Sumo Week: Ladies Laptop Purse

by PocketGoddess on December 19, 2005

Sumo LogoThe Ladies Laptop Purse is designed to hold everything you need for a day on the road or a day at the office with comfort and style. The overall measurements are 13 inches wide, just under 12 inches tall, and 5 1/2 inches thick. The case is made of high quality ballistic nylon with leather carry handles (with an 11 inch drop), a leather bottom for durability, and leather trim. The front of the bag has a cool quilting pattern made out of white thread, as well as two zipper pockets on the bottom. They’re a little difficult to get into, so I wouldn’t suggest putting your keys in there, but they are perfect for slightly larger items like cell phones. The pocket on the right is designed to hold an iPod or other MP3 player and features both a soft lining and a very handy headphone passthrough port. The left side of the bag has a pocket that is about 4 1/2 inches wide and about 5 1.2 inches tall that would be suitable for a cell phone, a pocket umbrella, etc.

Sumo Ladies Laptop Purse

The bag opens with a double zipper, and due to the single side pocket it opens more fully to the bottom on the right side than the left. Inside you’ll find a bevy of organizational features. The lining is black and printed all over with the white Sumo logo.In the bag of the bag there’s a padded compartment for your laptop, and I do mean padded–this bag has some of the thickest padding I’ve ever seen in a laptop bag. The laptop pocket is lined in soft corduroy fabric and does such a good job of protection that I don’t mind putting my laptop in there “naked” (without a Waterfield Sleevecase). The pocket is secured by a nice wide strap with a snap closure, and has a flat bottom so my laptop fits snugly and perfectly.

On the other side of the bag there are several pockets and compartments designed to hold everything you could possibly need. The first pocket is in the lining of the bag and measures 10 inches wide and 8 1/4 inches deep; it is secured with a zipper. Next we have an open pocket that is 11 1/2 inches wide and about six inches deep. On the front of that pocket are three smaller organizational pockets; the one in the middle is lined with a soft material and is narrower than the others, so it was obviously designed to hold your cell phone. The other two are a good size for a PDA or small electronics accessories like sync cables, headphones, etc. The middle of the bag is left open for larger items, such as AC adapters, a cosmetic bag, etc. Letter size file folders will also just fit, meaning that this laptop purse can function fully as a briefcase replacement for a professional woman. The larger version would likely work even better in this regard; since I have a very small 10 inch Fujitsu LifeBook I choose to review the smaller of the two available sizes.

The quality of materials and workmanship are simply top notch, and the attention to detail is impressive.Instead of the usual nylon or leather zipper pulls, these zippers have a small PVC insert with the Sumo logo in white. All of the hardware is sturdy and strong, and the grommet that serves as the headphone passthrough port on the front of the bag carries the Sumo name and the “Tough Love” motto. The edges of the accessory pockets inside the bag are nicely finished, and there aren’t any loose edges anywhere that I could find. Of course that doesn’t mean this bag is perfect, and I have a few suggestions for improvement.

Sumo Ladies Laptop Purse, side view

The main concern is ease of actually getting stuff into the bag and getting it out. While I appreciate all of the extra padding, even around the top zipper, that means the bag is a big stiff and you really have to pull the edges apart to see what’s inside the bag. Also, since there’s a side pocket on one edge of the bag, the zipper only opens about two inches down from the top on the left side, as compared to almost seven inches down on the right side. That side pocket could be shortened at least one inch, and possibly two, and the zipper should also come a bit closer to the pocket, which would allow the opening to extend down at least four inches, and maybe five. I’d also like to see the addition of “feet” on the bottom of the bag, either metal studs or additional small leather patches on each end–that would help the bag stand up better on its own, since it has a tendency to tip. That’s especially true if you have a laptop on one side and not much on the other side.

Other than those two concerns, I can certainly recommend this bag to any lady on the go. The pockets and compartments are just right, helping you keep organized without wasting any space. And you really can pack a lot of stuff into this bag without it getting too heavy, thanks to the lightweight construction. I was able to get my laptop, AC adapter, LifeDrive, iPod, headphones, and sync cables in there with no problem, along with a fairly large cosmetic case, a couple of files, and the usual assortment of pens, sticky notes, cell phone, etc. with some room to spare. The Ladies Laptop Purse comes in your choice of either red or black in two sizes (designed to fit the Apple Powerbook, though of course they’ll work for any similarly-sized laptop)– 12 inch for $140, or 15 inch for $150. Since this is an exclusive preview, you won’t be able to order one for yourself until after January 1 at the Sumo Cases web site.

4 out of 5


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