Reviews PC

Targus SteelSeries Sniper 17.3'' Gaming Backpack Review

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Don't be intimidated by the name, the Targus SteelSeries Sniper 17.3-inch gaming bag might have the longest name but it goes hand-in-hand with its design which packs everything you need from a gaming bag. I recently got an Acer Predator Helios 500 which is a giant 17-inch gaming laptop and with my recent trip to EGE 2018, I needed a bag to take it with me. I have travelled far before with laptops, especially gaming ones and they are never easy to cart around with you. I explored New York and E3 with the Destiny 2 Traveller's Bag and I felt the pain in my back and shoulder after the trip from the bag just not being designed to carry a giant laptop. 

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The Targus Steelseries Sniper is a backpack which is very different from the sling bags I use on a daily basis but it works. Its black design with bright orange interior makes it look like a standard backpack from the outside and a gaming bag on the inside. When it comes to branding, the bag stays away from being too dramatic like a few Razer, MSI, and even ASUS bags I have seen where it is more branding than anything else. There is a big white SteelSeries logo on the front with a sewn-on rubber logo at the top. The zips also have the SteelSeries logo and at the back, there is a strip of text saying "SteelSeries". 

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When it comes to compartments, the Targus Sniper packs a lot of them. So much so that I was still discovering secret pockets a few days after using the bag. On the front, you have a horizontal pouch which is great for earphones and maybe a travel book. Underneath that there is a spacious square pouch that can store a whole headset and cables thanks to its elastic-like slots that can keep cables from falling once looped into them. Both of these pouches are removable so if you don't use them you can pull them off from the velcro and put them away. They are also very spacious so I basically put everything in them including my Switch, AirPods, chargers, power bank and travel book. 

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The first major compartment is meant for headphones but you could fit anything inside it really. Like most of the pouches, it comes with a black clip to support and hold down whatever you slot into the spot. This means you could place your headset in there and clip it on so it does not fall to the bottom of the bag and create problems. The second compartment is orange and is mainly designed for all your PC accessories. It opens up completely like a book. There is a mouse pad slot where you can roll up your pad and slide it in. A mouse slot, controller and even a long vertical keyboard pouch where you can slide your keyboard into. It truly accommodates all travelling gamers and the pouches are strong and just the right size to slot something in without it being too lose to move around. 

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Then we have the most important slot, the back of the bag. This padded and protected compartment houses the laptop and it does a great job at it too. It has this mesh-like material around it to create a scratch-free safety net for the device without you having to worry about the bag doing damage to the laptop if you have a metal or plastic cover. The mesh also loops around from the front to the back to create a sort of sling-like support for the laptop. This means that the laptop is not technically touching the bottom of the bag, rather it is hanging in the air to reduce damage from bumping it or putting it down too fast on the ground. It is a small yet effective design method that makes a big difference. 

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In terms of straps, I am really tall and the bag felt great on my back. I do suffer from back pain being tall, especially when I stand the whole day and the Targus SteelSeries Sniper gave me enough support to make carrying the Helios 500 around the whole weekend a lot less painful than I thought. The back has padding for your shoulder blades which helps a lot and the hardback also stops the bag from changing form while carrying it around. I did have a few times when I swung the bag on my back and the straps moved down a bit but I then just tugged them a little and it was back to normal. This was most likely caused by the distribution of weight change when I put the bag on.

In terms of design, the bag is made from polyester and weighs 1.8Kgs without anything in it. It's 35x33x55cm which makes it hand luggage compatible too. The bottom of the bag has a rubber coating on it so if you happen to put it down on wet ground or dirt, it will not stain or wet the bag. 

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There are also a few hidden features of the bag which I loved. At the back, there is a small pouch right at the bottom that you can store some things in. Then right next to it there is a rain cover that comes out the pouch, unfolds and can cover the entire bag so if it happens to be raining while you are walking with it, it won't get wet. 

The Targus SteelSeries Sniper backpack is fantastic. It has a little more pouches than I like as I prefer a simpler design but anyone moving their gaming laptop around or even their PC will find more than enough slots and pouches to store things while they do it. I will most likely never make use of most of the features but knowing they are there makes a big difference. There is enough room for your entire gaming room and your cat in this bag and best of all, when you put it on your back, even when full, it feels comfortable and should make your trip a lot less painful. For R1499 (currently on sale), the bag is a great buy as it will replace your hand luggage bag and turn into a general student/gaming bag at the same time. 

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The Targus Steelseries Sniper bag is available in SA for R1,499 for a limited time. 

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