Game Rant's Andrew Dyce reviews the iSafe Collegiate Laptop Backpack
When it comes to protecting expensive electronics devices, one can never be too careful - and with the average student or technophile these days carrying around a smartphone, iPod, laptop or iPad and maybe even a Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita, the value of a person's backpack or messenger bag and its contents are slowly creeping into the thousands of dollars range.
In an effort to offer a bit more security and safety to gadget fans or anyone who would benefit from a personal alarm system, iSafe has rolled out its new Collegiate Laptop Backpack. Equipped with an on-board siren, iSafe claims the backpacks grant an increased sense of safety without sacrificing the storage space and high-quality construction that the price point demands. Is that the case?
While the patented built-in alarm system is sure to be the aspect of the Collegiate Backpack that grabs the most attention, the construction itself shouldn't be overlooked. Constructed out of 840 Ripstop Nylon the bag is designed to be sturdy and dependable, and it most certainly is. From the thick fabric to the riveted straps and clasps, no part of the backpack feels flimsy or likely to fail.
Savvy consumers these days are aware that the high price demanded by recognizable brands for laptop backpacks generally reflect high-quality craftsmanship - you get what you pay for - and the iSafe Collegiate is on par with any in its price range. With padded laptop sleeve, pocket organizers and heavy duty zippers the backpack offers about as much storage space as can be asked for. In addition, a headphone port is also featured to offer additional protection for iPods or mp3 players.
Of course, the alarm itself will be what attracts the most customers. Equipped with a flashing red strobe light (which is fairly unnoticeable when not operating) and not one but two siren speakers, anyone who attempts to steal the backpack or remove it without the owner's consent is in for a surprise.
The alarm is triggered by removing a metal pin concealed under a velcro panel on one of the backpack's shoulder straps, and disengaged only when the pin is replaced. Packing a pair of 120 decibel speakers set to release an ear-splitting siren - and believe us, it is as loud as you'd think - may seem like an unconventional way to bolster your sense of safety, but any added protection is welcome.
Whether your laptop is valuable due to its hardware or the information it contains, or if your commute just requires a trip through a somewhat intimidating area, it's hard to put a price on the comfort of knowing a panic button is just a pin-pull away.
The justification for the alarm system isn't hard to see, so the only real question was whether the backpack holding it would be well-constructed and as stylish as its competition. iSafe has achieved in those aspects, since the Collegiate Backpack is designed with reliability in mind and with a choice of colors that remain understated without looking cheap. A bit more organization included in the bag would have been nice, but with the alternative being ten pen slots that few are likely to actually use, that's a minor complaint.
With a price tag of $79.98 USD the Collegiate is certainly in the medium-range of backpacks. But brand name bags can easily demand as much if not more, without any alarm system included. The quality of the bag alone makes that price almost worth it, so the only real question for buyers is whether the peace of mind offered is worth the extra money.
The iSafe Collegiate Backpack is available for purchase at iSafeBags.com.