It’s been some time since I’ve had a new backpack to try out and after opening the Targus package on my desk, I’m excited. I’ve been using the Targus Groove X2 Max backpack for the last week and it instantly became my go-to bag. Here’s what I thought about it.
Targus produce laptop bags, tablet cases and docking stations, a lot of them. Browsing through their site, there really is something for everyone and it all appears to be reasonably priced. The Groove X2 Max is a 15” MacBook/Laptop bag and includes a ‘tech-friendly’ laptop cradle, which includes Targus’s trademarked Sling Protection, which suspends your hardware inside the bag to prevent drop-damage. It also includes a lifetime warranty, so they must be confident in their product.
The bag is dark grey ‘Charcoal’ in colour, with black lining, zips and straps. There is very little to no branding on the bag, it’s a very sleek, minimalist design. It weighs just 640grams (empty), has a 33litre capacity and is 30.5 x 45.8 x 20 cm in size. There is a blue option available in the X2 and also a ‘compact’ option, slightly smaller, cheaper and available in three different colours. All of the bags are made from a water repellent fabric.
That protective cradle I mentioned earlier for your laptop is fantastic. There is ample space for my 15” laptop and it’s perfectly protected. The laptop section is found at the rear of the bag, meaning you have a flat surface against your back and the whole area is completely padded. The laptop does sit up from the bottom of the bag, creating a cushioned void, which protects your laptop when putting the bag down on a surface. That void isn’t a huge space and I wouldn’t say it reduces the available space much at all. While wearing the bag with my laptop in it, there was adequate strap and back padding so I couldn’t feel the laptop on my back as such, other than the obvious weight increase.
To the very front of the bag is a deep slim pocket for notepads, your Nintendo Switch, that kinda thing. Above that is a smaller zipped pocket for smaller items, pens and pencils etc. Inside the main compartment, is a zipped mesh area, plus a soft microfibre like tablet area, a small drinks bottle area and then the main area itself, large enough for a variety of goods, cameras, work shoes, overnight clothes etc. Behind that is that laptop area I’ve spoken about and then to the right-hand side of the bag as you wear it, an external drinks bottle holder.
There are two adjustable straps, one over each shoulder and there is ample padding for a comfortable fit. There is a no chest strap option, but this is in no way needed as you will not be hiking with this bag. There is also a handle on the side of the bag if you wanted to rotate the bag and carry it like a briefcase, plus a luggage strap on the rear, so you can securely place it on top of your carry on luggage.
I used the bag out and about, both for work and pleasure. I put my day to day items in and then tried to squeeze as much in as I could, as if I was going away for a long weekend and I managed to get all the essentials in. It was very comfortable to wear during my time with it, it kept my laptop and camera safe and from what I could see during use, it looks to be very durable and should last for some time. Bear in mind that those two pockets to the front of the bag could be vulnerable, so ensure nothing too valuable is kept in there unless you’re in a safe place.
The Targus Groove X2 Max Backpack is subtle, sleek and practical. At just £49.99, it’s affordable too. It is available now. Head over to the official Targus website to find out more.