capsule review

Retrostriper LTB-1041 Laptop Brief

At a Glance
  • Oxio Retrostriper LTB-1041 Laptop Brief

    Macworld Rating

There's nothing subtle about Oxio's Retrostriper LTB-1041 Laptop Brief for 15-inch laptops. Most of the bag is the kind of bright orange you might wear to avoid being shot by hunters. Yet somehow, Oxio has managed to make the look work by complimenting the bold color with smartly designed accents.

A wide, retro-stripe band—darker orange, off-white, and blue—cuts down the center of the bag on both sides, and the zippers and top handles are a matching shade of off-white. The adjustable and detachable, 1.5-inch-wide shoulder strap flaunts the same striped pattern as the middle band, but sports a section of orange padding to ease the strain on your shoulder. Completing the look are the small touches of metal hardware—rivets, zipper pulls, and the company logo.

Oxio's attention to design detail goes beyond the bag's looks. The Retrostriper is also very sturdy, and is able to withstand above-average amounts of wear and tear. And it keeps your laptop safe from mother nature's wrath with a water-resistant, polyester-and-PVC exterior.

There's ample storage on the outside of the bag for items you need to reach quickly. On the front is a large (11.5 by 7 inches) zippered compartment for thick items, and there's a wider, flat pocket on the back.

The gray-lined interior hosts a fully cushioned laptop pocket on one side, complete with a Velcro-closure strap to keep your computer from bouncing around. The laptop sleeve can hold a 15-inch MacBook Pro, although a 17-inch version of the bag is available for an additional $5. Opposite the laptop sleeve is a large, zippered compartment for papers, files, and other flat items. In between are five small pockets and three pen holders. Even with the laptop and file sections filled, the middle of the bag has enough open space to hold the regular odds and ends, such as your wallet, keys, power cord, and peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Both the shoulder strap and top handles are amply cushioned, making a full bag easy to carry without the straps digging into your shoulder or hands. The bag itself is a classic briefcase shape: flat and rectangular. As is common with this shape of bag, the body lacks any ergonomic curves or padding, and when there's a computer inside, the stiffness can be uncomfortable when it hits your hip. The best way to wear the bag is with the strap across the body so the bag lies flat against your back, or to carry the bag by the top handles.

Overall, the Retrostriper is a superbly crafted, hip, and very, very orange briefcase for your MacBook Pro.

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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Durable and well crafted
    • Roomy
    • Not boring

    Cons

    • A bit stiff with a laptop inside
    • Not everyone likes orange
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