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South Africans spend thousands of rand on laptops, tablets and high-tech business and lifestyle gadgets every day – it only makes sense that they choose the best accessories to ensure they last long and function optimally.

The most vital and often overlooked accessory is the laptop bag. The choice of a laptop bag should not be dictated just by the size of the device, but should be made with a variety of other considerations in mind.

Mohamed El Aougri, Sales Director at Targus SA looks at questions to consider when looking for a laptop bag:

  1. What size and style do you need?

If you fly often, a sleeve or slip case might be more practical for boarding and passing through security check points, especially when work needs to be done on the plane. These cases can also be carried easily with notebooks and newspapers. However, if you use a lot of peripherals with your notebook, a larger backpack might be more suitable.

  1. Where do you work?

This question might seem irrelevant for office-bound people, but those working on constructions sites have to contend with dust, movement and even liquids. In the mining and energy sectors, extreme temperatures can affect components and a well-designed, temperature resistant protective carrier is crucial.

  1. How do you work?

Engineering work is quite different from financial accounting, but each has its own risks and demands. One presents physical dangers while the other contends with threats from fraudsters. The size, shape and comfort of bag needs to be considered. A heavy-duty backpack would be more suited to an engineer while a top loader of the same size may be better designed for the accountant.

  1. How do you travel?

Do you walk to work, drive or take public transport? Laptop carrying cases are often designed to resemble ordinary handbags to avoid attracting potential robbers looking for valuable gadgets. Additional flaps, compartments and outer layers protect against rain, snow and the elements in case you’re stuck outside when a storm hits.

  1. Quality

The material and workmanship of the bag needs to be of the best quality. Everything from the inner lining, zippers, shoulder straps and stitching should be thick and reinforced to carry far more than the weight of the device.

At best, the wrong choice of a laptop bag can lead to mild irritation and a little discomfort, which might be wrongly attributed to the device itself. At worst, the wrong bag can lead to expensive damages that could have been prevented with a smarter choice.

While a high-end laptop bag might come at a high cost, it should last for the lifetime of the device or even longer. The money saved on replacement bags of inferior quality and damage to devices adds up over time. Make sure to know your needs, environment and lifestyle before investing in a laptop bag.