Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review

At $568 the Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase isn’t for everybody. But if you like classic design, amazing craftsmanship, gorgeous leather, and money is no concern, you’ll love this bag. Most of the bags I use are a bit on the casual and sporty side while this bag screams, “I’m all business.” And that’s a good thing.
The Paolo2 isn’t designed as a laptop bag. You won’t find a padded compartment for your computer or tablet. You won’t find a slot for an external battery. And you won’t find fancy passthroughs for running cables. No, this bag is a classic men’s briefcase designed to hold papers, folders, a pen or three and a few other objects that are part of a businessman’s work day.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
From Maxwell Scott:

“The Paolo2 is a classic Italian leather briefcase that is unrivaled in terms of quality. It’s sturdy structure, sumptuous lining and meticulous stitching, not to mention our top-of-the-range leather, place it in a league of its own. The Paolo2 lends itself to business use as it is large enough to carry A4 files and even a laptop. While this stunning 2-section leather business bag is smaller than its 3-section counterpart, the Paolo3, it remains one of our larger briefcases. Sleek and smart in appearance, this flapover bag has a robust lockable catch for security. All Maxwell Scott leather briefcases are constructed from the finest Italian vegetable-tanned leather. We only select the very best hides to ensure you can use your case for a lifetime. As a matter of fact, our stunning leathers improve over time and gain their own unique quality.”

From the minute you open the box you will know this is a quality, high-end product.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
The interior protective cloth bag makes sure of that.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
The two main spaces stretch from one side of the bag to the other. Each has a depth of about 2″.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
And while this is clearly NOT a laptop bag my 15″ MacBook Pro does fit nicely inside either space. But since there is no padding to protect the computer and little room to accommodate the addition of a laptop sleeve you will need to be rather careful if you do carry your laptop inside. The same holds true if you want to carry a tablet.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review 
The rest of the back compartment has two thin, open spots for stowing a few papers. These aren’t deep-quite the contrary, so they can really just handle a thin notebook or an iPad mini sans case.

The rear of the front space has a small organizational area with three pen slots, a three-level business card holder, and a larger open pouch-like space. This is nicely sized to hold an external harddrive or, as I have done, a brick-like external battery. (Hey, this is a classic briefcase but I still live in the digital age don’t I?)

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
The front section of the Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase has a zippered pocket running the length of the bag. The zipper pull is also leather and bears the Maxwell Scott logo. The leather flap covers this pocket for added protection.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
The back of the bag also has a zippered pocket running from one side of the bag to the other. This is ideal for a magazine, some important papers you want to keep handy or a full-sized tablet, also sans case of course.

The leather used in the construction of the bag is thick and gorgeous. There were no imperfections I could see when the bag first arrived and, as I have used it, the leather has softened and, thanks to the bumps and bruises it has acquired, taken on a unique look all its own. The Maxwell Scott logo is embossed directly above the brass clasp.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
Speaking of the clasp, it is made from heavy brass. It looks, and feels, substantial. And yes, it has a simple locking mechanism. This won’t keep out a thief who is intent on getting to your stuff but it will give you a small bit of added security on the go.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
Brass D-Rings sit on either side of the bag waiting for you to connect the included leather shoulder strap.

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
Padding on the strap is minimal if not non-existent but a sliding piece of leather does a decent job of spreading the weight across your shoulder if you opt to carry the bag this way. (Honestly, I used the strap for the first few days but them opted to simply use the leather handle permanently affixed to the bag and carry it as a hand-gripped bag.)

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
Features of the Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase:

  • Organizer panel for mobile, cards, pens.
  • Large zip pocket on the back.
  • Slip zip pocket underneath flap.
  • Dimensions: 15.7 x 11.8 x 4.9 ins (width, height, depth)
  • Weight: 2.0 kg

Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase Review
The bag is made in Italy and comes with a 25 year warranty. The fit, finish, and overall quality of this briefcase is pretty much everything you would expect from a classic work tool that costs over $550. No, this isn’t the right bag for the casual hipster just starting his work career. And it isn’t for people who make their way through life carrying tons of electronic toys, I mean work tools. No, this is a serious briefcase for serious people who want to look the part of the successful businessperson and who value quality. If you are one of them you’ll want to check out this bag, it’s large sibling that offers three main spaces, or any of the other quality leather goods offered by Maxwell Scott. See the Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase here. See the rest of the company offerings here.

Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample of the Maxwell Scott Paolo2 Classic Leather Briefcase
What I Like: Amazing materials and build; Looks fantastic; Already aging nicely; Not designed for computers and tablets but can hold them; Makes a statement.
What Needs Improvement: Pricey; Not designed to protect technology like laptops and tablets; Shoulder strap not heavily padded; May be “too serious” for many.

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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. Dan is married to Raina Goldberg who is also an avid user of Apple products. They live in New Jersey with their golden doodle Nava.