Rather than carrying your laptop in a run-of-the-mill backpack, consider one of these very unique and stylish laptop backpacks, which are specifically designed to protect your computer while also reflecting your personality and lifestyle. These backpacks are appropriate for both work and school and may be more comfortable to carry than other types of laptop bags.
Use the free energy of the sun to charge your electronics on the go. The Voltaic Converter backpack makes a statement and is extraordinarily functional: made partly from recylced soda bottles, it's also a solar charger for your mobile devices. The Converter can be worn as either a backpack or a sling and comes with 10 standard adapters to charge cell phones, media players, and other portable devices (it is not, however, designed to charge laptops -- for that, see the messenger-style Voltaic Generator). The padded laptop compartment fits laptops up to 17", there are wire channels for headphones and bladder tubes, and you can choose from four solar panel colors. Pricing: under $200.
2. STM Rogue
A laptop backpack to foil thieves. If intrigue (or illusion) is your thing, you'll probably like the STM Rogue series of backpacks. In addition to the ultra-high density padding, built-in raincover, and detachable mobile phone/media player pouch, the Rogue backpack stows your laptop in a waterproof, concealed compartment of the bag, hidden from anyone who would rifle through your stuff. (I'm sure there are a lot of people who could use this secret compartment, but even if you don't have a realistic need for a hidden laptop compartment, it's still pretty cool.) Small and large versions fit notebooks from 13" to 17". Pricing: Under $75.
It's not a backpack or laptop carrier, it's a completely portable office environment. The Higher Ground Laptrap is a notebook sleeve/backpack (with optional mesh strap accessory) with an innovative foldable design that lets you work directly out of the case, providing full-time protection for your laptop and storage for all your accessories in the hanging side pockets. Versions available to fit laptops up to 17"; 6 different color options. Pricing: under $75.
A streamlined laptop case you can work out of. If the Laptrap is too large for you or you don't need the side accessory pockets, the more compact Higher Ground Shuttle may be a better choice. You can work on your laptop directly from the Shuttle, which means you can unzip and start working right away while protecting your laptop from accidental damage and elevating the computer to keep it cooler. The rigid frame and shock absorbing foam padding offer additional protection. With the optional backpack strap, you can convert the Shuttle from a shoulder bag to a backpack. Versions available to fit laptops up to 17"; 5 different color options. Pricing: under $50 for most sizes.
This laptop backpack is also a portable sound system. Besides having a dedicated laptop compartment and many pockets for your accessories, this laptop backpack has a built-in ultra-thin speaker as well as a 5-button media player control system to connect to your MP3 player. While carrying your laptop and paperwork, you can listen to your iPod privately or share your music with friends. Available in black, brown, and camouflage. Pricing: under $100.
This customizable laptop backpack is designed for endurance. Oakley has a few laptop bags you can customize; this one is striking because of the removable hardshell plates, which add high-impact protection for your laptop and additional customization options. You can also get a pre-designed Oakley hardshell backpack for a bit less. Pricing: under $200 for the customizable version to under $150 for a stock version.
Keep your valuable mobile gear close with this slim-profile laptop backpack. The Mobile Edge SecurePack is great for travelers or commuters -- the slimmer profile may make it easier to move around in a crowd with the backpack and it's also more secure than a typical backpack because access to the bag is from the back panel. The SecurePack holds laptops up to 17", has an interior organizer pocket, and also provides storage for your media player. Pricing: under $75.
This business-appropriate backpack is meant to be like a portable vault for your laptop and files. The PacSafe series of bags are designed with serious security in mind. The CentroSafe features snatchproof shoulder straps with built-in combination locks, tamperproof lockable zippers, and other guards against thieves like slashproof fabrics. It also has a padded compartment for laptops up to 15.4", an organizer panel, and multiple other compartments for carrying around all your work. Pricing: under $150.
This innovative backpack has detachable wheels. Backpacks with wheels seem like a great idea for travelers especially and people who have to carry a lot with them, but unfortunately the wheels and handles can add a lot to the weight of the pack when you carry it on your back. McKleins' patented detachable wheel and handle system can solve that problem for you, since you can take the bag off of the handles and wheel. With several compartments, you can also really stuff a lot in the bag. There's an accessory compartment in the front, a middle padded compartment for laptops up to 17", a back compartment with file divider for your documents, and a detachable phone or media player holder. Pricing: under $150.
10. Timbuk2 Swig
Really make your backpack your own. Timbuk2's Swig is a lightweight backpack (actually described by the company as a laptop sleeve), that features ergonomically designed shoulder straps, a dedicated laptop compartment, quick exterior access to your laptop, and side and front organizer pockets. Available in small and medium versions to fit most 15" laptops, this laptop bag's most notable feature may be its customizability (photo shown here is an actual custom order). Featured as one of the options for you to Design Your Own Laptop Bag, you can choose the fabrics and colors for each of the backpack's three panels, as well as the logo color. Pricing: under $150 for customizing at Timbuk2.com; already-designed Swig backpacks under $100.