Tech21 style sleeve laptop case review

Tech21 have, in recent months, made a bit of a splash with their iBand for iPhone protective shell, with investment from the BBC's popular Dragons' Den show. Investors Peter Jones and Theo Paphitis parted with £150,000 in return for 40 per cent equity in Tech21, so obviously had faith in the brand and founder Jason Roberts. That impetus has helped Tech21 expand into adding a range of laptop bags and sleeves to the line of iPhone and iPod protectors.

The Tech21 style sleeve is a slimline, lightweight bag made partially from the same material that first attracted interest in the company. d3o, or dee-three-oh, is billed as a revolutionary intelligent material that locks its molecules together on impact to absorb the energy of a shock and provide superior protection.

On point of impact or shock, the molecules lock together to spread and absorb the force. That's at least the idea. Tech21 have posted various videos of iPhones and iPods being thrown from heights or bounced of walls online, but it's difficult to do the same with your own MacBook without putting all your precious data at risk. Rather than one iBand style sleeve, the use of d3o appears to be discreet, part of the lining covered in neoprene, the stuff of wetsuits, which gives the bag a not-unpleasant rubberised feel and smell.

Nice bag, shame about the laptop.

From the outside then, the Tech21 style sleeve looks like many others, black, formal and business like, offset by a vibrant, soft, orange interior. Two comfortable tuck-away handles can be pushed into stretchable side panels, which also offer some storage for keys, travel card and the like. We managed to store our MacBook's power supply, although the sleeve does bulk out a little as a result. A removable padded shoulder strap helps spread the weight, although the sleeve's design is hardly heavyweight. A solid zip helps keep everything in place on the move.

OUR VERDICT

The Tech21 style sleeve or bag is a handy, affordable addition to the vast and varied choice of laptop bags available on the market, which we hope lives up to the d3o hype. Snug and portable, Tech21 promises 221 per cent more impact protection from a design that doesn't feel like you have to carry a lead-lined safe around with you to safeguard your MacBook.

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