I’m not a person who is willing to carry his tablet around “naked” — I want a case to protect the device, and also give me a place to put my important accessories like the charger and cables. I have found that ideal case in the STM Micro for iPad Shoulder Bag.
BUILD & DESIGN
This bag offers a nice safe pouch with high-density foam padding to slip your tablet into. The best measure I can give of its protection is that I have carried my iPad on numerous business trips in this case and it’s still alive and kicking.
Despite the name, this bag is usable with more than just Apple’s devices. My Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 fits in it perfectly, for example. STM says that any device smaller than 10.6 x 7.6 x 1.4 inches will work. Incidentally, I have a ZAGG clip-on keyboard and it fits in this case along with my first-gen iPad.
This case is made of 300D water-resistant micro ripstop polyester. The lining is 210D water-resistant nylon. What this jargon means is that this bag is tough. I?ve dragged mine all over the country and it still looks brand new.
It comes in just one color: black, and it’s professional enough that you shouldn’t have a problem bringing it into a meeting. On the other hand, it’s strictly utilitarian. If you’re trying to impress people with your cool gear, you might want to look for something more high-end. Just be prepared to pay a lot more for it.
Don’t let the “Micro” name fool you, there is plenty of room to carry the essentials. At the same time, it isn’t as unwieldy as a laptop bag.
When I’m on a trip, I carry a charger for the tablet, a charger for my phone, external battery, a camera, a Camera Connect Kit, a memory card reader, and a collection of cables to wire all of these together. That’s where the big pouch on the side of this bag comes in. It easily provides room for these and more, and there?s a large flap to hold them all in place.
On the back is a tall but thin pocket. I use this to hold a folded-over magazine for plane flights. I mostly read eBooks, but you have to have something on paper for take-offs and landings. I haven’t had much success putting paperbacks in there unless they are relatively slim.
With this accessory from STM, I can check my suitcase and then get on the plane with just one small carry-on that can be stowed under the seat in front of me. I don’t have a lot of gear to lug around, and I don’t have to pray there’s room in an overhead compartment.
The shoulder strap is removable, which is good because I generally take it off when I’m carrying this case around and use the handles. Only when I need to tote around a suitcase or two do I put on the strap. When I do, though, it’s large and well-padded enough to be comfortable. That’s not much of a challenge, of course, it’s not like the bag is going to be weighed down with the bulk of a full-size laptop.
The STM Micro for iPad Shoulder Bag is very well made, and the design is just right for someone who wants to carry around his or her tablet and some additional gear. It provides good protection and a useful amount of storage capacity.
It is probably a bit large for some people to carry around every day. That group might be happier with a simple folio case. Those who frequently travel long distances, on the other hand, should consider something bigger.
The list price for STM’s bag is $45, but I’ve seen it online for less. So it isn’t cheap, but given its proven durability and excellent design, I expect to keep using it for many years, even after my current tablet has been long since retired.