If you have a 17 inch notebook (technically it is 17.3 inches) you know that backpacks for it are hard to find. I tried stuffing my new 17-inch Toshiba in a bag I had used for years for my smaller laptops, and it went in, but I couldn’t get it zipped. Furthermore, the exposed corners of the laptop were highly vulnerable to bumps and dings as I was on in the move, even if it was just around the corner to the coffee shop.
After looking around online and in some stores like Best Buy, I finally found the Rosewill Backpack for 17.3-inch notebook computers on Amazon last year and took a chance on it. When it arrived, it looked great and was very large.
It has plenty of compartments for various things so you will not be at a loss for where to store something. It is comfortable and very functional. My laptop is huge, but this thing swallows it up without a problem. This backpack is great for commuters or frequent travelers on airplanes for the following reasons.
The following summarizes the best features of the backpack. Rather than simply listing product specifications, I will give you my opinion on the value of each from my experience actually using it.
For Use With Most 17.3" Wide Screen Notebooks
The main compartment area has plenty of room to store most 17.3” notebooks. I cannot imagine a laptop being too big to go in this bag. The area surrounding the computer compartment has enough padding to keep it immobilized and protected from hard knocks as you carry it around. The other 2 main zipper compartments are large too. So large that I took this backpack on a trip to South America last year and it was like having 2 carry-on bags. Not only did I put my 17-inch laptop in it, but I loaded it with clothes. I was worried that the gate agents might say something about it so I kept it low and out of sight. But I got through without any issues. I have seen people get away with carrying much larger items on an airplane anyway.
There are pockets all over the backpack for quick access. The front and side pockets allow you to organize accessories, clothes, water bottles and everything you could possibly imagine. The shoulder strap also includes a removable cellphone pocket and a sunglass holder.
Additionally, it has a specific “Audio Pocket” for an iPod or other music player inside the outer compartment that you can place your device within, then run the earphones through a rubber grommet hole in the canvas layer out to your ears. The obvious advantage to this is it keeps your device secure within the bag and allows you to zip the compartment up all the way.
Designed for Comfort
The backpack has a rubber-wrapped carry handle which is very comfortable in your hand if you just want to carry it short distances like a brief case. The padded shoulder straps provide comfort no matter how much weight you have in the back. As I said, I have stuffed it full on vacations and I had no problems walking with it through the airport.
The back of it does provide some lower lumbar support with padding at the bottom and on the shoulder blades. The material is a mesh that is designed to allow air to flow and breathe to prevent heat build-up so you do not get a sweaty back.
The material and zippers are very durable and after using the backpack on several trips overseas and multiple times around my city, I believe they will hold up for a long time. I have no concerns over either.
The backpack also has a feature the manufacturer refers to as a “base stabilizer” which is just a fancy way of say that it will not tip over when you sit it down. However, this depends on so many things, including the surface you sit it on, and what else you have in the bag. If you packed it top heavy, it is going to tip over, I would not hang on to that selling point. My advice is to always lay it down on its back. It was not designed to be used as an upright carry-on.
I have seen this online recently for anywhere from $31 plus $15 shipping (unreal) to $40 and free shipping. I went back and looked at what I paid for it in August of 2013. I was able to get it on Amazon for $29.99. However, it is selling there now for $39.99. To me, it is still worth that price because the feel of the backpack is more like one of the more expensive Swissgear or Targus backpacks that start much higher in price.
Amazon Price: $49.99 $37.97 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 16, 2016)
- Padded compartment compatible with most 17.3" wide screen Notebooks
- Two separate main compartments for storing files, books or anything
- Side Pocket Lined with padding for storing sunglasses or prescription glasses
- iPod/MP3 Player P Sleeve with Line-Out Porthole for Headphones
- Capacity: 16.9" x 11.8" x 1.57"
- Quick-Access Phone Pocket (on Shoulder Strap)
- Case Base Stabilizer Platform
- Shock Absorbing Shoulder Straps
- Side Water Bottle Pocket
Rosewill Backpack for 17.3-Inch Laptops
It has been over 6 months since I bought this backpack and I still have nothing bad to say about it. However, the very thing that I love about it (the large size) may be a turn-off for others. I remember reading other reviews before I bought it and they were complaining about it being too big. It is big, but that is what you need if you have an oversized laptop and plan to take it out of your home.
Overall I love it and I recommend it highly if you have a 17.3 - inch notebook. You can buy a more expensive backpack from some of the major players like Targus or Swissgear, but in my opinion this Rosewill model offers the best value for the money. I have no regrets on purchasing this item and I would definitely do so again.