be.ez LE vertigo

As the name suggests, be.ez's LE vertigo laptop bag stores your 13-inch or 15-inch laptop in a vertical position on your travels. It's a novel solution, that proves both comfortable and well-balanced, with a smaller slim footprint, particularly with the 13-inch model, that's easy to carry and store.

French company be.ez ("be easy") managed to include plenty of storage options in such a compact design. A padded computer sleeve keeps your laptop in place, while the bags flap is held down by a subtle Velcro be.ez logo, that can only be seen when the bag is open. Both interior padded pockets and pouches are useful and easy to access.

Build is excellent, made from EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) and EPE (expanded polyethylene), the LE vertigo is waterproof and feels reassuringly rugged. The supplied adjustable shoulder strap is nylon based and feels comfortable during travel despite the lack of padding. The interior is stylish and brightly coloured and feels extremely soft and tactile for storing both laptop and accessories. Despite offering impressive protection the LE vertigo is light on bulk and weight.

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be.ez LA garde robe

The LA garde robe laptop bag from be.ez (be easy) achieves a rare trick of packing sufficient storage space for daily use in a design that is both compact and exceptionally lightweight. At just 375 grams and 38 by 28 by 4 cemtimeters, the LA garde adds little in the way of weight or bulk to your daily travels and is ideally suited for any 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Made from a durable 200D nylon material, the LA garde comes with a main pouch for storing your laptop, covered by a quick-release Velcro fixed flap. The bag adds a built in zipped padded pocket, which offers sufficient space for power supply, mobile, keys, travel card and the like. A slightly fiddly zipped pocket on the back just about accommodates a magazine or A4 paperwork.

A choice of colour schemes include black/light pink, black/pumpkin, and black/wasabi (green to you and me), all of which keeps the bright colors wisely under wraps as part of the bag’s lining. A fourth is available in what's called Red Kiss with white lining. Two versions of the LA garde robe are available, one with and one without a MacBook sleeve, which offers additional protection and for an extra tenner seems like a good deal. Needless to say, it's a perfect fit.

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Tech21 Style sleeve

The Tech|21 Style sleeve is a slimline, lightweight bag made partially from d3o, billed as a revolutionary intelligent material that locks its molecules together on impact to absorb the energy of a shock and provide superior protection.

On point of impact or shock, the molecules lock together to spread and absorb the force. That's at least the idea. Tech21 posted various videos of iPhones and iPods being thrown from heights or bounced of walls online, but it's difficult to do the same with your own MacBook without putting all your precious data at risk. Rather than one iBand-style sleeve, the use of d3o appears to be discreet, part of the lining covered in neoprene, the stuff of wetsuits, which gives the bag a not-unpleasant rubberised feel and smell.

From the outside, the Style sleeve looks like many others: black, formal and business like, offset by a vibrant, soft, orange interior. Two comfortable tuck-away handles can be pushed into stretchable side panels, which also offer some storage for keys, travel card and the like. We managed to store our MacBook's power supply, although the sleeve does bulk out a little as a result. A removable padded shoulder strap helps spread the weight, although the sleeve's design is hardly heavyweight. A solid zip helps keep everything in place on the move.

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Be.ez intros Apple iPad protection sleeves

Be-ez announced a new addition to its stylish LA robe Allure line of protection sleeves with the introduction of the LA robe iPad Allure.

The iPad sleeve’s interior is lined with a soft, high grade fleece to prevent the tablet’s screen from being scratched.

The LA robe iPad Allure protection sleeves will be available this spring for $30.

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Lithium-ion battery life could reach 20 years

Editor’s Note: The following article is reprinted from the Geek Tech blog at

Japanese research and development firm Eamex claims to have found a new way to increase the typical average life of a high-capacity lithium-ion battery. Eamex’s new technology will allow the demanding batteries to sustain over 10,000 recharges over the course of 20 years.

This rather dramatic increase in performance is made possible by new techniques such as a stabilization process of the battery’s electrodes, which in-turn puts less stress on the battery’s tin. This maintains the bonding of particles for a longer period of time and reduces the overall deterioration process. The result is a battery that lasts up to 10 times as long as most current batteries.

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Bagmakers tout iPad carrying options

In the 24 hours since Apple announced the iPad, a number of veteran vendors of laptop bags and sleeves have announced new products specifically for protecting Apple's new tablet; others have confirmed compatibility with existing bags.

Tom Bihn Ristretto

Bagmaker Tom Bihn on Wednesday introduced two iPad-specific products. The $110 Ristretto for iPad is a vertical messenger bag with a padded compartment for your iPad (or a Kindle DX or a 10-inch netbook) and plenty of storage for other gadgets and belongings. The $30 Cache is a padded sleeve for carrying your iPad inside another bag; it fits a bare iPad or an iPad in Apple's official case.

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