by Allison Johnson
The V7 Metro Messenger Carrying Case and Smart Slip Case by Targus aren’t flashy. They aren’t fancy. They’re a couple of back-to-basics, black laptop bags. In our doubleheader review we take a look at both the messenger bag and the slip case and see how they perform in the real world. You can’t judge a bag by its cover, after all.
V7 is the in-house brand of Ingram Micro, a worldwide distributor of all things IT. As evidenced by the title at the top of this review, these V7 bags have been manufactured by a more familiar laptop accessories manufacturer – Targus.
Our last Targus bag review was of a decidedly higher-end piece of merchandise. The V7 bags are designed to fit a smaller budget, so they don’t have all the bells and whistles of a full Targus business traveler bag. These are slimmed-down bags, and bearing that in mind, I put them to the test.
V7 Smart Slip Case by Targus
- Unit Dimensions: 15.50x 2.75×2.25 inches
- Notebook Dimensions: 14.33×11.81×1.69 inches
- Material: Durable 420 denier nylon with 1680 denier polyester accents.
- Unit Weight: .75 lbs
Build and Design
The Smart Slip Case is designed to hold up to a 15.6 inch notebook. My 14.1 inch Dell Latitude E6400 is a good fit inside the case – not too tight, but snug enough so that it doesn’t rattle around. We tried the Lenovo Y550, a 15.6 incher, and it came right up to each side of the case without being too cramped.
A tough nylon exterior keeps gives the slip case a nice, durable feel. The two handles on top of the bag are also sturdily constructed, and the zippers are metal. The laptop compartment and pocket interior are both lined in a light grey material, making it easier to see objects lost at the bottom of the bag. This is a definite plus.
The Smart Slip Case should fit inside of a larger bag. Though the slip case is quite slim on its own, it’s still bigger than a sleeve, so it would have to be a very large bag to accommodate the slip case with a computer inside.
I’ve been using the Smart Slip Case for well over a month now, and it hasn’t let me down. It does just what it says it will, offering more storage than a sleeve and less than a bag. The outer layer is resistant to rain, and the main compartment is padded just enough to absorb bumps without adding bulk.
It’s slim, slick and it gets me out the door in the morning with my laptop tucked safely inside. My only caution against using this slip case as your only laptop bag is that fitting a power cord in the main compartment along with your notebook makes it a little crowded. I’ve continued to use this bag despite it being a bit cramped, but don’t be too ambitious about what you can actually fit into this case.
V7 Metro Messenger Carrying Case by Targus
- Unit Dimensions: 15.88” x 13.75” x 4.00”/40.33 x 34.92 x 10.16 cm
- Notebook Dimensions: 14.33” x 11.81” x 1.69”/36.39 x 29.99 x 4.29 cm
- Material: 420 denier nylon with 1680 polyester accents
- Unit Weight: 1.81 lbs
Build and Design
Like its slip case counterpart, the messenger case is black with silver stitching and pocket lining. With a couple of zippered pockets on the front and a big, Velcro closured pouch on the back, it offers some pretty quick access to life’s necessities. Underneath the front flap, also held in place by Velcro, you’ll find another group of pockets with space for a cell phone and a couple of pens.
The notebook compartment is closed off by a zipper and split into two sections by a padded divider. My Dell Latitude E6400 fit comfortably into the padded section of the compartment, held in place by another Velcro strap. The Metro Messenger is built to accommodate up to a 15.6 inch notebook, so there was a little bit of wiggle room on either side of the 14.1 inch E6400. With all the padding and the strap keeping the computer in place, it didn’t feel at all loose in the compartment.
Maybe it’s because the last bag I reviewed was really, really nice, but this messenger bag feels a little bit cheap. The nylon exterior should be strong enough to withstand rain and other nasty weather, but it has a definite stiffness to it.
The exterior seems durable enough, but the construction of the whole package and the pocket linings seem a bit flimsy. The notebook compartment is well-padded though, so at least the Metro Messenger has it where it counts. It’s big enough for travel, but lacks a trolley strap on the backside, a feature I’ve come to depend on when I’m juggling luggage and my laptop.
The Metro Messenger offers plenty of storage space, but it’s a bit bulky for my taste. Those with a full 15.6 inch notebook will appreciate the large interior compartment, but the Metro Messenger felt a bit on the large side for the likes of my Latitude. Someone looking for a lot of storage in a functional, un-fancy package should take a look at this bag.
Both the Metro Messenger and the Smart Slip Case proved to be solid enough for daily use. The Messenger will offer more storage and ample space for a large laptop and other goodies, while the slip case offers simple laptop storage in a pared-down package. Myself, I favor the slip case. It’s compact, and it keeps my laptop and a couple of other necessities all in on place. And you’re never out of style with basic black.
- Simple, classic style
- Weather-resistant exteriors
- Light colored material in compartment lining
- Messenger bag is slightly bulky, stiff
- No trolley straps