Iâ€™ve always been a fan of the Fusion line of music instrument bags since they first came out in the US several years ago. Now their new Micro Workstation Bag (AKA iPad Bag) is set to make me a fan once again. Read on for the full video review and to find out why this might be just the right iPad bag for you.
- Very well padded
- Easy to use zip out iPad/netbook pouch
- Lots of storage space
- Three different ways to carry it (shoulder strap, handbag, or backpack style)
- iPad sleeve unzips/converts to be used as a separate bag
- Using the sleeve as an iPad stand doesn't work very well
- Heavy: The bag alone weighs three pounds without anything in it
I was one of the first people in the United States to get ahold of some of Fusion's instrument gig bags a year or two ago and I continue to use them daily to carry around all of my instruments between the four elementary schools that I teach beginning band at. The Fusion gig bags are awesome, and their features allowed me to go from carrying five instrument cases down to just two so I was really interested in seeing what they have here in their new Micro Workstation Bag. When you go online to look for this you have to search for it exactly as that, the Fusion Micro Workstation Bag, but a lot of the literature on Fusion's web site touts it as an iPad bag and that is how I did the review on it here. Just remember that you can easily use this same bag for any small laptop computer up to 10.5 inches in size. The first thing that I notice here is that this is a very solidly built little bag. In fact, it's hard not to notice how solid it is because the thing weighs 3 pounds all by itself. Now inside that three pound case you get a lot of protection for your netbook or iPad. In fact, just in looking at this I wouldn' be worried about dropping this thing from shoulder height at all because it really is that well padded
Inside the sleeve there are not only the padded surfaces but you can also feel a harder, plastic shield inside the fabric that will provide even more protection against impacts and damage to the glass of your iPad. The reason for that extra rigidity and protection is because the sleeve itself is removable. Not only do you get a very well padded outer bag but you also get a zip out inner sleeve that can be carried around all by itself just by snapping on the included arm strap. On the downside though, one of the things that Fusion is touting about this design on the sleeve is that it can be opened up and folded down to provide an angled surface for the iPad to sit on to watch a movie or something of that nature. In my testing this just doesn't work. The fabric is too slick and no matter how I had the thing set up it just wouldn't stay.
There are several other features of the bag are worth mentioning though and that definitely pump the value up a little bit. First, it has lots of storage pockets. Theres a lot of slots for small items, power supplies, recharging cables, pens, pencils, and other odds and ends. There are also a couple of zippered pockets for holding small items like paperclips and other things. But Fusion also gives you a little bonus with the purchase of this bag. Since Fusion is primarily in the market of instrument gig bags they give you a little battery powered stand light in the bag when you buy it. It also comes with a USB power cord so that you can power it off of your netbook if you need to. Kind of a little gimicky maybe but it is a nice bright little two bulb stand light.
Overall I have to say that the Fusion Micro Workstation bag is a very nice addition to the Fusion lineup that provides you with a lot of storage space and almost unheard of padding to keep your iPad safe from accidental damage while it is inside it. On the down side it's a little heavy, and I was honestly kind of dissapointed to see that Fusion didn't include it's special Fuse-on velcro strapping on the sides of it. The nice thing about the Fusion instrument gig bags is that they can litterally velcro together to turn two bags into one. The micro workstation bag doesn't have that feature, but it is still a really nice bag and one that you should definitely take a look at if you are in the market for a new iPad or netbook bag for heavy duty use. By the way, it does come in other colors not just this wonderful lime green thing. You can also get it in orange black, and blue to match your style or your other Fusion bags.
Finding the bags in local retailers is a little challenging. They are very popular overseas but in the US only a handful of stores carry them right now. For a full list of places you can buy the Fusion Micro Workstation Bag check out their list of vendors over at the Fusion-Bags web site.