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Review: Carry Your Mac, iPhone And iPad In KNOMO's Slim Satchel Briefcase

Review: Carry Your Mac, iPhone And iPad In KNOMO's Slim Satchel Briefcase

December 8, 2013
Company: KNOMO Product: Padstow Price: $179.00 Compatibility: 13-inch laptops, all iDevices Website: Date: Dec. 8, 2013 KNOMO has a bunch of great-looking iDevice-compatible accessories available to purchase online, and already we've been able to go hands-on with one product: the iPad Air Premium Folio. In our latest review, however, we take a closer look at Padstow, KNOMO's “slim satchel briefcase,” which allows users to carry a laptop, iPhone, iPad, and all their cables and cords around in a stylish cotton canvas bag.

The Product

KNOMO's Padstow is one of the company's bags for men, but there are plenty of similar offerings designed for women. The case itself is a satchel-style bag featuring a leather handle, a strap for over-the-shoulder carrying, and two metal and leather clips which allow users to secure Padstow's cover. Inside (and even on the outside, too), there are a number of pockets designed for different sized products; using the case, it's possible to easily carry a laptop, iPhone, iPad, and all of your related cables, cords, and accessories around, without Padstow bulking out. First, as with KNOMO's Premium iPad Air Folio, the design of Padstow is exceptional and the bag is definitely a stylish, fashionable item. Too often laptop and tablet bags offer protection at the expense of appearance, but with Padstow all of the important bases are covered. Plus, besides looking good, KNOMO's satchel also feels well-made, too, and the quality of the materials used seems to be high. There's a small “KNOMO” logo on the front of the case, which is etched onto a piece of metal; a leather handle allows users to carry Padstow like a conventional briefcase, or a fabric strap allows for over-the-shoulder carrying (this can be detached, however, if you're only interested in using Padstow as a briefcase). Further round at the back of the case is a “snap button” pocket that allows for quick and easy access to one single enclosure. You can secure Padstow by bringing its cover round in order for its two metallic frames to appear through the spaces reserved for each, and looping the case's leather straps through. This system allows users to open and secure the case easily (since the metallic frames appear to be magnetized), but at the same time it ensures that Padstow's cover isn't going to accidentally fall open, for example. Plus, unlike some of KNOMO's other products, this case has two leather straps securing the cover shut, which is much better than having just the one fastening. On the inside, Padstow offers a “MyKNOMO” code that's stitched into the inside cover; much like its iPad Air Premium Folio, this allows users to register a unique identifier with KNOMO in the hope that a lost folio or bag could be returned using the manufacturer's service. Padstow offers users a total of 10 different compartments, and it's in this respect that the case really shines as a product. Because besides being attractive, lightweight, and made of high quality materials, Padstow is also an incredibly functional case. The first compartment can house a laptop of up to around 13-inches in size. I've been testing Padstow alongside my 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display, and the fit is snug - but not too tight - which is ideal. Unlike Cabana Origin, which we reviewed last month, there's no extra room for a 13-inch laptop to slide around in Padstow. This compartment is padded, meaning that it would protect the enclosed computer from a fall if its owner happened to drop the case; a soft fabric lining also means that this compartment won't scratch or harm your laptop in any way. KNOMO notes that the dimensions of this space are 11-inches by 14-inches by 2.75-inches. Next to the laptop compartment are three pockets. One fits the width of Apple's iPhone perfectly, and I've found that another happens to fit RAVPower's Power Bank, making it possible for users to set their smartphone off charging while on the move, as you can see in the below image. The third pocket is much bigger than the other two (it's possible that their sizes are in the ratio 1:2:4), and from the look of it, I'd expect this case to accommodate an iPad mini. Mirroring Padstow's laptop compartment and these three pockets is another compartment of similar size to the dedicated laptop space, but which is unpadded. You can store miscellaneous items in here, perhaps, but I've been using it to carry my case-equipped iPad Air. Because this compartment is at the heart of Padstow, a degree of protection is offered even though the space isn't padded. Besides a 9.7-inch tablet, there's plenty of room for other items, too. On the other side of this compartment, opposite the iPhone pocket, are four further pockets; two are pen-sized, and two are bigger. In one, I house a microfiber cloth, which I use to clean the screens of my MacBook and iDevices while on the go, but you could store anything in these spaces, of course. Padstow's last “interior” pocket appears on the outside of the case when its cover is open, but when the cover is closed it is protected and hidden from view; it's the same width as the two larger compartments outlined above, but it's not quite as deep. This is a great place to store items such as cables, cords, a laptop mouse (if you use one), and other such items. After having used Padstow for a couple of weeks, I'm pleased with the product. The only qualm at hand is that there's no dedicated space for a 9.7-inch iPad; if a couple of those interior pockets were switched into an iPad Air compartment, Padstow would be perfect. But this is something I can easily live without, and as noted above, there is more than enough space in the case for your iPad Air to be stored elsewhere.

What's Hot

  • It looks great
  • It feels well-made
  • It is easy to secure the case's cover
  • It can be used as a briefcase or carry case
  • There are a total of 11 compartments (10 on the inside)
  • The laptop compartment offers a safe space for the computer
  • There is a dedicated iPhone compartment

What's Not

  • There is no dedicated compartment for Apple's 9.7-inch iPad

Our Advice

If you have the cash, KNOMO's Padstow is a great satchel-style briefcase that will protect your enclosed items while offering an attractive exterior. There's room for everything - even if the iPad Air doesn't have a dedicated compartment of its own - and the protection it'll offer an enclosed laptop is particularly good. This is a great product and we'd certainly recommend it to our readers.


Aesthetic Appeal: ★★★★★ Wow Factor: ★★★★☆ Build Quality: ★★★★★ Value: ★★★★★ Buy Now: $179.00 from KNOMO

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