Recently my wife had to make the desktop to laptop transition for work. She received a Dell Inspiron 6400 laptop with a bulky Dell backpack that she lugs home each night. The backpack works fine but it seems a bit too much for her, so when Julie gave me the opportunity to review the Samsonite Pro-DLX women’s three-compartment briefcase from Luggagepoint.com, I jumped at the opportunity.
Yes, I know that I am a man reviewing an item that is manufactured and marketed for women, but it is a computer carrying case. I think I can effectively point out the pro’s and con’s of the piece.
So I am sort-of like Mel Gibson’s character in the movie “What Women Want”, trying to think like a woman to review this product. Well, maybe that is a stretch, but you get the point. By the way, if you have not seen the movie, you are not missing much.
Features and Specifications:
Constructed of 2520 Denier Armored® Nylon combined with 1682 Denier Armored® Nylon
(The “denier” number defines the size of nylon yarn utilized, the larger the denier number the bigger the yarn.)
Finishing and handles in soft nappa leather
Removable shoulder strap
Includes a small front-face organizer compartment, large front organizer compartment, a center laptop compartment, back open compartment that can be used for file folders and a rear dual-zippered compartment for attaching to a wheeled carrier
Dirt and water resistant
Limited lifetime warranty from Samsonite
Bag Measurements: 14-1/2”(H) x 17”(W) x 5”(D)
Laptop Compartment Measurements: 12-1/2”(H) x 15”(W) x 2”(D)
Fully lined interior
Exterior Color: Tobacco (Dark Brown), also made in Black
Interior Lining Color: White, Orange and Taupe stripes
My first impression of the Samsonite Pro-DLX women’s three-compartment briefcase is that there is nothing in the exterior appearance that indicates it is for a woman. It is dark brown in color, officially called Tobacco, with minor orange highlights in two locations, one being in the Samsonite brand tag and the other being a small 1/4” stitch of orange yarn.
You can see the texture of the nylon material in these pictures. Also notice the two minor accents of orange located on the exterior.
The majority of the bag’s exterior is constructed of Denier Armored® Nylon, which feels very strong and thick. First thing that comes to mind when feeling the exterior is durability. The nylon seems to resist dirt and water very well and I would expect excellent wear resistance from the material over time.
The exterior feel of the strong nylon is complemented quite well with subtle finishes in soft nappa leather, while the smooth brown leather nicely contrasts the woven appearance of the nylon too. The leather adds a sense of sophistication to the case’s appearance.
Besides accenting the nylon, leather is utilized on the four stabilizer feet on the bottom of the case and in the dual-handles at the top. The four stabilizer feet, placed at the four corners of the base, are 2-1/2” x 1/2” in size and provide little stability to the case when fully loaded and practically none when the laptop is removed.
The two leather handles are 1” wide leather with a small ridge that runs down the middle. I found the handles to be very uncomfortable, cutting in to the palm of the hand almost immediately. I think this is due to the fact that the sides of the straps remain parallel and flat to the ground and lack any extra padding, so the leather sides dig into the palm. Of course, as the weight of the bag increases, so does the discomfort level.
Here is a shot of the dual straps in my big mitt. I would think the level of discomfort would be higher with a smaller hand too. I know my wife instantly found the handles painful and was asking for the shoulder strap.
One shoulder strap connector is located on the front of the Pro-DLX, while the other is on the rear. It took me a minute or so to find the connection points because they are sort of hidden behind where the leather handle attaches to the case.
Initially, I was annoyed by their location because I felt stupid having to search for them but once that feeling dissipated, I appreciated the design. It is nice that they are hidden because when the shoulder strap is removed, the connection points are unnoticeable.
The strap square-connectors are metal, brown in color and are connected to the bag by leather straps. The corresponding connector on the strap is also metal and includes a swivel that allows the 360-degree rotation, which limits the strap from getting twisted.
When connected to the case, the shoulder strap might be the only exterior feature that indicates this carrying case is for a woman. The strap is thin, measuring 1” in width, which reminds me of a purse strap.
