Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack review

Its array of pockets makes staying organized an easy feat

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack review
Editor's Choice
(Image: © Future)

Laptop Mag Verdict

The Targus Legend IQ Backpack is durable, high-quality, and has dedicated spaces for your laptop, tablet, sunglasses, keys, and so much more.


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    Durable, high-quality design

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    Lots of storage compartments

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    Back panel and straps are comfortably padded

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    Anti-scratch fabric for tablet and sunglasses

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    Expandable, zippered side pockets


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    Only available in black

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    Upright design is only reliable when fully packed

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    Bag arrived with some frayed stitching

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The Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack is a fantastic option for anyone in need of well-organized, plentiful storage areas. It features a dedicated sleeve for up to 16-inch laptops, a sleeve for tablets, and special areas for your best pens, sunglasses, smartphone, and water bottles. For everything else, there’s a decent amount of open storage. 

Its black, utilitarian design is a classic choice for Targus, and the inclusion of pleather accents with decorative grey stitching make the bag more stylish. The Legend IQ Backpack is all about function over form, and that’s evident in how much storage the bag has as well as how comfortable the padded mesh back panel and shoulder straps are, even when the bag is weighed down with heavy items. 

Targus’ Legend IQ is a tech lover’s dream, with multiple pockets to store electronics and cables and a headphone jack built into the shoulder strap for wired headphones or earbuds. However, there are a few ways this backpack misses the mark with its design.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack price and availability

Targus is well-known for its techy, utilitarian backpack styles, and the Legend IQ Laptop Backpack continues this trend. This bag is available only in black, which many people probably prefer. Even if you typically like brighter designs, you might find that the backpack’s features outweigh its black design. 

On the Targus website, the Legend IQ Backpack is listed for $74.99. For the best price, you’ll want to head to Amazon, where it’s listed for $49.99. At the time of writing, the Legend IQ bag is discounted even further to $29.99 on Amazon, which is an absolute bargain.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack design

The Legend IQ Backpack is more useful than it is stylish, but it’s still an attractive backpack. Most of the bag is adorned with textured, black polyester fabric that’s softer than it looks. At the bottom of the bag, you’ll find a decorative pleather strip with grey stitching. This same material and grey stitching can be found above the front pouch and decorating the outside of the sunglasses pocket.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack review

(Image credit: Future)

These small differences in texture and look make the bag feel more fashionable and less like a techy, utilitarian backpack. Unfortunately, some of the stitching doesn’t look like it was finished well because it was already fraying in a few spots as soon as it came out of the box. 

The zippers are thicker towards the end, making them easier to grab and pull, but it would’ve been nice to see some type of extender attached to improve usability. Other helpful design features made up for the lack of zipper extenders. There’s a luggage strap that can be tightly secured with velcro in the middle and a wide carrying handle that’s soft to the touch. 

Targus says the Legend IQ has an upright design that makes it easy to reach your items when the bag isn’t on your back. This seemed to be true only when there were enough items in the bag weighing it down. Grabbing an item out of the bag or even tapping it would occasionally make the bag fall over. 

With long-term use, the reinforced bottom should stretch out and make it easier for the bag to stay upright with less items in it. However, as a new bag, it’d be best to lean it up against something or at least give it something solid to fall back into so your items don’t spill out. 

When it’s empty, the Legend IQ Backpack weighs 1.76 pounds. This is slightly heavier than some backpacks, but it’s still lightweight and comfortable enough to wear for long periods. The bag doesn’t have much depth at 4 inches, but its width and height measurements of 15 and 19 inches, respectively, give you plenty of storage space. Inside the backpack, the laptop sleeve measures 10.5 x 15.25 inches.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack pockets and organization

The Targus Legend IQ Backpack has plenty of compartments and pockets to house all your belongings and keep them well-organized. If you use a backpack to only cart a few items back and forth between home and school or work, there may be a few unnecessary storage areas. However, it’s better to have more storage and not need it than to have less and need more.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack review

(Image credit: Future)

In the main compartment, there’s a padded laptop sleeve that can fit up to 16-inch laptops, a fleece-lined tablet sleeve, and a medium-sized mesh pocket that could hold a few snack packages. The rest of this compartment is open storage. I can fit my 14-inch laptop, my tablet, two thick spiral journals, a medium-sized journal, a paperback book, and a standing pen bag in this main compartment. It’s a tight fit depth-wise, but there’s still room for less rigid items on top, like a sweater, some snacks, or a pencil bag. 

Many of this backpack’s special compartments and pockets have an intended use, which cuts down on the potential for shoving items in random pockets and forgetting about them. There’s a heavily padded media pocket at the top of the backpack that’s suitable for your smartphone or something else you don’t want pickpocketed, like your wallet. 

On the bag’s front, the upper zipper pouch has a reinforced bottom and a section of fleece lining for your sunglasses. There’s more room in this zipper pouch for open storage. The lower zipper pouch contains a built-in carabiner for your keys, a zipper pocket, and several built-in slip pockets, two of which are for individual pens or pencils. 

On top of this lower pouch are two easy-access zipper pockets. The smaller zipper pocket is suitable for a smartphone, wallet, or something similar in size. The larger pocket is about twice the size, perfect for meds, quick snacks, or your favorite small notepad. 

Lastly, there are two zipper side pockets that can unzip to fit small or large water bottles and umbrellas. Each side pocket has a little mesh triangle toward the end of the zipper chain that allows larger objects to fit and increases breathability. You can pull the zipper up if you want to make the pocket tighter, or store loose items inside and close the pocket completely. 

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack adjustability and comfort

No matter how much you pack into Targus’ Legend IQ Backpack, it’s comfortable to wear — even for hours — thanks to its padded mesh back panel. This mesh panel increases airflow and puts space between your back and the heavy items inside the backpack. The shoulder straps are also decked out with breathable padded mesh that feels soft against bare skin.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack review

(Image credit: Future)

Like many backpacks, the Legend IQ can be raised or lowered on your back using the adjustable shoulder straps. To position the bag higher on your back, you have to pull down on the shoulder strap tails. If you need the bag to be lower on your back, you can pull up on the plastic strap clips until it’s in the right spot.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack special features

One of the most notable features of the Legend IQ Backpack is how much attention to detail there is in every pocket. The side pockets are expandable to accommodate items of any size, the spaces for your sunglasses or a tablet are fleece-lined to prevent scratches, and the many built-in pockets help keep your little stuff tucked away.

Targus Legend IQ Laptop Backpack review

(Image credit: Future)

There’s also a special media pocket at the top of the backpack with a built-in cord and a headphone jack built into the shoulder strap. You can put your smartphone or an MP3 player in the media pocket, connect it to the built-in cord, and then plug your wired headphones or earbuds into the headphone jack on the right shoulder strap.

Bottom line

The Targus Legend IQ Backpack is the perfect option for anyone who needs a lot of storage for little things, whether you use the backpack for work, school, hobbies, travel, or all of the above. There are dedicated pockets for your smartphone, laptop, tablet, sunglasses, and water bottles, as well as plenty of open storage for everything else. For the right person, the high number of zipper compartments and slip pockets are the perfect way to stay organized.

If you intend to use your laptop backpack for a single use or you don’t need that many compartments, this backpack could feel overwhelming. Or you could just temporarily ignore the pockets you don’t need until you find a use for them and still benefit from this backpack’s durable fabric and comfortable padded mesh back panel and shoulder straps.