Review: Jill-e Designs E-GO Tablet Messenger
The second iPad-compatible bag we've received from Jill-e Designs is E-GO Tablet Messenger ($189), and it's closer to a purse than E-GO Metro Tablet Bag. Although it comes at a $60 premium, there are some obvious advantages to this model: not only is it larger and equipped with more pockets, the overall quality is noticeably better. For some reason -- possibly for gifting or retail storage purposes -- Jill-e ships the purse with a very large canvas bag folded up inside, but it's not something you'll need when using E-GO Tablet Messenger.
Measuring 12” long, 4” deep, and 9.5” tall, Tablet Messenger has a number of pockets both inside and out. Starting at the front, right underneath the magnetic-snap equipped flap, there’s a large pocket that’s well suited for accessories. Open up the zipper at the top of the bag and you’ll find dedicated pockets for a tablet, e-reader, phone, two pens or styluses, as well as another zippered pouch. While the tablet holder isn’t specifically sized for any one generation of iPad, it’s padded and has a Velcro strap that holds it in place. Finally, there’s a shallow cavity on the back, held shut with a zipper. In addition to all those pockets, an ID holder is included on a leather tether.
The overall quality of the bag is very high. Jill-e seems to have used the same leather for both the body of the bag and the shoulder strap as it did on Metro Tablet Bag. We previously described the material as “textured and supple,” which continues to be true; the inclusion of metal accents, including four feet on the bottom of the bag that allow it to stand upright, is also appreciated. We did find a bit of dried glue on one of the zipper pulls that detracted a little from the overall appeal, but it wasn’t a deal breaker. Jill-e uses the same fabric to line the interior of the bag as with its previous bag, however, everything looks to have been more cleanly assembled, with fewer rough edges.
E-GO Tablet Messenger is not for everyone, but that’s solely because of its feminine-leaning design; the quality and and functionality are pretty impressive. Women who prefer classic leather purses and want an option with tablet compatibility will likely be impressed, so while the price strikes us as somewhat high, it’s not crazy given the materials here, particularly in comparison to the purse market as a whole. With all this in mind, E-GO Tablet Messenger earns a strong general recommendation.