Laptop bags: 15-inchers
For folk with large luggables
Thule is best known for its car-mounted containers, but it also has a nice line in ordinary luggage - including this tough laptop case. The zips are water resistant and the semi-rigid "high density outer layers of this clamshell design "enable all-weather use", Thule says. I can believe it.
Designed for Apple MacBook Pro, the Thule Attaché should take any similarly slim 15-incher, and there's a pocket for your tablet too. There's plenty of room for your accessories too. If it has a flaw, it's a bit pricey, but you can expect this kind of laptop protection from cheap bags.
More Info Thule
STM Scout Medium
Made out of rugged, thick canvas, and available in black and olive versions, STM's Scout is more compact than most messenger bag-style 15in laptop holders. Yet it's happily take the heftiest of machines and still live plenty of room for accessories, other kit, books and magazines.
There's a separate cover for the laptop area, so opening the bag won't reveal all it contains. The main cover folds over four pockets, one zipped, and is held in place with a chunky, adjustable plastic buckle. There's an unsealable pocket on the back. The only thing to dislike: the plastic shoulder strap latches which will wear.
More Info GearZap
Samsonite Wander 3 Las Vegas
If backpacks are more your thing than messenger bags - and lugging a 15in laptop around is certainly easier on the shoulders with a pack - Samsonite makes some great laptop luggage. It caters for most budgets, but I favour this one, the Las Vegas, part of the Wander 3 line.
It's pricey, but feels very well made. There are plenty of pockets within, and there's a handy port for your headphones cable. It even comes with a separate, slip-in case for the laptop, so it's easy to use on occasions when you don't want to take your computer with you.
Well padded, the Wander 3 is comfortable to wear too. And while you can get a lot into it, it's nonetheless reasonably compact.
More Info Samsonite