by Staff Writer
The purpose of a laptop computer is to move around with you. But if you want to keep your computer in good condition, you'll need a good laptop case. A messenger bag can work, but it might not offer you the protection you need. Laptop bags vary from hard-shell rolling cases to simple padded tote bags, but all computer bags will make taking your laptop with you much easier.
Find the right size. Just as laptop computers are made in different sizes, laptop cases are made to hold computers of different sizes. Find a laptop bag that holds a computer at least as big as yours.
Choose the amount of protection you want. Most laptop sleeves and totes will protect your laptop from dirt, water and minor bumps and scratches. Soft-sided bags and cases usually provide a little more padding for your computer and often have a semi-rigid compartment to securely hold your laptop. But if you want the most protection you can get, a hard-shell laptop case is best.
Choose your style. Laptop bags are styled to look and act like most other bags. There are laptop bags that function much like briefcases, tote bags, messenger bags, suitcases and backpacks. If you feel comfortable just grabbing your computer bag and going, a tote or briefcase style will be perfect. Messenger bags and backpack-style laptop bags are ideal for students and bike commuters because they are hands-free and provide space for a few textbooks.
Choose your options. Many larger laptop cases will have wheels to make getting through the airport easier. Some computer bags will provide a lot of extra space for other papers or books. Also consider how many pockets you want for accessories, writing utensils or your MP3 player. You will also want to decide if you want the security of zippers and buckles or the ease of open pockets.
Choose your color and material. Laptop cases come in just as many material and color options as any other piece of luggage. Black is popular and goes with almost anything. Leather is also popular and shows class. Aluminum can be striking whether it is painted or not. Choose something that you'll be happy with.