I’ve been testing the Speck CorePack-10 bag, which as the name suggests will hold up to about 10″ laptops or tablets. Its an unusual bag and the more I’ve used it the more I like it.
There are two main compartments, on one side a padded micro-fleece lined compartment which you can safely put your tablet in knowing no damage will come to the precious screen, and on the other a messenger style flap reveals a document sized compartment with two individually zipped pockets.
The CorePack-10 has an unusual ‘handle’ that is partly integrated with the shoulder strap, and can be used to carry the bag like a briefcase. It folds down flat in either direction.
The Tablet/Netbook Side
One side contains the netbook/tablet space. This is accessed by a zip running across the entire top of the bag making it very quick and easy to get something in or out. I would confidently put my iPad directly in this compartment ‘sans vêtements’ if I didn’t already have it in a case. But clothed or not the iPad, or any netbook, goes in and out simply.
The Document Side
The document side is hidden behind a messenger style flap, that lifts up out of the way to reveal two zippered compartments, one slightly bigger than the other. Both have a headphone pass-through so you can tuck your phone or mp3 player out of the way and have the cable coming out. Behind these the main section is a document area that will comfortably hold A4 papers, even a document wallet for holding multiple papers. There is also a little elasticated netting section to stop smaller things rolling loose. There is a smooth nylon lining inside this half of the bag which is great as nothing sticks or gets caught on it.
An unusual feature this bag has is the ability to split in half and fold flat to be what Speck call a “portable working surface”! It folds flat a provides a sort of lap-table for you to put your tablet or netbook on. I can see what Speck are getting at here, but trying it for myself it only provided marginal benefit to just having my iPad on my knees. But if you had a netbook with a USB mouse I can see it being of much greater use.
The CorePack-10 case is definitely a quality product, even the little zipper tabs have a nice feel, with “Speck” indented into them! Its a good size for those wanting to travel lighter, and increasingly people are just travelling with a netbook or a tablet as it makes things so much easier. I do the majority of my work on an iPad now, and the decreased weight and increased battery life are a huge factor. My only criticism would be the lack of storage space, two zipped areas isn’t enough even for someone travelling light, and trying to fit in the power adapter and plug for a netbook will consume the entire ‘document’ space leaving you with nowhere to take… well documents. It really is better suited to tablets that only need a simple USB cable to charge.
The CorePack-10 costs $49.95 in the USA and will be coming to the UK soon, we’ll update this as soon as we have stockist information.