Whether you've just upgraded your laptop or smartphone, or are looking for gift ideas for someone who has, a protective case is always a good accessory. After updating our report on laptop bags, we handpicked some of the most stylish notebooks cases as well as options for ultrabooks. While we were at it, we threw in some flashy cases for the iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III. Have a look.
Rickshaw Zero Messenger
$60 and up
The Rickshaw Zero Messenger comes in three sizes (small, medium, large) and accommodates laptops up to 11- 13-and 15-inches, respectively. So if you don't have a giant laptop to carry around, the Rickshaw can take care of you for years on end. You can customize the bag in a variety of colors and fabrics too.
Timbuk2 Custom Laptop Messenger
$160 and up
This Timbuk2 messenger bag can be customized in a number of ways, including color, fabric, lining, and strap padding. You can also add reflective material to the straps. All of these options mean the price is a bit higher (plus the fact that the bags are made in San Francisco), but it's a great way to show off your personal style.
Waterfield Laptop SleeveCase
$50 and up
This case is so durable, those who have used it say it will last much longer than the laptop it protects. The Waterfield Laptop SleeveCase also wins in the looks department. You can tote it around like a sleeve or use the included strap for a sleek messenger look.
Targus Ultralife Thin-Edge Canvas Slipcase
If you've decided to buy a slim and light Ultrabook, you'll need a case to match. The Targus Ultralife Thin-Edge Canvas Slipcase offers some style with faux leather touches and comes in two colors: grey and white. A removable pocket holds all the small stuff that can get lost in big bags, like USB keys and business cards. The Slipcase is small enough to slip inside another bag, or it can be carried like a briefcase or with the removable shoulder strap.
$99 and up via Kickstarter.com
If you already carry a purse every day, why not make it work for you? That's the idea behind Everpurse, which began as a Kickstarter project and recently surpassed its fundraising goal. On the outside, it's a stylish wristlet, but inside is a wireless charging pocket that keeps your smartphone's battery (iPhone 4, iPhone 5, and Samsung Galaxy S3) topped off. It's available in leather or cloth, in 6 colors. The Everpurse can easily fit inside another purse or bag or for $30 extra you can add a strap and carry it across your shoulder. The purse can be charged with the included charging mat. For now, you can pre-order an Everpurse through Kickstarter; soon you will be able to order directly at Everpurse.com. Bags will ship by March 2013.
Kensington Portafolio Duo Wallet for iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S III
If you often run out of the house with just your smartphone, wallet and keys, here's a case that can hold all three at once. The Portafolio Duo Wallet from Kensington (iPhone 5 and the Samsung Galaxy S III) is a case, stand and wallet all in one. So you can travel light, and watch movies or have video chats comfortably. The Duo Wallet is available in a bunch of colors and textures, including orange and cream and "pink lizard." These cases are currently available for pre-order.
Case-Mate iPhone 5 Creatures
Can you handle the cute? Case-Mate's animal-style iPhone 5 cases include a tiger, panda, monkey, flamingo, giraffe, bear, elephant and penguin, in addition to the peacock, pictured above. These silicone cases are made to be protective and easy to grip – not to mention irresistible.
SkinIt Mojito Skin for Samsung Galaxy S III
For a relatively inexpensive, yet cool-looking protective cover for your smartphone, Skinit offers colorful protective skins. You can get a skin for just about every smartphone out there, including the iPhone 5 and most Android phones. You can create your own or use one of their designs (like the Mojito motif, pictured above). Like Colorforms, it's easy to apply and remove the SkinIt skin from your phone.