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WaterField’s slim $180 Tech Folio will convert messenger bag haters

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I’ve never fully got on board with the idea of a laptop sleeve – you know, those envelopes that you can slide your laptop into and carry just that. It has no handles, offers little protection, and doesn’t have room for anything else. That’s a difficult trade-off for sleekness, and so I grudgingly lug around a larger messenger bag.

San Francisco’s WaterField Designs might have just hit on the best of both worlds. Its new Tech Folio fits most laptops up to 16 inches, as well as a bunch of accessories, and can be carried in hand or on your person with a comfy strap — all while maintaining a slim, discreet profile.

Design

WaterField’s design language features materials like full grain leather and waxed canvas that weather naturally and develop their own distinctive patinas. After owning several pieces of luggage made of common synthetic fabrics, I’m glad to see options like these which can age gracefully.

Unlike many messenger bags, the Tech Folio maintains a slim profile
Credit: Abhimanyu Ghoshal / TNW
Unlike many messenger bags, the Tech Folio maintains a slim profile

With that in mind, I asked WaterField to send over the brown waxed canvas option with chocolate leather and black hardware; you can also opt for black ballistic nylon with leather accents. I love how this looks sophisticated, yet rugged thanks to the prominently textured materials.

Features

The Tech Folio looks deceptively slim; it’s actually roomy enough to fit a 16-inch MacBook Pro, as well as its charger and several other accessories and stationery.

As I mentioned before, that’s been my gripe with sleeves and small bags. Sure, most modern laptops can last a whole workday and let you leave your charger at home, but I hate having to multitask without a mouse. I also carry other gear like headphones and external hard drives when I travel, and I’m happy to report you can fit a bunch of small items like these in the front pocket.

Like WaterField’s other bags, the Tech Folio features a bright gold-orange interior liner that makes it easy to spot your gear easily as soon as you open the two compartments.

The Tech Folio's front compartment can store small gadgets like earbuds and a Kindle, or even your laptop's charging brick
Credit: Abhimanyu Ghoshal / TNW
The Tech Folio’s front compartment can store small gadgets like earbuds and a Kindle, or even your laptop’s charging brick

There are several little pockets in both compartments to hold your stuff in place — pens, flash drives, and cables, for example. The main compartment, which opens flat for easy packing and unpacking, has a padded laptop pocket, large mesh pockets so you can see what’s stashed inside, and a couple of padded pockets for delicate items you don’t want scratched up.

The Tech Folio's main compartment has mesh pockets so you can see where your smaller items are
Credit: Abhimanyu Ghoshal / TNW
The Tech Folio’s main compartment has mesh pockets so you can see where your smaller items are

I had little trouble packing enough gear for a full day’s work, including an HP Envy 15 and its paperback-sized power brick, wireless earbuds, a USB-C cable to juice up my phone. And although there isn’t a dedicated pocket for it, I was fine stashing my iPad Air with a front cover on it in the main compartment along with the laptop.

Using the Tech Folio

It’s rather strange reviewing a bag when you can’t go anywhere. Thanks, coronavirus. Still, I do visit family and a couple of friends occasionally, and work out of their homes — and those little outings will have to make do in replicating commutes to my co-working space.

The interiors include well padded pockets and a bright liner that makes it easy to spot small items
Credit: Abhimanyu Ghoshal / TNW
The interiors include well padded pockets and a bright liner that makes it easy to spot small items

The Tech Folio works great in this regard; I don’t have to leave anything I actually need behind at home, and I’m glad to be able to carry my stuff in a sleek, grown-up bag. The shoulder strap has soft padding that makes it easy to wear across my chest, and I like the option of ditching the entire strap if I’m taking a cab and can simply carry the Folio with its grab handle. And not that I have any flights to catch soon, but if I did, I could slip the Folio’s passthrough strap over my suitcase’s trolley handle and drop the weight off my shoulder.

Who is the Tech Folio for?

The Tech Folio is really a gear case disguised as a bag, and its clever design allows it to work well in a variety of situations, whether you’re traveling, commuting, or just storing your gadgets carefully.

The Tech Folio features high quality hardware and materials throughout the bag
Credit: Abhimanyu Ghoshal / TNW
The Tech Folio features high quality hardware and materials throughout the bag

It’s also a tasteful design that thankfully doesn’t scream ‘tech.’ The Folio is discreet enough to not draw too much attention, but there are also neat details to appreciate when you get a closer look. And with its slim profile, it brings most of the benefits of a practical messenger bag, without all the bulk.

At $180, the Tech Folio isn’t cheap. But for that price, you get premium materials, and excellent construction and finish in a Made-in-America product. If you’ve tried other popular backpacks and messenger bags and haven’t liked their looks or construction — like the ones favored by The Wirecutter, and The Strategist — this is certainly worth a look.

Find the Tech Folio over on WaterField Designs’ site at $179. The company also makes two smaller (and cheaper) models suitable for devices measuring up to 11 inches, and 13 inches.

For more gear, gadget, and hardware news and reviews, follow Plugged on Twitter and Flipboard.

Published October 14, 2020 — 11:04 UTC

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Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

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That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

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Grab this offer while it’s still around!


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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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