The shoulder pad is 2” wide x 7-1/2” long and constructed of leather with a slip resistance surface on the bottom. Even though I would prefer a wider and thicker pad, I did not find the shoulder pad uncomfortable and I think it is sized appropriately in combination with the shoulder strap’s width.
At the shortest, the strap is 35” in length and 54” when it is adjusted to its longest. A flaw in the design of the shoulder strap is that the strap adjustment hardware cannot fit through the shoulder pad, meaning that when the strap is adjusted to the minimal length, the pad cannot rest on the shoulder. This could be an issue for petite women.
Here you can see the bag at its minimal length on my wife. Notice the metal adjustment hardware stopping the pad from resting on top of the shoulder.
The front and rear exterior of the case also has two pleats, for lack of better descriptor, in the nylon material. The pleats add to the sophisticated look of the carrying case while also providing added space for smaller compartments on both sides.
All the zippers are made of a nice, thick metal that again reinforces that sense of durability and strength. At approximately 1-1/4” long, they are easy to grab for use. The zippers on the laptop section include the metal loops that allow a lock to be utilized. The external zippers are brown and blend it very nicely with the nylon and leather.
The last feature found on the exterior is the identification tag. The tag is framed by the soft nappa leather and resides in its own pouch located on the side of the case. The tag utilizes a bungee-type attachment to retract itself back into it pouch when not being used.
Now you see it….
Now you don’t.
If the outside of the Pro-DLX displays strength and durability, the inside is a fun and whimsical converse.
All the interior compartments are fully-lined with a smooth, satin-like material in an eye-catching pattern of white, orange and taupe stripes, a total contradiction to the durable nylon material utilized on the exterior. The look and texture of this material gives the case a feminine ambiance, but it might lack the durability of the exterior. I would be interested to witness how the material holds up over six months or a year of abuse.
Beneath the interior material, you can feel some polyurethane foam inserted for added protection. Hard to tell but I would guess the foam is less than 1/4” in thickness. I would prefer more protection, especially in the bottom of the computer compartment.
The interior zippers are no different than the ones found on the exterior, except they are silver. Here you can see the zippers and the material’s pattern.
The compartment on the front-face of the case opens via a 10” long zipper. The compartment has two pen/pencil holders, a cell-phone pocket with a velcro over-the-top strap, an open pocket for a PDA or other electronics, a metal clasp on a leather strap for keys and a full-length zippered pocket.
I found the opening on front-face compartment to be too small, making it difficult to access the contents. If the zippers would turn down at the ends, it would eliminate this problem.
Moving to main, large, sections, located on the top of the case, the first one is enclosed by zippers that open 3/4 the way down each side allowing it to open fairly wide, promoting easy access to its contents. Inside the area there are 5 open pockets of differing size, one zippered pocket 1/2 the width of the compartment and one full-width zippered pocket.
This compartment also contains a removable, zippered-pouch. The pouch measures at 7”(w) x 5-1/2”(h) and would work great for those small things that you often need. I guess it could even be used for make-up, if desired.
The middle section is for the laptop. The full-length zipper combined with the interior side-panels, provide an extra-wide opening. I estimate the opening to be around 11”, which is great.
From the side.
That is pretty impressive, don’t you think.
The file section is the last one on the top of the case. This compartment has no pockets but opens wide via the 3/4 zippers, allowing the case to carry many files.
The back of the case has two zippers separated by about 7”. Both zippers can be opened allowing a roll-cart handle to be passed through to piggy-back the two pieces or if you only open the top zipper, you can use the section to hold more stuff.
Here you can see the handle from the rolling tote passed through the two zippers.
Overall, I would recommend Samsonite’s Pro-DLX women’s three-compartment briefcase. The durability of the exterior, the fun and soft interior material along with the ability to open wide the main sections make it a suitable everyday travel companion
I would like to see some improvements, especially in the leather handles. I think my hands might be sore from this review for a while. Yes, that is an exaggeration, but that is how it feels after using the handles for a while.
Samsonite’s Suggested Retail Price: $300.00
Luggagepoint.com’s Retail Price: $179.99