Jill-e Designs Olivia review

Ladies, if you are on the hunt for a dedicated MacBook bag, look no further. See also: What's the best laptop you can buy in 2013?

With its classic black look, brass metal details and chunky brick-like feel, Jill-e Designs’ Olivia isn’t trying to be the next dainty Louis Vitton creation. Instead, this versatile bag carries your 13-inch laptop with style and security. Take a look at our review of the Apple MacBook Pro 13in with Retina display.

It’s made using premium-quality black leather with a textile shoulder strap that can convert the shoulder bag into a rucksack. Converting from one shoulder use to two is straightforward but be careful that you clip the strap correctly; we hooked it the wrong way at first, making it push into our shoulder. See all: laptop bag reviews.

Inside, the bag is beautifully finished with light champagne lining. Symbols in green stitching hint which pocket to house your laptop, iPad, glasses and phone. Jill-e's website also lists a detachable matching holder for ID cards.

The actual laptop pocket has a velcro seal on top and neatly suspends the notebook cargo a few finger's space above the bag's floor. We didn’t need to drop the bag from any height to feel confident that the spacing, together with the bag’s stiff padded bottom, would keep the laptop safe.
The bag is big enough to fill with all a woman’s essentials for a short-haul flight – sunglasses, purse, keys, magazines, e-reader, reading glasses; with space for some last-minute shopping at the airport. There’s also a small handy pocket at the back for tickets and passport where you could squeeze in a handbag-sized issue of your favourite glossy mag.

We did worry about the metal zip, which didn’t open wide enough to not snare the aluminium body of our 13in MacBook every time it was slide in or out. To avoid any chance of scratching our MacBook we had to pull one part of the opening to the back while carefully loading the laptop. We would love to see a version that was easier to use.

Jill-e Designs Olivia review: Specs

  • All-leather laptop bag for 13-inch laptops
  • brass zip and details
  • All-leather laptop bag for 13-inch laptops
  • brass zip and details


Although its looks might not make every neighbour jealous the Olivia bag feels like it’s worth the money. Olivia is more than just a handbag and can fullfill a more important task than carrying our lipsticks and purses – it’s designed to protect an expensive piece of hardware and will do this job well.