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Thule Gauntlet Macbook iPad Attache Case Review

  • Posted on 20 June, 2013

Thule Gauntlet Attache Case

Being a professional travel photographer for the last five years, I’m carrying an entourage of technological clobber around the globe on a regular basis. Its far from just ‘entertainment’ like it is for most people on this plane, computers are utterly essential to what I do. It all began with a humble 12” Samsung Q35 laptop that lasted me a few good years. Over the last few years as tablets have become en vogue, everything has shrunk back again to even more ingenious smart phones. Sadly, neither is of great use for me photographically. I can’t get on without a powerful laptop. I like to utilise my time spent in airports and planes in more productive ways, by writing reviews, just like this one.

 

Thule Gauntlet Attache Case

Now, with a late 2011 15” Macbook Pro i7 2.4ghz 16gb, I have it all, or thereabouts. This machine is powerful to say the least and has become the most vital part of my digital world, alongside my pimped up desktop Photo PC (I have a disturbing 18tb of NAS storage in two separate locations)

Where as other photographers wait until they are home, I process most of my work on the move using the Macbook. I want this machine to continue on as long as possible and stay well protected from the riggers of travel in particular. Laptop bags are usually fabric based, sometimes sponge and I must admit I haven’t got on well with either in the past. Enter Thule, that’s right, the manufacturer who makes those marvellous streamline roof boxes for your car. Confused? So was I, but now I am pleasantly surprised.

Thule Gauntlet Attache Case

Thule Gauntlet Attache Case

Swedish Design Speaks for Itself
It’s brilliant - tough, superbly designed, smart looking and has just enough ergonomics for all those wires and cables. It retains anonymity and then on second look appears as it could be from the world of motorsport. Embossed rubbery / plastic construction, textured matt finish with strong double zips. It’s water resistant to say the least, without the sticky zips. Can you sense I am one happy traveller?

Inside the 15” Macbook fits perfectly with stretchy band ensuring it stays exactly where it is supposed to be. With computer and cables on either side of the bookleaf, the cable compartment is not so generous, but once again well thought. This is high quality Swedish design,  giving just enough space to fit chargers, USB leads, card readers and just a little more.

Now the best bit – there is room for an iPad in the middle. The bag was specifically designed to carry both, which is quite remarkable as when the bag is closed. On first glance, it is difficult to imagine all that technology inside. This is perfect as it remains low key, compact and also capable of the odd knock or two, which is going to happen in transit. 

The strap is comfortable and a sensible length, with good adjusters that are smooth and easy to position.

Thule Gauntlet Attache Case

 

Conclusion
If you need an easy access, everyday laptop bag for a 10 minute tube ride, to hold your paper life as well as your digital one, this isn’t it. If you like to accessorise beautifully, dreaming of a wireless future at Pret A Manger, over a half caff soya caramel latte, then this is not really you either. If you want a stealthy, robust almost waterproof bag to carry everything that is digitally precious whilst remaining fairly incognito – look no further. It’s a tough, well designed and wonderful to use, a compliment to that digital wonderbuzz we love from our phones, tablets and computers.

Although a little short on additional space, I care not. It carries everything I need, remaining compact enough to duck under the check-in radar, on this occasion. It’s a little heavy when fully loaded (over 3kg with my 2011 MBP, iPad2 and all the leads) but I am used to the transatlantic pack horse feel, with the 17kg in the overhead locker. It will remain my #1 choice of laptop bag for the foreseeable future and all I can do is happily spread the word.

Lastly - the price is around £69 - and you do get exactly what you pay for. Think about what you have, with expensive contents inside it makes a lot of sense to rely on a bag that protects your computer and iPad from the rigours of everyday life. 


***Highly recommended indeed.***
I look forward to seeing what else this remarkable and diverse company come up with next. Check out my review of there camera bag, coming soon….

 

 

10 Comments

  1. I wish i had this case to examine myself and give it a whirl.

    But it seems pretty legit, solid outside and compartments to satisfy any apple fan boy.

    Con: style can be sexier
    its a laptop bag, like any another…not a gauntlet smile

    Pretty Apples - 23 June, 2013
  1. Haha, great comment. It’s really good and I’m very happy with it,

    David Clapp - 24 June, 2013
  1. How are you finding this bag a few months on?

    Chris B - 02 September, 2013
  1. Still the bag I reach for every time. Its compact and easy to sling around without worrying too much about the precious contents. I knocked it against a brick wall the other week - a minor flesh wound. It super protective and still I recommend it over every other bag I have.

    I am reviewing a Thule camera bag next…

    David Clapp - 03 September, 2013
  1. I had a “play” with one in the Apple store a few months ago, but the inside felt a little abrasive? Just worried that if theres any room for my 15” MBPr to move, that it will result in scuffing on the corners etc. I really want to get one, but this is my only hang up

    Chris B - 12 September, 2013
  1. Its a snug fit and I know what you mean about the inside feeling a little abrasive, but these are hard wearing fabrics that are meant to last.

    I wouldn’t want the MBP moving inside the case at all especially when on the move. The exterior of the computer is so tough I wouldn’t expect any scuffing. I also use a ‘skin’ for my MBP, which really helps with everyday scratches that devalue the resale. Perhaps this is another idea for you…?

    Get one, you’ll be glad you did.

    David Clapp - 13 September, 2013
  1. I currently use the 13” version of this bag and I love it.
    I have upgraded to a 15” MBPr and not 100% if I should get the new “2.0” version of this rugged looking one.
    The new version can be found the apple site.

    Hane - 26 October, 2013
  1. Good case, but zipper is the weak spot. I had mine replaced several times because of the zipper breaking and unravelling and they were pretty prompt about it.  Warranty is 25 years so it should provide you with a steady supply of replacements when the zipper breaks.

    A - 03 November, 2013
  1. No problems as yet… Mine’s still very solid

    David Clapp - 06 November, 2013
  1. I first bought it in Aug 12 and got the problem with the zip in Apr 13 and got it replaced at the shop same day.  Today the replacement got the same problem at the very same spot of the zip.  I cannot expect this time the turn around time to be within 3 days. Design improvement is needed.

    Siripon Jak Mektanatip - 06 November, 2013