My search for a new laptop bag started as soon as the Virgin check-in attendant announced that my hand luggage was too heavy to accompany me on my flight to Boston.

This was the same bag and contents that has travelled with me across countries and seas, continents and oceans many times over. Inside its myriad pockets and sleeves was one 15-inch laptop, a power adaptor, various cables and plug changers, a couple of magazines, two books and an iPod.

Virgin's weight allowance was a mere 6kg. My laptop weighed 2.5kg on its own, and all its parts probably another 1.5kg. That doesn't leave a lot for reading materials, etc – and then, as I dumped books and magazines on non-laptop-lugging colleagues, I started thinking that one of the heaviest parts was the damned bag itself.

Weighing 1.77kg this slim case was designed for Apple's MacBook and MacBook Pro portables but fits other similar-sized portables. It is available for 13.3-, 15.4- and 17-inch laptops, priced at £69.95 for 13/15 models and £79.95 for the 17.

Available in businessperson black only, the ProLite features a tough "ballistic" nylon shell, with grey lining. It isn't a super-stylish show-off design, but it's a damn site better-looking than most business laptop cases.

There are numerous compartments for cables, adaptors, phone, iPod, papers and discs, etc – more than in Brenthaven's MetroLite. The quick-access pocket is even lined with felt so you don't scratch your sunglasses – a neat touch. You really can fit a load of stuff in here – but remember the new airline weight restrictions.

The padded shoulder strap can also fold inside the case for even more protection. The wheelie strap is also handy for attaching the case to standard wheeled luggage – a real arm/shoulder saver at the airport.

OUR VERDICT

Brenthaven's ProLite laptop cases is an understated but good-looking business option that offers superior protection, and bundles of capacity.

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