LaLa Laptop Bag

Is there a law somewhere that says that all laptop bags have to look
like laptop bags? You know what I’m talking about, they tend
to be black, boring, made for men and as far away from making a
fashion statement as humanly possible. I guess this is my cue to tell
you that when it comes to actually having a fashion sense, I’m not all
that qualified. My idea of dressing up is to wear dark blue
jeans instead of faded ones ;o) All joking aside, Judie is probably
more qualified to review girly girl things than I am, but that didn’t stop me
from taking on a review of the Signature Paris Bag from La La Laptop.
Sorry guys, this is a laptop bag for women. You have my permission for
your eyes to glaze over.

Made of Ostrich embossed leather and available in 6 color combinations, I was sent the Lime
Green / Black Combo with Lime Green lining. My first
impression upon opening the box and seeing this bag was WOW. The color
/ style caught my attention first, then my sense of smell kicked in and
I said ahhhhhhhhhh as I sniffed that great quality leather aroma.

Measuring
approximately 18Lx5Wx12H
and weighing in at 5 lbs. 10 oz. (on my electronic scales) with the
detachable shoulder strap connected, this bag already starts out on the
hefty side before adding even one piece of gear.

As
far as styling, the LaLa Laptop bag seems to have quite
possibly been inspired by such
famous designers / brands as Marc Jacobs, Balenciaga, and COACH. For
those of you that are wondering, no, I didn’t come up with those
references on my own, Judie helped me out… She pointed me to
different online stores carrying their bags and I definitely saw
similarities with this bag.

Ok, enough about other
bags, let’s focus on this one with a tour of its features. First of
all, it’s made entirely of leather (except for the satin-like material
lining used in the interior). It looks and feels like a high quality
leather product. On the front (I’m guessing it’s the
front…), there is a business / credit card holder for 4 cards. I
don’t think anyone would use these slots for their credit
cards, and I wouldn’t even use them for business cards, since the slots
are not protected from the rain. Below the card holder is a magnetic
snap 3Lx1.5Wx4.25H compartment that is large enough for items like small mobile
phones, an iPod, rolled up cables, AC adapter, etc. There is a matching
compartment on the opposite side of the bag face. A tiny faux pocket is
sewn on the outside of these compartments. In the upper right
corner of the bag front there is a zippered 3Lx1.25Wx2.5H square
compartment. Next to it is a metal loop that you can use to
clip your keys.

See also:  The new Canvas Collection from Brothers Leather Supply offers a modern take on a classic design

The most unique feature on the
front of the bag is the detachable clutch purse. Connected by a spring
loaded clip and 2 magnets, this little zippered purse is 8.5Lx4.5W in
size. A slide in hand strap is located under the magnetic flap. This
little purse can’t hold much gear. It just has one zippered pocket, but is a nice accessory to take with
you to lunch when you don’t want to carry the entire bag with you.

I would like to see this little clutch purse a bit larger and to be
connected INSIDE the bag instead of on the outside. Even with the clip
and 2 magnets, it just feels a bit scary to have your billfold
hanging on the outside of your bag like that.

The back of the bag has a large two magnet
flapped pocket, that is spacious enough to hold a standard sized magazine.
on the outside of that pocket are 2 4Lx1.5Wx4.5H compartments that are held closed with one magnetic snap.

The
left side of the bag has a hefty metal attachment point for the
included black leather adjustable shoulder strap.

The
right side has a matching attachment point as well as a deep 3Wx8.5H
pocket under the belt buckle.

On
the bottom of the bag there are 6 metal button feet that allow the bag
to stand up on a flat surface. This is a big deal to me, I hate having
a gear bag that doesn’t want to sit upright.

Ok, now
let’s take a look at the interior of this bag.

The main compartment is accessed by unzipping 2
zippers. All the zippers used in this bag have thick chunky pulls. The
zippers themselves could be a little smoother. It might just be that
they need to be broken in though…

After
you unzip the main area, you will see that it is divided into two large
sections. The section to the front of the bag is a padded pocket for
your laptop. In the picture above, you will notice that I have my laptop in a sleeve. The laptop area can accommodate a computer approximately 17 inches wide by 8.5 inches deep. A wide Velcro strip secures the laptop pocket. On the back wall of the bag, there is a zippered pocket with a smaller open pocket (my Treo 650 is pictured in this pocket), 3 pen pockets and a removable small zippered pouch.

See also:  LapLite Bamboo Workstation review

Besides the detactable leather shoulder strap, this bag has 2 non-detachable straps. Using both kinda gets in the way as the permanent straps just flop around. In my opinion, two sets of straps is one too many. Either make the permanent ones longer, or just use the shoulder strap.


For reference, I am 5’5″

If you like to wear a bag under your arm like the picture above, the pockets on the outside of the bag may get in your way. Also, if you have your laptop in the bag while carrying it in this manner, it is going to feel really heavy.

Carrying the bag in this manner is more comfortable to me, but the extra set of straps tend to get in my way.

