Australian bag and case maker STM used CES to show off a variety of new laptop- and tablet-ready backpacks, as well as a couple of new iPad cases that will be coming to the iPad Air and mini in the very near future. The company’s prior canvas/denim-like material is transitioning in bags to a fabric that feels noticeably softer while remaining impressively resilient during normal use. Cases are similarly moving from fabric to a synthetic fabric-like material that’s more plasticky in texture.
Drifter is just one of several new backpacks and bags STM is showing off — a large multi-compartment laptop, tablet, and small electronics bag with several really nice touches.
Zippered compartments are designed to hold pretty much everything you might want on a trip or work commute, with twin side pockets that can hold water bottles or small items; a really smart inner band between the arm straps lets it attach to a suitcase handle for easier carrying in an airport. Several other bags in the series share the same aesthetics but with different sizes; they include new clasps that use handsome metal to look cool and sturdy plastic to stay reliably shut.
Dux ($50) is a new iPad case designed for Apple’s push into the education market, combining a folio-style lid design with the sort of significant iPad corner and button protection we’d expect from a heavy-duty playthough case. A clear rear panel lets kids place stickers or photos on the backs of their iPads; business users could insert a business card or other branding element inside.
Dux has a magnetic tab-closure lid that doubles back on the rear frame to form stand positions. The tab is large, but works well, and is superior to the fabric tabs STM uses on other iPad folio cases. The version of Dux we saw was for the iPad 2/3rd/4th-Gen, but Air and mini versions are coming soon.
Skinny Pro ($40) is a sequel to the company’s prior thin folio case, with the same basic look and fabric lid/plastic shell concept.