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Last Updated on August 24, 2017

10 Best Laptop Backpacks for Everyday Carry

10 Best Laptop Backpacks for Everyday Carry

Living in the digital age, it’s no surprise that most of us need our laptops with us at all times.We go to business meetings with them. We go to lectures with them. And we even bring our laptop with us when we travel or go hiking. Given this, it’s important to have a backpack that you can use to keep your laptop safe at all times. (As well as helping to carry the essentials such as a mouse, power supply, etc.)

There are lots of backpacks available – so which one to choose?

Fortunately, the editorial team at Lifehack has hand-picked 10 of the very best laptop backpacks for you. Let’s take a look at them right now.

1. TYLT Powerbag Travel Battery Charging Backpack

    This hi-tech backpack features a USB charging hub for phones, laptops, tablets and portable electronics, and can charge up to three devices using a powerful built in rechargeable 10,400 mAh battery. The backpacks work with all USB charging cables for fast convenient recharging of virtually any cell phone or electronic device (two 1 Amp ports and one 2.1 Amp port). The backpack also offers cord routing anchors to organize cables.

    TYLT Powerbag Travel Battery Charging Backpack, $99.43

    2. Incase Icon Pack

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      The Incase Icon Pack features a huge number of individual pockets and organizational sections, designed to hold everything from pens to keys to tablets to headphones to smartphones. Handily, the backpack also stands up on its own, making access very easy. (This may not work if the backpack is overloaded and top heavy.) The laptop space is well padded with a plush lining, and once you’ve inserted your laptop – the bag still has plenty of space left. A nice touch is the different compartments the backpack offers for tablets, laptops and accessories.

      Incase Icon Pack, $153.15

      3. OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L

        A spacious backpack brimming with pockets and features. It’s great for hiking, travel, camping, and as carry-on luggage. This good-looking backpack includes a waterproof rain cover, a padded laptop compartment (15.6″) and plenty of room for all your equipment and accessories.

        OutdoorMaster Hiking Backpack 50L, $36.99

        4. ASUS Republic of Gamers Nomad v2 Backpack

          If you’re a keen gamer, then this backpack is designed especially for you. An internal suspension and padding system is designed to keep up to 17″ notebooks safe during travel. The backpack also includes tailored compartments for all other gaming hardware.

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          ASUS Republic of Gamers Nomad v2 Backpack, $169

          5. ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack From Lowepro

            This high-end backpack is aimed at amateur and professional photographers. As well as a section to house a laptop, there are also specially designed compartments to protect lens and cameras. (Fits 1-2 Pro DSLRs, one with up to 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached, 6 lenses/speed lights, 13″ laptop, tripod and accessories.)

            ProTactic 350 AW Camera Backpack From Lowepro, $149

            6. Booq Boa Squeeze

              As the image shows, this backpack has a unique turtle shell design, which helps to distribute the weight of the bag load better than most other backpacks. It also features ergonomic shoulder straps, which contour to all body types, and removable key fob and high-performance YKK® zippers.

              Booq Boa Squeeze, $129.95

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              7. Targus Drifter II Backpack for 17-Inch Laptop

                One of the main selling points of this backpack is its jumbo storage capacity. The largest compartment features a well-padded laptop sleeve that can hold a laptop up to 17″ in size. The backpack also offers shock-absorbing shoulder straps and thick padding on the back to help ease the burden of a full (and heavy) load.

                Targus Drifter II Backpack for 17-Inch Laptop, $61.07

                8. Lifepack Solar Powered and Anti-Theft Backpack with laptop storage

                  If you’re looking for a unique backpack – then look no further than this one! Firstly, the Lifepack offers a 3-in-1 powerbank, bluetooth speakers and a solar charger. In other words, you can charge your laptop, cell phone or tablet exclusively with solar power. In addition, the backpack also has an integrated retractable lock and built-in rain cover. We think this would be a great bag for city people or riders.

                  Lifepack Solar Powered and Anti-Theft Backpack with laptop storage, $199.99

                  9. NIID-UNO I Water Repellent Slim Laptop Backpack

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                    This ultra-stylish backpack has tons of storage space, which includes a smart organizing system with in-built USB charging port. The backpack is suitable for laptops up to 15.6″ in size. The exterior is made from durable eco-polyester with water repellent coating. Inside the bag, you’ll find three different types of interior panels specially designed for cameras, sports and art. The bag is ideal for city and nature walkers.

                    NIID-UNO I Water Repellent Slim Laptop Backpack, $79.99

                    10. AmazonBasics Backpack for Laptops Up To 17″

                      If your budget is the most important thing, then you should definitely consider this Amazon backpack. It has a huge storage space, and meets all the basic needs without being pricey. We think it’s great for people who just want a standard laptop backpack.

                      AmazonBasics Backpack for Laptops Up To 17″, $29.99

                      Hopefully, from the list above, you’ll be able to pick the perfect laptop backpack for your needs.

                      And please remember to check back with us regularly, as we’ll be providing other hardware recommendations that you won’t want to miss!

                      Featured photo credit: OutdoorMaster via amazon.com

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                      Brian Lee

                      Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

                      It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

                      Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

                      “You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

                      In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

                      New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

                      There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

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                      So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

                      What is the productivity paradox?

                      There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

                      In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

                      He wrote in his conclusion:

                      “Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

                      Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

                      How do we measure productivity anyway?

                      And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

                      In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

                      But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

                      In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

                      But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

                      Possible causes of the productivity paradox

                      Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

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                      • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
                      • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
                      • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
                      • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

                      There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

                      According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

                      Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

                      The paradox and the recession

                      The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

                      “Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

                      This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

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                      According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

                      Looking forward

                      A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

                      “Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

                      Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

                      “Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

                      On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

                      Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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