Like I said before, I’m no expert when it comes to style. But, I think I know what makes a good gear bag. The LaLa Laptop bag has some things going for it, and some things that could use some improvements. The good points are that it is made really well and has a lot of storage options. The things that could stand improving are the straps, and locations of some of the pockets. I think a better location for the clutch purse and business card slots would be the interior of the bag. I guess I should also mention the price. This bag isn’t cheap. But if you want to be fashionable, you should already be used to that caveat. All that said, I’ll be anxious to see the next version of the LaLa Laptop bag.

Price: $455.00 (as reviewed)

Pros:
Stylish
Lots of storage
Removable clutch purse

Cons:
Heavy
2 sets of shoulder straps
Spendy

 

Product Information

Price:435.0
Manufacturer:LaLa Laptop
Pros:
  • Stylish
  • Lots of storage
  • Removable clutch purse
Cons:
  • Heavy
  • 2 sets of shoulder straps
  • Spendy
19 comments… add one
  • Julie August 19, 2005, 4:07 am

    Post your comments here on the LaLa Laptop Bag review.

    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/review/lala_laptop_bag

    Just click the POST REPLY button on this page.

  • questionfear August 19, 2005, 4:55 am

    holy crap that is one expensive bag!

    As a fellow non-girly girl, I give you major props for a) managing to use that bag, and b) using such fancy designer names with ease 😉

  • Narny August 19, 2005, 9:08 am

    A trick my dad taught me for new zips that are a bit stiff: run a pencil along their length a few times, and the graphite acts as a lubricant. I’ve found that it works suprisingly well.

  • Julie August 19, 2005, 12:31 pm

    questionfear:

    a: I felt like a dork.
    b: Judie was my Cyrano 😉

    Narny:

    Judie recommended a tiny drop of dish soap. 🙂

  • rei_urusei August 19, 2005, 12:35 pm

    Ok, hang on to your braces, ’cause here it comes:

    I think you forgot to mention it looks horrendous! It needs to be stoned and then burnt at the stake. It’s huge, tasteless, cumbersome and without any sense of design. It only looks good on middle-aged elephants.

    I’ll take this review as a warning to keep away from that thing. Thanks 😀

  • Julie August 19, 2005, 1:43 pm

    For the most part, I like the design. It’s not ‘me’, but I can still like it.

  • Judie August 19, 2005, 3:30 pm

    Julie and I had many IM’s about this bag yesterday, and there are a couple of things that I’d like mention…

    1. She picked this particular color combo because she knew it would photograph better than the all black or all brown that she would have picked otherwise. Even if you don’t like the colors, you have to admit that the bag photographed extremely well – so she chose the colors wisely.

    2. I would buy this bag today IF:
    a. the side with all of the pockets and the detachable pocketbook were moved INSIDE – I would LOVE to have such a panel on the interior of a bag. -The designer has a great idea here – I just don’t like “having all of my business on the street”, as it were. I do like having the three pockets on the exterior that the other side features. That would be the side I wore facing out, keeping the (in a perfect world) smooth side against my side. This way the bag would look more tailored and slim.
    b. the shorter handles were about 1 – 2″ longer so that it could be comfortably worn on the shoulder (when not carrying a laptop).
    c. the clips holding the shoulder strap were different. These look too much like the cheap shiny silver gate clips we use at the ranch. I like the more muted solid brass ones that COACH uses, but I would rather not see these clips on this bag at all. In my opinion, the buckles on the sides of the bag should be used to secure the strap instead of being there just for show.
    d. it were offered in a classic brown & tan or black & tan combinations of smooth leather with no ostrich embossing – or even the present color combos – but without the embossing.
    e. either the top zipper or the little flap were done away with. Having two means of securing the contents is redundant, but I like that there is a means…

    I hope anyone who reads this doesn’t think that I am ragging on the bag – because that is totally not my intention. I think it is a brilliant idea, and I love that a girly girl is designing laptop / gear bags for other girly girls. If some of my suggestions are incorporated in a future model, I will be first in line to get one!

    The price point is very fair for what you are getting – a multi pocketed laptop / gear bag / purse with some fashion sense! At about half the price of a Marc Jacobs Stella or a Balenciaga Le Dix – the two designs to which I feel this bag most pays homage – the LaLa is a bargain.

    Regarding the LaLa being “huge” – it’s not really. Julie is just that TINY. She is around 5’5″ish and she wears a size 4! Just about anything is going to look huge on my petite best friend.

    I on the other hand am an amazonian 5’10”, and I wear a size 10. This bag would probably look average sized on me. Heck – I make Julie look like a little person when I am wearing heels. :p

    So anyway, version 1.0 is not quite to my taste. But if LaLa comes out with a version 2.0, then I would be the first to generate some justified fashion buzz. :0)

  • marmite_turkey August 19, 2005, 6:14 pm

    I’m with you, rei_urusei. [Dons flame-retardant suit] From the perspective of a bloke, this is a really nasty looking bag. In about 6 months when the Mulberry look is out of fashion, this is going to look very tired. I’d have to laugh at anyone bringing their laptop into a meeting in one of these things…

  • dmccarty August 19, 2005, 6:33 pm

    Julie: Great match on the lime green t-shirt!

