Review Belkin CushTop, Laptop Hideaway and various cases

Felix Sold, 07/06/2010

"Laptop@home"? No problem for Belkin. The California firm best known for accessories of all shapes and sizes presents not only traditional notebook cases and sleeves but also special solutions for the storage and use of a net- or notebook at home. We took a closer look at five different products currently on offer.

We test five Belkin products for current net-and notebooks.
We test five Belkin products for current net-and notebooks.

There are thousands of storage possibilities available for mobile terminals as well as both useful and redundant accessories. Belkin has provided us with five products out of their current portfolio, each of which we will test to see if they are a worthy purchase.

Our candidates for the test include a slick 10.1-inch envelope for current netbooks, a laptop sleeve, a large courier bag, the Belkin CushTop for using your notebook on the sofa or when in bed and the Laptop Hideaway for notebook storage with many accessories.

Belkin CushTop - Die perfekte Lösung für das Bett oder Sofa von Net- bis Notebook

We recommend the Belkin CushTop as a useful accessory.

Couch Potato. How many of you haven't had this problem: you have brought your notebook with you to use on the sofa or while in bed and you set it on your lap or a soft pillow. In both situations this is not only uncomfortable but also rather unstable. Belkin has developed the CushTop, a stiff subsurface in the form of a flattened roll. Thanks to the firm material the net- or notebook remains stable, hot waste heat does not build up and the ergonomics hold true. On the upper side, users will find that there is room for devices up to fifteen inches in size. For users of larger notebooks, all you have to do is turn it over since the underside surface is properly dimensioned for 17-inch devices.

The design is very slick and looks very modern thanks to the material and form. The surface, made of a strained microfiber is easy to clean. The inside of the stand has enough room for the AC adapter, a mouse and other odds and ends. Belkin offers the CushTop in three color variants (chocolate/tourmaline, dove-gray/tarragon and silver-gray/rust-orange).

The accessory weighs only 740 grams, letting your thighs rest easy during use. Such a light weight is due to, among other things, the premium cushion material used on the inside; the workmanship of the CushTop is flawless and convinces with ease. A price of 29.99 Euro (MSRP, Price comparisons starting at around 15 Euro) we think is appropriate, since one receives a practical tool for everyday use and the design is certainly robust and well-executed. On these grounds, we give the Belkin CushTop a high recommendation.

A further plus is the lifetime warranty on Belkin products. This guarantee includes both defects in craftsmanship as well as material. Defective products are exchanged by Belkin free of additional costs, as long as the defects were not caused by the customer.

The Belkin CushTop is ideal for the sofa or bed.
The inside has room for an AC adapter as well as a small USB mouse.
The CushTop weighs, thanks to premium materials, ...
... only 740 grams and is quite robust.
The upper surface has sufficient room for devices up to 15-inches.
The under side is sized accordingly for 17-inch notebooks. A smaller device and an external mouse would also fit here.

Belkin Laptop Hideaway - Die übergroße Notebook-Handtasche mit Platz für Zubehör

Retro-designed storage. The Laptop Hideaway is a large bag with a carrying handle that is designed to carry laptops and their accessories. The design of the Laptop Hideaway is very modern and is available in two different color variants (chocolate/tourmaline and dove-gray/tarragon) which appear very dignified, even if the design looks quite akin to grandma's magazine rack. As was the case with the CushTop, the Laptop Hideaway is finished in a modern microfiber that is easy to clean with a damp cloth. The inside is softly lined and protects both devices and accessories from scratches and other damage.

In our test we were able to fit a MacBook Pro with a 13.3-inch screen, the AC adapter, a wireless mouse and an external DVD-drive and we still had a lot more room. The bag weighs around 1.7 kg with outer dimensions of 43 x 13 x 37 centimeters (WxLxH). The slot for notebooks is suitable for 15.4-inch models in a wide-screen format and the inner dimensions measure 37 x 6 x 26 centimeters (WxLxH). For 49.99 Euro (MSRP, price comparisons starting around 22 Euro) one gets a clever storage solution with a firm stand that can be utilized next to the bed, sofa or office chair. For those on the move, this solution isn't one to consider.

The Belkin Laptop Hideaway has storage space in spades.
The design is strongly reminiscent of grandma's magazine stand.
The second half has ample room for accessories.
A high weight guarantees a stable stand.
Our MacBook Pro (13.3-inch) was right at home.
The premium microfiber is very convincing.

Belkin Courier Bag, Laptop Sleeve and Netbook Envelope - Taschen für Jedermann

For large and small. The Courier bag from Belkin is probably the most spacious standard bag available for a notebook. Our test model is sized for 15.4-inch notebooks, though a larger model for 17-inch displays is also available from Belkin.

The bag features many small and large pockets as well as insertions on the inside and out for accessories as well as office and school materials. The pocket for the notebook is lined with soft padding which should protect the laptop well. The craftsmanship of the material and the entire bag is quite good; it is available from Belkin for 39.99 Euro (MSRP, price comparison starting at 17 Euro) in four different colors.

The Belkin Laptop Sleeve is an entry-level notebook case. The shell is finished in neoprene both in and out making it very softly lined. This combination makes possible a both effective and cheap form of protection; the workmanship is good and the haptics are comfortable. For 24.99 Euro (MSRP, price comparison from 12 Euro) one gets a simple though high quality product.

The last product in this short test report is a notebook shell made out of fancy artificial leather. The design is very chic and is further pepped up by the gray seams. On the inside the case is lined with soft plush. Space for the AC adapter or other pockets for accessories are not part of the package here: just the notebook has room. Our test model was suitable for netbooks with a maximum 10.2-inch screen size. For 24.99 Euro (MSRP, price comparison starting at 15 Euro) one gets a high-class yet very chic protective netbook case that would blend in perfectly at the office.

The courier bag in our test report is a spacious solution.
The Notebook Sleeve is a very simple but secure solution.
Small yet very slick: the Notebook Envelope from Belkin.
There are numerous pockets and slots.
Naturally a shoulder strap is included.
The sleeve is thin and elegant.
Both inside and outside are finished in Neoprene.
Artificial leather and a soft interior lining are convincing ...
... plus, devices with displays up to 10.2-inches can fit snugly.
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Author: Felix Sold, 2010-07- 6 (Update: 2012-05-26)