Travel cases for laptops are often bulky. Some barely fit under the seats on an airplane. Pictured is a nylon attache' received as part of a convention registration packet. It is large enough for a laptop. The handles and shoulder strap are strong, but there is no padding and only fabric not at all resistant to pushing and prodding from the outside.
Step 1: Beware the Screen
Pressure against the screen of a laptop from even a finger poke can crack it. Once damaged, the repairs are so expensive that a new laptop is the only course remaining. Light cases made only of fabric mean no protection for the computer's screen.
Step 2: Make Your Own Protection
Cut a piece of plywood or Masonite the size and shape of your laptop. This piece is 3/8 inch thick and it is quite rigid. 1/4 inch plywood could work, but will provide a little less security. This particular piece of plywood is from some crating. It does not need to be fancy.
Step 3: Slip the Plywood Into the Case
Slide the plywood into the fabric case with the laptop so the plywood is next to the screen side of the laptop. There is even room for a few papers or a book. And, the plywood acts as a divider to make an artificial extra compartment in your case.
Step 4: Cords and Accessories
Place each item with a cord into its own plastic zip freezer bag. Slip them into the front zipped pocket on the attache'. The freezer bags keep the cords from becoming entwined with one another.
Step 5: Ready to Go With a Thin Profile
Here is the case loaded with your laptop and its accessories zipped and ready to travel. It still weighs whatever your laptop weighs, but it makes a smaller and neater package for travel. And, it utilizes an attache' that may be only gathering dust in your closet. Most importantly, your laptop's screen is well protected against any pokes that could crack it.