Top critical review
83 people found this helpful
Its wider than it looks!
on 21 December 2013
First of all, not sure why this product shares aggregate reviews with other Belkin products. I think its an attempt to make this product look more popular than it really is. Be warned.
Anyway, I just received the "Belkin Impulse Slim Back Pack for upto 17 laptops (Jet/Cabernet)". My first impression is its large size. It's bigger than I expected it to be, much bigger.
While the backpack itself is quite slim it is however very wide. I am 5'9" and have a 39" chest, I consider myself a man with a medium build, and this backpack is as wide as my back. It probably wouldn't be suitable for skinny men, women, children, or anyone with a slim build.
When wearing it I am quite conscious of its size, although it doesn't affect me while walking around wearing it. However, it does make me feel like a turtle.
My second thought was "I've bought a suitcase with straps". It would be more suitable for a weekend away where you need to stow your bulky laptop, accessories, and probably a few clothes. As a day pack it is on the bulky side.
As a bag for commuting it is large enough to store a laptop and maybe two binders. Unfortunately because it is "slim" it does lack depth, but appears to make up for it in terms of width. This means you can fit a laptop and maybe one or two textbooks, and then enough room on the side to fit a bottle of drink, an umbrella, or a thermos (pictures have been uploaded). Because of the extra height, you could probably fit a light jacket or jumper too.
The sleeve for the laptop is plenty wide to fit even of bulkiest of 17" laptops. But it probably isn't as well suited for 14.6" ultrabooks - which is what I have. While the bag does provide adequate protection for an ultrabook, it does feel like there is enough room to fit a second one in there (see pictures).
Unfortunately Belkin no longer do this backpack for 15" laptops. Apparently they did - but discontinued the 15" range several years ago, which is a shame. If they did, I would've bought that one instead.
The backpack is very well made. Good use of quality materials throughout. The laptop lining is soft and well padded. There are plenty of compartments and pockets to organize all your accessories and cables. It even comes with a bag to store your power cables and adapters.
On the outside the zips feel strong and reliable, the external lining is durable and of good quality. It also comes with a padded back for extra comfort. The shoulder straps are well padded and will be comfortable when carrying around heavy items for long periods.
Unfortunately the adjustment straps and buckle feel a little cheap, and can come undone easily. Belkin would have done well to spend a bit more on those. As far as I can tell, that is the only real let down. (see pictures).
Overall, it is a good quality backpack, it looks great, with plenty of storage space for a lot of stuff. Unfortunately it's width and cheap buckles let it down.
Will you like it? It depends on how you intend to use it. If you need to carry a lot of stuff around on a daily basis, have a particularly bulky laptop, or if you need enough storage for say a mobile office then this backpack will be perfect for you.
But, if you're particularly slim, or looking for a bag that is sleek and portable, that is easy to carry your ultrabook laptop to a friend's house, school, or to a cafe, then you may want to look elsewhere - because it will feel like it is bigger than it really needs to be.