Skooba Netbook Messenger – Review

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Yesterday  Larry posted that Skooba is having a big 25% off sale for the next few days. The Skooba bag on the left in the advertisement is a new item from Skooba designed especially for netbooks. The Netbook Messenger is just the right size for carrying a netbook and a few assorted accessories during a day of running around. I’ve been using one for the last two weeks.

Let’s take a look…

From The Company:

OK, so you bought a cool, super-portable computer so you can travel light, move quickly and work efficiently. So of course you’ll want to carry it in a bag that does all the same things. The Skooba Netbook Messenger is a sleek, stylish courier-style bag that’s incredibly compact and feather-light, yet packed with smart, efficient pockets and thoughtful features. Holds any size netbook, plus power cord and other accessories, with room to spare for books or papers and more.

My Take:

The Netbook Messenger is just the right size. It is small, light and well designed. This is the second Skooba bag I have had a chance to use and, like the first, it is made from top-quality materials and the workmanship is superb. There were no loose threads, crooked seams or loose stitches.

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If you have ever used a messenger bag the design will immediately be familiar. A large flap covers the entire front of the bag. On the front flap is a small zippered pocket. This is useful for throwing in small, frequently used items. The flap is help securely by a large plastic clip. An added piece of Velcro keeps the flap from… well flapping around. This is especially important if you are using the outside pocket to store anything as it would otherwise “pull” on the flap a bit.It is these small design elements that make Skooba bags especially nice!

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Lifting the flap reveals a much larger zippered pocket. This is the storage space I have found most useful while using the bag. It has a double zipper so you can choose where and how much to open the pocket.The large blue pulls make it easy to open and close. Again, small elements that make a big difference!

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Unzipping the large pocket reveals a nice organizational area.

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There is a clip so keys are easy to access, and a large flat pocket and two smaller ones for holding assorted items. Three small pockets are great for holding pens (two of them) and a USB flash drive (the center one). For the most part if you use this bag this is where you will “live”.

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The roomy compartment for the computer is just that- roomy. It also includes two open pockets for power bricks and other necessary items. One pocket is secured with Velcro while the other is open and made of a mesh material.

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According to the company the NetBook Messenger “can hold netbooks up to 10.5″ x 7.5″ x 1.5″ which includes most netbooks up to 10.1″ screens.”

They are correct. The roomy interior pocket holds my Toshiba NB205 with ease. It can hold it with the long side down…

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Or end on end. Either way there is room to spare. In fact, there is so much room that…

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It even holds my 13″ MacBook Pro with ease. Yes, it is a bit snug but I have found this a great way to carry my MacBook in a super-light bag.

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This is a traditional-styled messenger bag so it only has one shoulder adjustment. the goal is to put the bag on and then cinch it up using the strap adjustment until it is secure on your body. Perhaps I wasn’t doing it right but I did find that strap adjustment a bit challenging to use. In addition is opened (thereby freeing the strap) a bit too easily when it would hook on something like a belt. Not a huge deal and certainly not something that has kept me from using the bag. Still, it is something about which to be aware.

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The bag also has the requisite water-bottle holder. This is a feature I rarely use on any bag so I am glad hat it zips out of the way and is totally hidden from view.

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In all I have found the Skooba NetBook Messenger to be a great bag for daily use. If you carry a netbook (or a MacBook without too  many accessories) and want a bag that is small, light and easy to grab and go this is a great choice. It looks good, will likely put up with a good deal of use and abuse and at an MSRP of $49.95 is priced well.

What I Like:

Size, small design elements that increase usability, build quality and materials are excellent.

What Needs Improvement:

The shoulder strap adjustment and I don’t get along well.

The Skooba Netbook Messenger has an MSRP of $49.95. It is available in Charcoal/DeepOceanBlue, Charcoal/Inferno Red, Charcoal/Blizzard White, Charcoal/Abyss White. It can be ordered directly from the Skooba site.

About the Author

Dan Cohen
Having a father who was heavily involved in early laser and fiber-optical research, Dan grew up surrounded by technology and gadgets. Dan’s father brought home one of the very first video games when he was young and Dan remembers seeing a “pre-release” touchtone phone. (When he asked his father what the “#” and “*” buttons were his dad said, “Some day, far in the future, we’ll have some use for them.”) Technology seemed to be in Dan’s blood but at some point he took a different path and ended up in the clergy. His passion for technology and gadgets never left him.

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