Like many other things, laptop bags have gone from purely functional to become fashion accessories. One of the nicer brands, though not terribly common in Singapore, is STM. This is an Australian brand sporting laptop bags in various styles including messenger bags and backpacks. I recently got my hands on the small STM Phantom bag, which is designed to fit laptops with 13″ screens.
I like laptop bags that don’t look like laptop bags. (Yes, it’s an irony that while the STM Phantom bag was not meant to look like a typical laptop bag, the brand label carries the tagline “Protecting your digital cargo”.) It’s not just the issue of security (the logic is that laptop bags invite theft), but that I just don’t want to be seen lugging a notebook around.
In the past, I sometimes make do with bags that were truly not designed to be laptop bags at all. For example, at one time I was carrying around my IBM Thinkpad X21 in a green sling bag used by army people. (I still use that bag to tactically bring things like books, newspapers, and other paraphernalia into the field.)
The STM Phantom is designed to be a laptop bag and, at least in my opinion, it is comfortable, stylish and functional. You can read about the “specifications” from STM’s webpage, but just to share the main attractions to me are:
- Sleek exterior
- 360 degrees swivel shoulder strap
- Nice colour
I would have preferred a fabric exterior, though that would be a problem with waterproofing. Also, while the bag fits the 13″ MacBook perfectly, it is a little too perfect fitting. It might have been better slightly larger so that putting in and taking out the MacBook would be easier.
Here are some photos to share, in case you want to see some close-ups of the bag.