This post is sponsored by the sleek, stylish, lightweight HP Spectre XT Ultrabook™, inspired by Intel. Vote for your favorite bag design!

Fashion meets technology in so many places, like the ever advancing science of fabrics, or the IT that powers fashion week these days, and even the blog post you are reading right now. But nowhere is the collision as literal as it is with the bags and cases we use to carry our gadgets around with us. After all, if we care about the design of our handbag, why wouldn’t we be just as discerning about the design of our phone case or our laptop bag? 

Of course, the additional baggage does also amplify the practical issues. Not only do we want our bags to be stylish, but we need them to carry all the items we were already before the technology came along, and we need them to do so in a way that is comfortable. The age old challenge of form versus function. 

Many of my clients are professionals who carry their laptop when they commute to and from work. And I find that they generally gravitate to one of two solutions:

  1. They carry a large, robust and fashionably oversized tote that can accommodate their laptop and all of the other things they would have carried in their bag. So no extra laptop case required.
  2. They carry their handbag and a briefcase or dedicated case for their laptop. They usually clutch onto the laptop case with one hand while carrying a “normal” handbag on their shoulder. Some even prefer a wristlet as their small handbag. 

A few of my clients carry their laptops in backpacks because they commute by bicycle. Sometimes they will carry a small cross-body bag in addition to the backpack as their handbag.

Which brings me to HP, who are running a contest to design a bag for their new Envy 4 Ultrabook. The contest is hosted on HP.com and will be judged by three industry experts, including Mondo, a winner of Project Runway Season. You can help HP to choose the winner — just go to their site and vote for one of the 40 semi-finalists. While you are there you can also take a look at the hundreds of entries from which these 40 were chosen. 

Once you have voted, do let us know in the comments which design you chose and why. Also, help me to understand what makes a good laptop bag. I don’t need one myself because I seldom need my laptop with me when I’m out and about, and when we are traveling hubby Greg carries it along with his own laptop and camera equipment. So I’d love to hear what you look for in a laptop bag.

The bags above were designed by Mondo for HP’s new Envy 4 Ultrabook.