Build Quality, Use and Conclusion
The Slappa Ballistix Aura Pro-Tour Backpack is a gear-lovers dream system for porting your equipment around town or across the country. Made of 1680-D ballistic nylon, this bag is not only tough - it's virtually water- and tear-proof. Available in both black and brown (our sample), the bag appears as a rugged backpack - but with more than a few compartments with which to store your equipment and accessories.
The padded laptop area is almost hidden behind the font compartments. Every padded section has ample protection, but the laptop padding benefits from being located between the removable gear bag and the front pockets. This makes your laptop almost indestructible once placed inside. While I didn't personally try it - I was pretty sure a 15-inch laptop could withstand a tumble down a lengthy flight of stairs.
This bag has it where it counts, with a top-loading removable storage
system, padded laptop storage, comfortable shoulder straps and enough
mini compartments to carry all the accessories in the known universe...
OK, maybe only half of all known accessories. The bottom line is that you can store a TON of equipment. Right out of the box, the storage system can support a full-size DSLR camera and ten additional lenses or other devices. Of course, you can rearrange the pockets by adjusting the hook and loop system to accommodate just about any set of devices.
If you're not using an SLR camera, you can always opt to remove the inner bag and simply stuff the backpack with clothing or other gear as needed. There is a lot of storage provided (Slappa claims 1700 cubic inches) so you're certain not to run out of room for small trips. The bag is also carry-on friendly, so it will fit into the overhead of any current airline.
The Ballistix Aura Pro-Tour Backpack is a very "wearable" backpack and we found the shoulder straps to be comfortable, even when fully loaded with a DSLR kit, laptop and MP3 player accessories. The integrated chest strap helped to increase comfort by maintaining the correct positioning of the shoulder straps and distributing the weight across the chest. One of the few downsides is that since the bag is rather short, there is no waist strap to offload weight to the hips, as with larger style backpacks and waist belts.
With a 1 year manufacturer's extended warranty and more padding than a dog trainer, the Slappa Ballistix Auro Pro-Tour Laptop + Gear backpack is a sure-fire winner for those who don't like the extra heft of roller luggage but still want a convenient way to bring along their digital gadgets wherever they go. This laptop is one of the better thought-out solutions I've seen in terms of pockets and storage - there really is a place for everything, including power supplies, cables and even switchers or routers. For $129.99 this should be on every gadget-lover's short list. Incidentally, our readers can take advantage of 10% off using discount code "audioholics".
The Score Card
The scoring below is based on each piece of equipment doing the duty it is designed for. The numbers are weighed heavily with respect to the individual cost of each unit, thus giving a rating roughly equal to:
Performance × Price Factor/Value = Rating
Audioholics.com note: The ratings indicated below are based on subjective listening and objective testing of the product in question. The rating scale is based on performance/value ratio. If you notice better performing products in future reviews that have lower numbers in certain areas, be aware that the value factor is most likely the culprit. Other Audioholics reviewers may rate products solely based on performance, and each reviewer has his/her own system for ratings.
Audioholics Rating Scale
- — Excellent
- — Very Good
- — Good
- — Fair
- — Poor
|Ergonomics & Usability|
|Fit and Finish|
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