Review: Pad & Quill’s $495 Gladstone Leather Briefcase is an Ultra Luxe MacBook Bag That Could Use a Bit More Document Organization

Pad & Quill is a company known for its leather accessories, crafted mainly with Apple devices in mind. The company offers iPhone cases, iPad sleeves, Apple Watch bands, and even paper journals and full leather bags and briefcases.

For the past week, I've had a chance to check out Pad & Quill's Gladstone Leather Briefcase, which is priced at $495.00 on the company's website (although you can get it for 15 percent off with the coupon code PQ15). The accessory is made of full-grain, American-sourced leather with a Herringbone fabric lining and a classic ultra-wide briefcase-style hinged opening.


In terms of space for accessories, you'll find a pocket that can hold up to a 15-inch laptop, a slightly smaller zipper pocket, two accessory pockets that I found to be perfect for portable batteries, and two pen holders. The outside holds a slip pocket on the rear that can fit a few papers, while the front has a smaller pouch with a secure buckle fastener.

Overall, the Gladstone Leather Briefcase is exceedingly luxe, with a super sturdy construction and high-quality stitching on everything from the included shoulder strap to the barely-seen internal accessory pockets. I've carried numerous messenger bags and backpacks around over the years, with an endless array of material construction, but this is easily one of the most handsome and eye-catching that I've ever owned.

The optional luggage strap attaches to the rear of the case and helps secure the briefcase to rolling luggage, available as a $39.99 add-on

Day-to-day use has been solid so far; I've found the Gladstone's interior compartment offers a nice balance between being spacious and compact. I was able to fit my 12-inch MacBook, ‌iPad‌ mini, AirPods, book, Beats Studio3 headphones, chargers, and still have some room on the bottom of the bag left over.

Because it's a briefcase-style case, the bag sports a solid six-inch footprint, and measures 12 inches tall and 16 inches wide. The leather construction, rigid paneling, and eventual interior contents add up to a bag that isn't entirely light to carry around, but over short distances this wasn't too big of a problem for me.


The biggest issue with its weight comes in how it's distributed when using the shoulder strap, which is hooked to the back of the briefcase instead of directly at the center top of the bag. This means that when it's full, the bag becomes slightly top-heavy and tilts forward away from your body, making it easier to bounce against your torso as you walk. It's not a huge issue, but when you carry it around daily it's something you quickly become aware of.

The briefcase sports a swivel opening that uses hinged copper rivets for a smooth, easy-to-open central compartment. I found that the bag was a bit tough to open at the start, but over the course of a few days the leather and the hinges became a bit less stiff, but still retained enough rigidity that I felt like it would never open on its own. If you still want more security, the main compartment also includes a second line of defense with an overarching buckle and notch strap.


If you like the look of classic briefcases you'll be able to quickly get over how it takes ever-so-slightly longer to open Pad & Quill's bag to get to your contents. If you prefer your work bags to be more economical with your time in a sacrifice to style, you'll likely wish for a simpler zipper system, which would also make the bag easier to access when it's placed on its side.

The other issue I had with the Gladstone Leather Briefcase was its overall lack of interior dividers. There are thousands of leather briefcases on the market that hit below Pad & Quill's $495.00 price tag and offer a bit more focus on work documents over housing electronics. It's big enough to house legal-sized papers and roomy enough for a lot of documents to fit inside, but it can quickly become messy without proper built-in organizational pockets.


While it's obvious that an Apple accessory company would likely lean toward securing placement of your MacBook or ‌iPad‌ (a strategy all of Pad & Quill's leather bags use), I would have preferred a bit more balance between the two. As it stands, the Gladstone Leather Briefcase doesn't offer any specific placement for paper documents, outside of ones you might be able to stuff next to your MacBook on the internal compartment, or feel safe enough placing in the external rear compartment (which lacks any form of latch or security).

The briefcase is big enough to slip in a few folders of your own between the MacBook slot and accessory pouches, however, so it isn't an insurmountable problem. But people with a job that relies on extensive organization of paper documents might find the accessory to be insufficient.

Bottom Line


Thanks to an attractive design, adequate interior compartment space for electronic devices and accessories, and leather construction that's sure to age well the more you use it, Pad & Quill's Gladstone Leather Briefcase makes for a reliable and striking laptop bag.


It does have a few downsides: the high price and lack of truly spacious paper document compartments mean you'll have to be on the hunt specifically for a high-quality MacBook bag that has room for a few accessories and a small number of work-related documents, but not much else.

How to Buy


You can purchase the Gladstone Leather Briefcase on Pad & Quill's website for $495.00 in Chestnut and Whiskey. Use the code PQ15 to take 15 percent off and get the bag for $420.75.

Note: Pad & Quill sent MacRumors one Gladstone Leather Briefcase for the purposes of this review, and no other compensation was received. MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Pad & Quill. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


This article, "Review: Pad & Quill's $495 Gladstone Leather Briefcase is an Ultra Luxe MacBook Bag That Could Use a Bit More Document Organization" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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CES 2019: Pad & Quill Expands TechFolio Series With New Mini and Pro Options for Storing Your Gear

Pad & Quill, known for its line of Apple accessories made from high-quality leather, is expanding its TechFolio series that's designed to house cords, cables, power adapters, Apple Watch bands, the Apple Pencil, and more in one convenient place.

