Targus Fandango Tote review

by Reads (5,327)

by Sarah Meyer

Targus introduced a new addition to its women’s line of notebook carrying cases, the Fandango tote, in July.  Anaheim-based Targus describes the Fandango as "a functional, yet classy and stylish choice" for the female executive on the go.  I carried it around for a couple of weeks to see how the Fandango measured up to the claims.

The Fandango Specifications

  • Dimensions: 15.4" X 5.25" X 14.75"
  • Weight: 2.87 lbs.
  • Durable polyester materials
  • Limited Lifetime Warranty
  • Detachable purse/billfold


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Design and Aesthetics

In Targus’ press release about the Fandango, the company mentions that the tote has "the look and feel of a fashionable purse."  But we all know that what some people deem as "fashionable" can be miserable.

But the Fandango, despite being made of polyester, isn’t half bad.  I carried it to the grocery store, on lunch breaks and to a dinner with friends and everyone simply thought I was carrying a large purse.  Mission accomplished Targus!

The outside of the tote is black and has one large pocket that snaps shut.  The pocket is large enough for a few random objects such as: a cell phone, sunglasses, lip gloss, computer accessories (think a small webcam), a checkbook, etc.   

The inside of the Fandango is not as attractive as the outside.  The fabric is a grayish pinstripe with some black trimming. Thankfully, the tote zippers shut.


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Besides the questionable fabric choice on the inside of the tote, there are five pockets and a large carrying case that protects a 15.4" laptop.  The Fandango also comes with a small purse and billfold that attach inside the bag.  The purse is definitely not something you’d want to carry around, at least if you’re trying to come off as “fashionable” but it’s handy.  It keeps money, credit cards, identification, and other personal items in a secure location inside the tote so you don’t have to dig around.  And if you’ve ever carried a large bag, you know that can be a lifesaver.  


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The zippered pocket inside is the biggest pocket and could hold CD’s, power cord, external mouse, office supplies etc.  Beneath the zipper are three open pockets that might be handy for a cell phone, digital camera, a compact, pens, markers, etc.  The fourth open pocket holds a card that keeps personal information card incase you misplace the bag.

The carrying case inside the bag is specifically made to house a 15.4" laptop.  It surrounds the laptop with about 1/8" to 1/4" of foam and has a black strap to secure the laptop in the case.   It’s better than nothing but I wouldn’t go dropping or swinging my bag around carelessly with my laptop inside. 


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The tote is roomy enough that even with the pockets filled and the laptop inside the carrying case you could fit paperwork, slim books, or even a purse (which is what I used it for, I was not about to carry around the detachable purse the Fandango came with).

My favorite part of the tote might have been the straps.  They were the perfect length for hanging the tote from your shoulder and holding it securely under one arm. 

My least favorite part was that the Targus logo was prominently displayed on the outside of the tote and on the outside of the small detachable purse.  I could rip off the tag on the small purse but it was etched into one of the straps on the tote.  I hated feeling like I was a walking advertisement.


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Using the bag

I’ll admit that when I first received the Fandango tote I was skeptical that a giant purse would hold all I wanted to cart around and still be comfortable.  But by the end of the two weeks I was carrying it around even when I didn’t have my laptop with me. 

It might not be a Coach or other designer label but it was stylish enough that I got an occasional compliment and it still fit my needs.  It held everything I usually packed into my briefcase-style notebook bag but wasn’t as bulky.  Also, it wasn’t swinging on my hip like my other bag.  Sometimes, when I walk with my briefcase-style bag and it is packed full, the bag swings into my hips, knocking me off balance.  With the tote, it’s under my arm and easier to manage. 

I enjoyed the small purse inside because twice when I was in long lines at the grocery store and the bank I didn’t have to dig around in my bag looking for my cash or license (I’m sure the people in line behind me appreciated that).

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Easy to stay organized
  • Limited Lifetime warranty
  • Reasonably priced (in line with similar bags)

Cons

  • Didn’t protect laptop as well as other bags
  • Made completely of "polyester materials"
  • Targus logo prominently displayed

Conclusion

The Fandango is a fun tote for women who don’t want to carry around boring briefcase-style laptop bags.  Reasonably priced, it can function as a notebook carrying case and a large purse.  But if the major concern is keeping your laptop as safe as possible, this might not be the bag for you.

Pricing and Availability

The Fandango tote can be purchased via the Targus website, or at many online and retail stores.  The Fandango is being sold for $89.99. 


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