    Judie: What the heck is that avatar you’ve got?! 😀

    (Since I’m a guy I have no opinion on this purse/bag. I know enough not to open my mouth about purses or shoes when ladies are present. 🙂 )

  • Judie August 19, 2005, 6:44 pm

    dm – it is just something that caught my eye. :p All of these little Radiohead-looking bears jumping around frantically – which is sort of how I feel these days. I’m sure I’ll pick a calmer avatar after things slow down. 😉

    All of you guys (especially dm): Your opinions matter, but I have found that when a woman buys shoes or other accessories – she may ask a man what he thinks – but what will really earn her satisfaction (or rush to return the item) will be whether other women comment positively (or negatively), or if other women give her the “jealous eye” or the “eeeeew-what is that” look.

    Go figure… :p 😉

  • Julie August 19, 2005, 7:39 pm

    I’ve never been that way. Even growing up, I’ve always had my own ‘style’. I like what I like and don’t really care what anyone else thinks about it. 😉

  • reidme August 19, 2005, 11:05 pm

    My 2¢… just say no! For that much $$ you can get a nice leather Tumi bag.

  • questionfear August 20, 2005, 2:44 am

    Julie wrote:

    questionfear:

    a: I felt like a dork.
    b: Judie was my Cyrano 😉

    a: you’re not a dork. you look a bit….uncomfortable, but that’s not really dorkiness per se.

    b: so she then fell in love with the bag and stole it away from you?

  • Judie August 20, 2005, 2:56 am

    questionfear wrote:

    b: so she then fell in love with the bag and stole it away from you?

    Clever, but no. :p

  • questionfear August 20, 2005, 3:48 am

    Judie wrote:

    Clever, but no. :p

    too bad, here I was hoping there was some high drama on the gadgeteer boards 😎

  • dequardo August 21, 2005, 4:36 pm

    I’m sorry but you need a major status check on your fashion sense. I blame Judie the most. Unless this site is going to become a Vogue fashion magazine review of items (which I personally feel it’s becoming; WHY do you persist on reviewing the entire line of Scott E items? Are they paying you that much?!?!) what praytell does this have to do with gadgets??? We want GADGET reviews, not gadget holders.

  • Julie August 21, 2005, 5:13 pm

    dequardo:

    Sorry that you think I need a fashion sense overhaul. 😉 I’m not sure what Judie has to do with what I like though…

    You think The Gadgeteer is becoming a fashion magazine because we reviewed an expensive women’s LAPTOP bag and several TECH ENABLED clothing items? Hmmmm… it’s not like we’re reviewing skirts and high heel boots or something… 😉 If you don’t like gear bag reviews, I’m sorry. But you’re going to read a bunch of them here because Judie and I both enjoy using and writing about gear bags. Gadget holders go hand in hand with gadgets.

    Regarding the recent number of Scottevest reviews, you’re going to see more of them too. I’m trying to space them out as best as possible, but we have quite a few more to do as more of their version 4.0 line of products become available. Nope, we don’t receive 1 penny from Scottevest. They asked us if we would review their products, we like them, so we said sure. Nuff said.

    Julie

  • Judie August 21, 2005, 5:48 pm

    dequardo wrote:

    I’m sorry but you need a major status check on your fashion sense. I blame Judie the most. Unless this site is going to become a Vogue fashion magazine review of items (which I personally feel it’s becoming; WHY do you persist on reviewing the entire line of Scott E items? Are they paying you that much?!?!) what praytell does this have to do with gadgets??? We want GADGET reviews, not gadget holders.

    I want to know exactly what you are “blaming” me for. Fashion sense? Wanting cool accessories to carry my gadgets in? Caring what I look like as I carry them? Wanting to let others who care know about the accessories? Guilty. Oh well. :p

    FWIW: if someone releases a tech enabled skirt, then I fully intend to review it. I know that I am not the only woman out there that wears them. Interesting idea Julie, btw. 😀

  • Meredyth August 25, 2005, 11:55 pm

    Judie wrote:

    I want to know exactly what you are “blaming” me for. Fashion sense? Wanting cool accessories to carry my gadgets in? Caring what I look like as I carry them? Wanting to let others who care know about the accessories? Guilty. Oh well. :p

    FWIW: if someone releases a tech enabled skirt, then I fully intend to review it. I know that I am not the only woman out there that wears them. Interesting idea Julie, btw. 😀

    I personally like the reviews. Quite frankly, there is not enough coverage of gadget holders IMAO. Quite frankly, you guys update nearly day, and there is only so many Treos and PSPs to write about. Additionally, what do you buy as a gift for the geek who “has it all”? Accessories.

    Now about that skirt. Do you think you can get one with LEDs and Bluetooth 2.0?

Leave a Comment