To go along with the existing Classic TechFolio Cord Organizer, Pad & Quill is adding the new TechFolio Mini ($59.95) and the new TechFolio Pro ($119.95).

Original TechFolio

The original TechFolio has nine compartments for cords and accessories along with an Apple Pencil holder, while the Mini version, designed for the iPad Pro, is smaller.

It has a cord organizer pocket for cables along with a strap to secure them, plus an Apple Pencil slot, an SD card holder, and a slot where you can keep power adapters, battery packs, and other accessories.

TechFolio Mini

There are also two additional pockets for cords, dongles, and anything else you might need to store, and the whole thing folds up into a little bundle that can then be tucked into a bag or backpack.

TechFolio Mini

The TechFolio Pro is the opposite of the Mini, adding even more storage space to the original TechFolio design. The TechFolio Pro is the ultimate travel companion and accessory organizer with a total of 15 pockets.

Like the other TechFolio products, the TechFolio Pro is made from full-grain leather with a canvas interior and leather accents. There are five cord organizing pockets for your cables, complete with rivet closures, along with an Apple Pencil slot.

TechFolio Pro

Two large zipper pockets offer up storage space for power adapters, battery packs, and hard drives, and there are two slots where you can store small things like SD cards or house keys.

Larger cords fit into two additional pockets, and a flap-covered medium-sized pocket is ideal for any dongles and adapters you might have. A slip pocket can hold things like credit cards and your passport, and there's another smaller slip pocket for anything else you might need to store.

TechFolio Pro

Once packed with accessories, the TechFolio Pro folds up neatly into thirds so you can tuck it away in your pack.

Pad & Quill's new TechFolios can be purchased from the Pad & Quill website. The original TechFolio is available for $$89.95 and ships immediately. The TechFolio Mini, priced at $59.95 and the TechFolio Pro, priced at $119.95, can be pre-ordered and will ship out in early February.

MacRumors readers interested in purchasing a TechFolio from Pad & Quill can use the promo code MR15 to get a $15 discount.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner Pad & Quill. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.


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MacRumors Giveaway: Win an iPad Case From Pad & Quill

For this week's giveaway, we've teamed up with Pad & Quill to offer MacRumors readers a chance to win one of the company's high-quality carefully crafted iPad cases made from materials like leather, linen, and wood.

Pad & Quill has multiple iPad case options available, including several cases for the new 11 and 12.9-inch iPad Pro models.


The Oxford Leather iPad Pro case, priced starting at $114.95, is made from full grain bridle leather in chestnut, whiskey, or black. Designed specifically for the latest iPad models, the Oxford case is a folio-style case that can protect both sides of the iPad when closed. One side of the case attaches to the iPad using a strong 3M adhesive material.

When open, the Oxford case has a built-in horizontal viewing stand and it is able to work with the Smart Keyboard Folio that comes with the iPad Pro, so you don't need to sacrifice your keyboard to use this case. There's a spot for the Apple Pencil 2, an interior pocket for documents, and an elastic strap to keep everything safe when it's closed.


Pad & Quill also has a second folio case for the new iPad Pro models, the Contega Thin. Priced starting at $89.95, the Contega, which is one of the thinnest iPad Pro cases from Pad & Quill, is made from an archival linen in a charcoal or gray color. The Contega, like the Oxford, features a built-in horizontal viewing stand when open and attaches to the back of the iPad with 3M adhesive.


It too is compatible with the Apple Smart Keyboard Folio, so you can use the keyboard with the iPad Pro while still having the protection and benefit of the Contega case, and it features space for the Apple Pencil 2 along with a magnetic sleep/wake feature.


Along with cases for the new iPads, Pad & Quill also makes Oxford, Contega, Contega Thin, Heritage, and Traveler cases for older iPad models such as the 10.5-inch iPad Pro and the 6th-generation iPad, all of which can be viewed on the Pad & Quill website.

If you're in the market for an iPad case, this weekend is a good time to buy from Pad & Quill. The site is having a special sale and event, with 15 percent off every order available with the promo code "Family15."

Pad & Quill is also giving away a free small journal to every customer who is able to find the Pad & Quill mascot, Philbert the Chow, on the P&Q website when placing an order. Mention where Philbert was found on the site and you'll get a small journal with your order at no cost.


For our giveaway, Pad & Quill is providing five iPad cases that MacRumors readers can win. Each winner will be able to choose their favorite iPad case from the site. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and enter an email address. Email addresses will be used solely for contact purposes to reach the winners and send the prizes. You can earn additional entries by subscribing to our weekly newsletter, subscribing to our YouTube channel, following us on Twitter, following us on Instagram, or visiting the MacRumors Facebook page.

Due to the complexities of international laws regarding giveaways, only U.S. residents who are 18 years or older and Canadian residents (excluding Quebec) who have reached the age of majority in their province or territory are eligible to enter. To offer feedback or get more information on the giveaway restrictions, please refer to our Site Feedback section, as that is where discussion of the rules will be redirected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
The contest will run from today (November 30) at 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time through 11:00 a.m. Pacific Time on December 7. The winners will be chosen randomly on December 7 and will be contacted by email. The winners will have 48 hours to respond and provide a shipping address before new winners are chosen.


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