Amal Clooney is an international human rights lawyer. She is also the proud owner of a handbag designed in her name: let us introduce to you, the Amal, by Ballin. It's neat when an Italian leather brand, established more than 70 years ago, wants to design a handbag to suit your every whim. The vital stats of her handbag (29cm x 26cm x 20cm), if you're curious, indicate to us that Amal does all her incredible work from the screen of a smallish Mac Book Air. Obviously, we are just taking a punt on that one; but anything larger would protrude from its softly structured proportions.
If you don't have a handbag designed in your name, then let us soothe the pain of having to turn to the mass market. Because it's an important decision, choosing how you'll schlep your computer to and from home on a twice daily basis. Laptops are lightweight until you've been carrying them around all day long; trust us, you're talking to two expert laptop luggers here.
Having done our research, we conclude that in the main, brands whose sole purpose is create a vestibule for your laptop, under the loose heading of handbag, usually slack on style. These bags, with all their internal compartments, are just a bit too prescriptive - and practical - to have any space left for individuality, good looks or credibility.
When it comes to handbags that work at work, substance and style are not two mutually exclusive concepts. There are handbags, we've found five here, that will happily accommodate your laptop and will also look rocking brushed up against a pair of culottes.
Having said that, when you consider that this one, for work, will probably spend its mornings and evenings dumped on an Underground carriage and the rest of the day being kicked at underneath your desk, we don't think that you should drop too much money in its direction.
With this is mind, we've stuck (just) to a budget. Ok, hands above our heads, there is one corker in our edit; it's by Pierre Hardy and it stretches the notion of affordable to its absolute limits. The bag comes in at £595. But other than the Hardy, we've hovered around the not-eye-watering £200 mark. For the record, Amal's costs €970, which all things considered isn't too bad for a bespoke, handmade leather number. Unfortunately, most of us aren't Amal....