Underneath the flap, the first pocket is a mesh outer pocket suitable for pens and perhaps a calculator. Behind it is a more technical pocket, with a plethora of smaller pockets. To me, it screams "mobile office." There's a trio pen holders, as well as a hook for...things that need hooks, such as my Otter Box 1000. A mesh pocket complements the pockets (subpockets?) of that pocket.
The rear pocket is the main show-the reason to consider purchasing the Grove. There's a heavily-padded laptop slot with a Velcro strap to hold it in, as well as sufficient room for gadgets in front of the slot. In fact, there's enough room to fit a second laptop in there!
The Targus Grove is quite comfortable. I used it for approximately two weeks. I took it to class and to friends' places, using as both a backpack and a messenger bag. I preferred the backpack mode by far, simply because of the length of the pack. I carried my books and two laptops with me, so it was heavy, too. I don't carry a lot of stuff with me-I travel fairly lightly.
I dropped the pack a few times to see how it seemed to protect the contents. Things are fairly secure, but don't put too much faith in any pack.
I was comfortable the whole time I wore it. I used a messenger bag throughout most of undergrad, occasionally using a cheap American Tourister backpack when I had too many books for a little messenger bag. If I would have had this, I certainly could have used it all the time.
The Targus Grove Convertible Messenger/Backpack is a great idea and a solid execution thereof. I think some might not care for the coloring, but others might like it. I enjoy the rusty orange-Targus calls is "sedona"-but the olive green doesn't suit me. However, that's my personal preference and certainly not a measure of the product.
I fail to see why Targus didn't put the expandable pocket on both sides of the outside of the pack. It's an odd design decision, but I'm sure those who love pockets will find uses for them.
Honestly, I'd like to see Targus come out with more editions of the Grove, perhaps in at least a hunter green, navy blue, gunmetal black, or blood red.
ThinkComputers gives the Targus Grove Convertible Messenger/Backpack a 9 out of 10 score.
- Appeases the messenger bag and backpack folks
- Plenty of storage space
- Solid straps
- Eco-friendly materials