Since PC World's now selling more laptops than desktops, I'm guessing there are a lot of people trying to protect their precious from bumps and scratches. Most laptop bags are dull. Crumpler is one note-worthy exception but an even better one is Tread's new range made from recycled Colombian truck tyres - and I've managed to get my hands on the 15 inch MacBook Pro version. There are a load of pics, plus the good and the bad, right after the click-through.
There's a lot to like here. I won't recant the whole tyre history story but - simply by virtue of being made from recycled material - it's one of the most eco-friendly laptop bags I've laid eyes on. One thing the photos don't immediately show, though, is quite how funky the things are: the swooshing wave design etched onto the outside of my one is a handsome touch. Another thing the pictures don't tell is the smell. If you don't like the smell of rubber - call me a gimp, but I do - this laptop isn't for you.
Build quality and finish is sterling, from the well-fitted zip to the hidden stitches for the sides of the case. Inside's even better, with the softer red internal material acting to gently cushion your notebook of choice.
In use, the tyre material makes the case more rugged than most of the plastic ones I've tested before, plus the zip feels like it'd stand up to some serious wear and tear. One extra bonus of the tyre material is that it's what Tread describe as 'waterproof'. I'd call it splashproof. I briefly held it under a tap and the inside stayed toasty and dry, but I wouldn't want to try submerging it underwater: I doubt the zip would keep your beloved VAIO/Macbook safe.
If this sounds like a paean to Tread's new bag, that's because it is. There's very little to snipe about here, though if I had to nit-pick I'd ask for a small internal pouch or pocket in version two to hold documents or laptop accessories.
This 15 inch MacBook Pro version costs £60 direct from Tread's store. There are also PC notebook and iPod versions, as you'd expect from the company that brought the world the Solio.
[edit: I'm an idiot. I initially said I'd received the PC version. I hadn't. Tread sent me the MacBook one, so I've updated the article above accordingly).
Laptop, meet eco-friendly cork carry bag