I'm more in favor of a busy pattern on my laptop bag if it's in sleeve form, rather than an actual bag — that way I'm never in danger of looking wildly uncoordinated (or looking juvenile, depending on the style). As a sleeve, you can put this in your bigger bag, and then at your destination, whip out a crazy colorful sleeve like this Bibelot print LeSportsac sleeve.
The pattern on this bag is loud, but not in a bad way. The colors are pretty, harmonious, and most importantly — fun! While it does kind of remind me of a lunch bag I had as a kid, this sleeve is still nevertheless sophisticated lady material. And at $40, it slides right into my post-tax-day budget!