The Case Logic recently took the wraps off the new, slim NOX Corvus B114 backpack, which comes from the company's business-chic NOX line. While not to our taste, the bland, business-friendly bag offers a functional, roomy design that protects your gadgets while on the go. Designed to fit laptops up to 15-inches, the Corvus also features a dedicated tablet pocket that can hold slates as large as 10 inches.
The walls consist of a high-density foam that surrounds the gadget compartments. It is soft enough to conform to the shape of any laptop, but firm enough to adequately protect your gear from some impacts. It won’t keep a laptop from breaking under the weight of a car, but you won’t have to worry about damaging your system if someone stumbles and bumps into you on the subway.
On our tests, the Corvus B114 was ample enough to fit bulky laptops such as the ASUS K53E. While we were still able to squeeze an iPad 2 into the compartment next to the K53E, it was a disturbingly tight fit. The Corvus was stretched so tight that the tablet was unable to be removed without taking the laptop out first. However, when we combined the iPad 2 with the slimmer 15-inch MacBook Pro, both devices fit nicely.
The NOX line offers a slew of customary features such as a zippered expansion, stretchy nylon pockets on the sides, and an interior mesh pocket under the flap for accessories. Case Logic also incorporated an innovative security strap for tethering your backpack to tables or luggage, and a strap management system to roll up otherwise hanging straps. The bag has 10 pockets of various sizes to fit all your work-related gear, from files to notebooks to pencils.
While the PVC-free, nylon Corvus is fairly rugged, it is not very weather-proof. The bottom is made of a polyester weave, which may wear over time and puncture; we would have preferred a sturdier, rubberized bottom. The side pockets are large enough to accommodate water bottles with confidence due to the elastic nylon construction. The plush padding on the back and thick shoulder straps contributed to a comfortable and cool fit. We like that the frost-blue interior can help you locate items that have fallen to the bottom of the bag, cutting down on time spent fumbling around for objects.
As a little Easter egg, a Quick Response (QR) code sits on the interior of the top flap. Smartphone cameras can scan it to automatically take users to the NOX information website to learn more about the NOX collection.
Overall, the Case Logic NOX Corvus B114 is a functional bag that doesn’t draw much attention to itself, but admirably fulfills its duties. Its humble aesthetics and unique features places this bag somewhere between the Mobile Edge EVO ($79) and the Everki Beacon backpack ($129). With an MSRP of $89.99 and features that neither of those bags have, the Corvus is a reasonably priced alternative for iPad and laptop-toting road warriors. Just remember to check out the similarly equipped Everki Flight EKP119 ($89) before you make your purchase.