Targus Catalog Travel Roller and Molded Attaché

Thanks to senior editor Sean Carroll and lead analyst Oliver Kaven for these writeups!With its hefty size (18.1″ x 10.3″ x 14″), the Targus Catalog Travel Roller notebook case (left) can be considered the Suburban of notebook bags. But I like spacious bags, and even though I might look like a traveling salesman or an off-duty pilot, this bag lets me fit a notebook of up to 15.4 inches and plenty of folders or books. Be careful though: the Travel Roller’s roomy interior comes at a price; the bag weighs in at a heavy 10 pounds. You will appreciate the beefy handle but probably resort to rolling the case on its inline skate wheels most of the time. I found the scrape guards on the back of the bag especially nice when pulling it up the stairs in the subway.


The Travel Roller comes with a telescoping handle and two locks for security. The case is made of ballistic nylon, a material which can take a serious beating and may just last you forever.The roller case has plenty of convenient features. I really like the built-in rack that lets you drop hanging files straight into the case and the front organizer that zips down to unveil a fan file compartment and pen holders.The notebook pouch felt a bit like an afterthought. It is relatively loose, not padded enough and not adjustable. If your notebook is not as big as your bag, it is likely to bounce around. And with a bag of this size, I would have liked an option to store a second laptop.What really amazed me, however, was the price! This big two-wheeler will set you back only $89.00.

Not bad at all.–OKI have to admit I was dubious about switching to the sleek Targus Molded Attaché (right) as my primary means of shlepping all my junk into the city. I’m more used to backpacks and oversized messenger bags. Unfortunately, that also means that I’m more used to carrying everything but the kitchen sink in a bulging, unsightly bag that gives me back pains and one shoulder that’s significantly lower than the other. So I decided to give the Targus bag a try. And I wasn’t sorry.The slim Attaché is definitely made for those who are disciplined in their everyday packing. I pared down my stuff to just a laptop (an IBM ThinkPad T40), power brick, magazine, MP3 player, and a few papers, and that seemed about right for this bag. I tried to squeeze in a paperback, too, but that caused the bag to bulge. It might have worked better with a book smaller than Stephen King’s “Wizard and Glass,” but that’s what I was reading at the time.

My back thanked me, and I looked considerably more professional carrying this attractive case.The Molded black EVA (a type of rubber-like plastic) case is  stylish and tough, and held up well against the slings and arrows of commuter life. The plastic handle and padded shoulder strap are both well constructed and comfortable to use. Inside the bag is adequately padded and has a single interior slip pocket, on the face of which are pockets for business cards, ID holders, cell phones, MP3 players, and pens, as well as a zippered mesh pouch. The case is 14.33″ X 11.81″ X 1.69″ and it weighs just 3.87 pounds. It costs $69.99 and comes in any color–as long as it’s black.

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