On Our Desk - 13

Written by Joe Martin

September 18, 2008 | 08:23

Tags: #avatar #microsd #mouse #on-our-desk

Companies: #akasa #bit-tech #nzxt #pny

Nova Gaming Pro-Gamer B4L

Manufacturer: Nova Gaming
UK Price (as reviewed): £54.99 (inc. Delivery)
US Price (as reviewed): $63.59 (ex. Tax)

Next up on the list is the second item that Nova Gaming sent through to us; a rucksack designed for LAN gamers to cart all their gear around in. It isn’t often that we get to review fashion accessories like this, so we leapt at this opportunity too as if it were vaguely challenging and we could use it as a spring-board to start writing for Marie Claire and Vogue.

The Pro-Gamer B4L is a pretty decent idea really and as any regular LAN gamer will attest, it can be a bit frustrating to shove all your bits and bobs loose into a box when heading out for a tournament. PCs and monitors can be securely boxed away in the boot, but keyboards, mice, mousemats, speakers and games are a bit more fiddly.

The B4L then, or LAN-Bag as we’ve taken to calling it since it’s just a far, far better name, is a solution to this problem.

On Our Desk 13 On Our Desk - Nova Gaming Pro-Gamer B4L Bag On Our Desk 13 On Our Desk - Nova Gaming Pro-Gamer B4L Bag

The inside of the bag is sectioned into more areas than we could ever possibly count (there are ten; Joe can't count that high - Ed) and has a stiff central divide that runs down the centre of the main pocket. The various inner pockets of the compartment come in various times and will have all your storage needs covered; there are Velcro-sealed areas for keeping USB keys and cables, long flat pockets for storing manuals and more cables and smaller sections for mice and CDs.

The unusually long shape of the bag meanwhile is built around the fact that central area in the main pocket can be used to carry a keyboard, with a divider separating it from all the other things you might want to carry – caffeine pills and junk food, we’re guessing. This entire pack pocket opens up fully too, so the whole bag can be split in two.

The back of the bag meanwhile is nicely padded so all those gadgets aren’t going to crush your spine quicker than World of Warcraft can crush your will to venture outside, and there’s a front pocket which has room for wallets, pens, screwdrivers and hamsters. A hamster is a vital piece of any LAN gamers arsenal.

To make sure the bag is easy to cart around there’s a few different carrying options, including a hanging strap, side handle and the cross-torso clip belt which, while comfortable at first, does tend to undercut the man-boob after a while. It isn’t that that’s uncomfy either – lift and separate – it’s just little bit repulsive to look at. Maybe we need more time on Wii Fit.

On Our Desk 13 On Our Desk - Nova Gaming Pro-Gamer B4L Bag

All in all then, it’s looking good for the B4L LAN-Bag and having used it for the last fortnight as my daily carry bag I have to say I’m pretty impressed with it, especially since you can open it up completely and therefore never have to rummage through it for anything.

That said, there are a few problems with the bag which may put you off. Firstly, it’s got Nova Gaming branding slapped on the reverse which, while very good for Nova Gaming’s marketing people, isn’t going to exactly benefit your street cred. Then again, neither will using pseudo-cool phrases like ‘street cred’.

The bag isn’t exceptionally well put together either and within the first day of using it we already got our first tear, which makes the excessive price a bit more of an issue. There’s a little Velcro pouch you can attach to the cross-torso strap to carry your mobile phone in included with the B4L and we were dutifully testing this out when the weight of it ripped the stitches out of the strap it was supposed to attach too.

Since then though, the B4L hasn’t let us down and although it is admittedly a fairly nice product and perhaps not something you’d always use, it’s well suited to the intended task and a capable day-to-day rucksack.

Verdict: A bit geeky even for us, but a decently sized rucksack with plenty of storage – just be warned how prohibitively expensive it is!
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