Back to the office? This laptop case is premium yet practical

Somewhere between a laptop sleeve and a shoulder bag, Harber calls it a laptop briefcase.

Image: Mary Branscombe

If you’re heading back to the office for a couple of days a week, you might be looking for a new laptop bag that’s not your usual backpack – something with plenty of compartments for all the cables, chargers, power banks, and pens you want to carry around. your home office and occasional work desk.

Or, if you go back to the full commute, you might want to make it more bearable with something more efficient.

If you want to show off something premium, roomy yet practical, Harber London’s Everyday Leather Briefcase is all of that, but you’ll pay premium, Apple-level prices at £ 349 for the style that requires a 15 “or 16” laptop. . (There is a smaller bag designed for 13 “and 14” laptops, but it’s the same price.)

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What you’re paying for here are the materials and quality, and you get a practical design too. The leather is soft and sturdy, and while it will likely show some wear over time, it will still look great and give you many years of travel. This can easily outlive many laptops.

It’s also surprisingly roomy for something this slim and compact – we’ve been able to fit a 15-inch Surface Book 3, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Pro X at the same time, so a laptop and iPad will fit together easily.

Three laptops seen in Harber's briefcase

Surface Book 3, Surface Laptop Studio, and Surface Pro X fit snugly in padded pockets.

Image: Mary Branscombe

The interior has multiple pockets made of sturdy cotton twill. Haber has added more padding and changed the style of the internal compartments compared to previous models, leaving more space for your laptops and making them more protected. On one side there are two deep pockets, both padded, which can hold a laptop and an iPad side by side, with a leather snap strap to keep them in place so you can reach the two elastic mesh pockets which are large enough for your charger, power cord or anything else you don’t want to lose at the bottom.

inside pockets

There are extra pockets on the side of both laptop pockets – these two are elastic for holding messy items like chargers and power cables.

Image: Mary Branscombe

On the other side is another deep pocket, also with padding, and this one has a magnet to keep it closed. Lowering the hand there are three flat pockets (small, medium and large) with a large leather strap sewn to the outside and fixed at varying intervals so you can neatly store pens, cables and other smaller accessories.

a Surface Pen and a USBC cable in the organizer pockets

Keep cables and pens tidy or put them in your pockets.

Image: Mary Branscombe

There is also a key ring with a metal clip and a leather key ring that rotates if you just want to pull it to a more comfortable angle to release your keys, or a magnet that allows you to detach and then reposition it. That’s for sure; it won’t unlock by accident. But you have to rotate it to get it out and it’s complicated until you fix it.

If you are also back to long distance travel, the briefcase has an extra strap on the back that allows you to slip it over the handle of a suitcase or carry-on. If you’ve never had a bag that does this before, it makes a huge difference when playing with luggage at the airport.

The two handles are sturdy and large enough to slide over the elbow, although probably not the shoulder

The shoulder strap is more disappointing; it is a sturdy fabric but rather tight and too long for those who are not extremely tall or have particularly wide shoulders and the buckle is the wrong way to tuck the excess into the shoulder strap so that it hangs over the zipper. The shoulder strap itself isn’t actually padded, just two layers of leather. And while the metal hooks at the end of the strap are extremely sturdy, the discreet leather loops that slide in line with the handles rather than the corners of the briefcase, which gives it a good balance but means the long strap is still longer. There are four loops so you can choose which way the shoulder strap tilts (and you can slip a luggage tag through one of the spare parts).

Although the briefcase is available in light brown, dark brown or black, the interior is always black – it looks elegant in brown colors but rather dull with the black exterior. Harber got a trick wrong by not picking something more striking for the interior like scarlet, turquoise or lime that really stood out against the black and made the bag even more special (like the lime microfiber-lined Maroo leather case I was using for laptop for many years).

A black bag next to a man's leg

The leather looks good, but the black interior could be more striking.

Image: Mary Branscombe

The metal zipper also looks less matched to the black leather, although again it is extremely sturdy and has long leather tags that are easy to grab onto the two zipper pulls (so you can open it from whichever side is comfortable, but it won’t open on all three sides like a laptop case, only partially on each side). The base is flat – not wide enough to stand up on its own, but it’s not awkward to balance on a table when you put your laptop away or grab it out.

hands opening the bag

Having the strap clip on the handles gives you balance when you’re carrying your bag, but it’s not that easy to pull things out.

Image: Mary Branscombe

All in all, this is both premium and practical; a kind of investment, but durable enough to be a long-term investment.

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