Targus 15.4″ Sport Notebook Backpack, Targus 15.4″ Slam Backpack, and the Targus 17″ XL Notebook Backpack. But none of those really got my attention or were as good of a build as the Feren.
Where and How Purchased
I suggest that you look around for a the best deal on this book bag. I say that because Targus is charging $70 on its website, while other places are as cheap as $50. I ended up buying the bag from Buy.com for about $60. I went there, because it is a trusted site, it has one of the lowest prices with taxes and shipping included, and had pretty fast delivery.
Build & Design
I think the build is very good. The Feren book bag is made of nylon and is very sturdy. There is at least a good inch of padding around the laptop on all sides. The back of the bag has the most protection, because that is where you might have either the screen or the bottom of the laptop (depending on how you put it in the bag) and it is where your back would be. There is also a waterproof bottom, but I didn’t have time or the courage to test that quite yet.
There are three main compartments for the bag. The biggest is to hold the laptop, the second largest is to hold your accessories, and the smallest compartment could hold all important snacks and other small things. I’ll cover these more in depth soon.
At first look inside the largest compartment, I didn’t think there would be much room. My initial impression was that I wouldn’t be able to hold more than the laptop in this compartment. Boy was I wrong.
The Dell e1505 laptop, two folders, papers, magazine, five DVDs, camera bag and a mouse all fit into the main compartment! (view large image)
As you may or not be able to see, I was able to put more than just my laptop in there. In fact, I was able to put the laptop, two folders with papers, a magazine, five DVDs, my camera bag, and a wireless mouse. It seems like it will be big enough to have your laptop along with some books in there. In the second compartment, I had an iPod charger, laptop charger, and a surge protector.
There is a plethora of small pockets and zippers in the bag. Inside the main compartment, you have a divider between the laptop, and the rest of the book bag, and two mesh pockets.
Within the next compartment, you have a CD “slip”, and a sunglasses “slip”, and another zipper compartment. Inside the zipper compartment, I had the laptop charger, and the surge protector.
Lots of compartments inside allow you to store smaller items (view large image)
The last compartment is where you can store food and it will stay cool, or hot for some time. Just for test purposes, I put a new, cold soda in there, and checked it every hour to see how cold it was. After the first hour, it was still pretty cold. Second hour, still cold; I’m impressed. Third hour, chill, but starting to warm up a bit, but still good to drink. In the fourth hour, it became warm. Still, three hours to keep something cold is pretty good.
The bag has an insulation compartment for keeping food items hot or cold for a period of time (view large image)
The compartment is just the right size for a 20 oz. soda bottle, and keeps it cool for a few hours even (view large image)
The two gripes I have, would be that the size is a just little small — to carry both textbooks and a laptop I would liked to have a bit more space, but if you’re just carry one and not the other there’s enough space. My other gripe would be the strap used to hold the laptop in place is held by Velcro that you can’t make very tight and secure. Basically, they didn’t add enough Velcro on the strap to hold firmly enough.
The Velcro strap to hold the laptop securely in the bag doesn’t have enough surface area to provide a firm hold (view large image)
Velcro strap in place (view large image)
This is just a random picture showing what all was in the first compartment. (view large image)
Picture showing how deep the book bag is. (view large image)
Side compartment that keeps drinks cold. (view large image)
Picture of side compartment holding a drink. (view large image)
Very small compartment in the front. Most likely for keys. Just wanted to see how big it was. Apparently it can’t hold an iPod in it. (view large image)
This is supposed to hold a cell phone. It’s just a tad too small to hold my iPod, but holds a cell phone pretty well. If you want to put an iPod in there, it would most likely have to be the newer iPod video, or an iPod mini/nano. (view large image)
This picture is showing the depth of the padding on the back. (view large image)
Just a picture of company in the back. I thought it was neat.(view large image)
Two sets of clips on the bag. One for the chest, and one for the waist I would assume. (view large image)
These are “finger clips” at the end of the adjustable straps. (view large image)