One of the things that is perhaps most fun about reviewing technology and being an iPhone user is the opportunity to compare and test various iPhone cases. Fortunately there are plenty of nice ones out there from which to choose, and boy have we had a chance to look at many.
One of the more striking things about the iPad, now that I have been using it for three weeks, is that while Larry and I will often talk about the latest iPhone case one or the other of us have tried, when it comes to the iPad we have been focused less on the various cases that are available (and there are an increasing number of nice ones) and more on how we might carry the device with us. You see, unlike an iPhone, the iPad is far too large to carry inside of a pocket. And unlike a notebook, the usual bags that we tend to use seem to be overkill if you’re only carrying the iPad and a few important accessories. The key is to find a bag which is large enough to hold the iPad and some other gear, but small enough to take advantage of the device’s small size and, ideally, be stylish in the process. We’ve looked at a number of different bags, but by far the nicest I’ve seen yet comes from one of my favorite bag companies — WaterField.
Judie reviewed WaterField’s Muzetto bag for use with her MacBook Air a number of months ago. When I read the review… and I saw the pictures… it was “want at first sight”. This was clearly “Waterfield” through and through; the bag was well-designed, constructed from gorgeous materials, stylish, yet equally functional. When I saw that the company was coming out with a bag perfectly sized for use the iPad (the Muzetto Portable), I knew I wanted one. Well mine arrived yesterday, and I have to tell you… I love it. It’s a beautiful, yet totally functional bag that I know I’ll enjoy using.
Let’s take a look.
Refined style. Life can be complicated—phone, change, cards, keys, sunglasses, laptop… Stay on top of it and look good whether you’re in jeans and a tee or a blazer and slacks. The Laptop Sizes fits either a 13″ or 15″ Mac laptop inside a Vertical WaterField Designs SleeveCase (not included) and your necessities. The 10″ Portable size can handle your larger mobile device such as tablets and netbooks, and the iPad inside the WaterField iPad Smart Case or Ultimate Sleevecase. The smaller Personal Size is ideal for your digital and non-digital basics—wallet, phone, iPod, and personal items. Dress it up or dress it down. The bulging pants pocket look is out; it’s time for the Muzetto.
The Muzetto Portable’s style is a smaller version of the one that Judie reviewed. That’s a good thing since it was such a nice design. It has just enough pockets to carry your iPad and some accessories with you, but not so much that you’ll be tempted to take on more than you actually need. And that’s really the point of carrying the iPad — at least for me… a full computing experience on the go at under two pounds.
The leather from which the bag is constructed is high-quality, heavy-duty, and beautifully finished. Let’s be clear… this isn’t a lightweight bag. If you want that you really want something made out of nylon. Yes, even when empty this bag has some heft to it. But with that heft comes some serious protection for whatever is inside.
The bag’s seams are, as expected, straight, tight and perfectly refined. The pieces fit together without a single flaw, and there isn’t a single loose thread on the entire bag; that’s saying quite a bit in light of the number of pockets and the small size.
Even the shoulder pad shows the company’s attention to detail.
…right down to the interior label on it.
And speaking of size… I found the pockets to be plentiful enough for my purposes.
There is a nicely sized open pocket right on the back.
There is a large main compartment that fits the iPad and, if you so desire, any of WaterField’s iPad sleeves.
There is an interior zippered pocket which is good for making sure valuables don’t fall out. This is important since the main flap is held down by gravity and sheer weight, not snaps or magnets.
And there’s an open front pocket.
So what am I carrying in my bag already?
My iPad (currently in the Apple case but that will soon change), my wallet, my Livescribe pen and a small pad (since inking on the iPad is rather poor), my keys, some earbuds, a pack of gum and some medication. That’s all I need and it fits perfectly in the Muzetto.
The Waterfield 10″ Portable Muzetto has an MSRP of $189, and it can be ordered directly from Waterfield in one of six colors.
What I like: The bag is beautifully designed, and the materials are top quality; The leather is gorgeous; It’s perfectly sized for your iPad and a few accessories.
What needs improvement: For me — nothing, however, if you want a bag that is super light — this isn’t the bag for you; If you want to carry a lot of gear with you this isn’t the bag for you (although the larger size version might be): If you’re looking for a budget bag, this isn’t it: The Muzetto is rather pricey, but for that expense you get one of the top quality bags available.
Again, if you’re looking to carry a lot with you, then this is not the bag for you. But if you’re looking to carry “just enough”, it will fit the bill just fine.
In all, I’m thrilled with this bag, happy to be carrying it, and I’m particularly happy that my review of it is my 1000th post here on Gear Diary.