By Ryan Noik 25 August 2011


There is a peculiar dilemma that comes with a large desktop replacement or gaming notebook. Despite being a notebook, transportability is not always easy, and the machine typically weighs a fair amount on its own. The answer of course is an appropriately sized notebook case, and the Targus XXL Clamshell notebook case is certainly that.


From a design perspective, the all black case, which can accommodate up to 20” notebooks, resembles a small to medium suitcase. With dimensions of 510 mm x 440 mm x 60 mm and weighing 1.9 kg on its own, the case is neither small nor light. Like the smaller Targus A7 notebook bag slipcase, the Targus XXL is made of nylon and feels reassuringly firm to the touch and solid in design.   

However, when stowing a monster notebook gaming rig, such as the Asus G74Sx, which weighs 4.28 kg , the Targus XXL Clamshell notebook case’s purpose becomes apparent. The clamshell design enabled us to open it fully, and the case interior is well padded for much needed protection. Additionally, a sturdy and suitably wide strap enabled us to secure our notebook quite firmly in the main compartment, while Velcro dividers were also provided to customise the interior space to fit our notebook. The case then has a second, equally as large zippered compartment, which fit our power supply and mouse quite ably, with plenty of room left to spare.  

Carrying on...

Most importantly, the case’s handle is solid hard plastic with rubber grooves where one’s fingers grasp it. The handle itself also swivels slightly in its hard plastic brackets. These two aspects are possibly in our opinion the most important features of the case. Combined, they make holding and carrying the case as comfortable as transporting large computing equipment could possibly be, as the handle neither bit into our fingers nor remained so rigid as to prevent the natural movement of our wrist.  In fact, transporting our desktop replacement notebook on the Gautrain proved to be far less tiresome than we would have thought.  

While the case does come with a detachable padded strap, we wouldn’t recommend trying to slip the Targus XXL over a shoulder, not for any deficiencies on the strap’s part, but rather, for the strain placed on one side of the body by a large, heavy desktop replacement notebook and the uneven distribution of weight, which proved to be quite uncomfortable.

Pocket to me...

The interior of the lid has small four pockets, two of which can be closed with Velcro. This is accompanied by two spacious external compartments, presumably for whatever other peripherals or odds and ends you may wish to transport with your notebook. The one small touch we would have hoped to have seen which wasn’t present was the ability to lock all the zippered compartments. While the zippers for the main compartment can be locked, unfortunately, the zippers for the secondary compartment do not cater for this.


The  Targus XXL clamshell case is everything it says it is. It is large and solidly made but proved to ably carry and protect our large desktop replacement notebook. Its handle provided a particularly notable degree of comfort when carrying, while its plentiful compartments and pockets should cater to whatever accessories one needs to accompany one’s notebook.Despite not allowing for locking of all its compartments, it nonetheless left us feeling that our precious cargo was securely protected. It has a RRP of R899.


Comfortable handle
Customisable interior spacing
Roomy extra compartments


Not all zips can be locked


Comfortable handle, Customisable interior spacing, Roomy extra compartments
Not all zips can be locked

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