As posted earlier, Poketo recently launched a line of gadget accessories for Target. As a long time fan of Poketo's goods, as well as items that help us carry and protect our gadgets, we got to take a few of their new items for a test run. Here's how their laptop sleeve, iPod bag and camera bag made out.
First up is Poketo's laptop sleeve, which features a beautiful illustration from artist Betsy Walton. Betsy's drawing is used as a graphic textile on the sleeve's front flap, which is a great, subtle way to use graphics. All over graphics work on many products, as you'll see later, but occasionally it's nice to have a larger item feature only a splash of busyness. In this case, Betsy's illustration takes the spotlight, but it's not overdone. Instead, a cool blue is used on the other flaps, creating a nice background color to allow Betsy's drawing to shine. Added bonus, a few of the birds are embroidered, giving this piece a nice little extra detail.
Now for function. I personally like laptop sleeves that really hold my notebook in place. Often times, when it comes to zippered sleeves, I've found that even those designed specifically for my MacBook's size leave too much wiggle room. When I pack up my gear, I want to know it isn't going anywhere. This is exactly why I was so into Poketo's Velcroed flaps.
Each of the four flaps has its own Velcro band or bands, which allow you to adjust the fit perfectly so your notebook is snug as a bug in a rug. Even better, if you want to bring along paperwork or magazines, the Velcro flaps let you adjust how much extra stuff can be packed in the sleeve. Each of the flaps has its own thick padding, which gives you a little extra assurance should things go bump in the night.
Next up are Poketo's iPod and camera bags. While the designs used, one by Leah Chun and the other by Mike Perry, are great, my main problem is in each of the bag's size. Both iPods and point-and-shoot cameras are well known for their diminutive bodies, yet both these carrying cases add a lot of extra girth to either. When your gadget is so slim it can slip in your back pocket, which makes me wonder why you'd put it in a carrying case that can't fit in your pocket?
Unfortunately, that extra girth leads to the main problem I mentioned earlier; too much wiggle room. Unless you pack other items in the bags with your devices, iPods and cameras sit loosely within, jostling about when you're out and about. My other complaint is with all the large hardware on both bags. They each come with removable straps that clip onto big metal loops. As someone who doesn't use wrist straps (do any of you?) I unclipped these right away. It's great that you have the option to unclip these, but I wonder, are they necessary in the first place? Plus the metal hardware used for the straps is really big and clunky. Made me worry about any items that may come in contact with my Poketo bag while living in my backpack. That big metal loop, not to mention the clasp attached to the wrist strap, could really ding up a gadget that doesn't have its own Poketo carrying case.
In my opinion, the laptop sleeve is totally worth purchasing, but the smaller bags need to go back to the drawing board; looking less at style and more at function.
Images: Sonia Zjawinski and Sarah Han