HANDS-ON: Jill-e Bennett leather satchel gives your MacBook Pro the stylish protection it deserves

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Bennet-Jill-e-bag-01.jpgCall me shallow if you like, but as much as I get excited by the internal specs of Apple’s MacBook Pro line, it’s the stunning exterior design that really grabs my attention. It’s a shame then that my Mac spends half the day travelling around in my battered old rucksack. If it had eyes it would weep tears of fashion faux-pas fury.

What it really deserves is a sharp-looking luxury bag like the Bennet from Jill-e Designs. Part of Jill-e’s “Jack by Jill-e Designs” line, the Bennet is available in either brown or black leather, and has been designed specifically with 15-inch MacBook Pro laptops in mind (though any slim-line 15-inch laptop – or smaller – will fit inside). We’ve been trekking around town with one for the past week or so and, though it’s pricey, think it may be pretty much the perfect messenger bag for the gadget-loving dandy.Bennet-Jill-e-bag-04.jpgMeasuring approximately 12″ x 4″ x 16″ and weighing 1.59 kg, it’s a beautifully finished bag, with exposed cream-coloured stich detailing complementing the brown version of the bag wonderfully, and chunky magnet-snapping chrome-finished clasps keeping the bag securely closed.

While there’s just the single zipped-pocket on the outer front of the bag, inside there’s a menagerie of storage slots, pockets and pouches. It’s clearly aimed at the Apple fanboy, with form-fitting pockets for an iPhone and iPad included alongside an inner zip-pocket, a card-holding wallet, a spectacles slot and stationary hooks. Again, despite the Apple-focus, you’ll be able to fit any number of smartphones or tablets into the designated pouches, alongside larger items in the wider open area in the centre of the bag. Bennet-Jill-e-bag-11.jpgInner padding is good – you’ll have no issues with items bumping around within the bag, with the separate pouches allowing for loose sharp items like keys to sit harmoniously alongside delicate scratch-attracting tech.

Jill-e also throw in a soft drawstring dust-cover bag too, if you’re looking to add another layer of protection in for your laptop. Handy if you’re carrying the crumbs from last week’s packed lunch around with you as well as your gizmos.Bennet-Jill-e-bag-09.jpgThe base of the bag however doesn’t have quite enough padding for my liking. Though I don’t thrown my bag around when it’s full of gadgetry, I do tend to let it drop from my shoulder a little haphazardly, especially if it’s heavily loaded and I’m looking to give my shoulder a break. Two subtly protruding “feet” on the bag’s base should offer a little protection from drops, but you’re still probably best off being careful with it. And though there’s an adjustable padded leather shoulder support, for the money it’d have been good to see the whole strap finished in leather.

Still, it’s a luxurious looking satchel, and one that’s packed full of useful gadget-storing pockets.

Available from the Apple Store, you can pick up the Jill-e Designs Bennet bag for £269.95. Scroll down for more pictures.
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Gerald Lynch