Check out this great review of our Smart Alec backpack, Monolith laptop case and Cafe Bag by Mary Caijio, wife of Typical Mac User Podcast host Victor Cajiao. Mary’s review of our bags marks the first time she has podcasted. She sounds like a natural to us!
You can listen to the review here: Typical Mac User Podcast: Tom Bihn Review or read the text of the review after the break. Below: A picture of Mary with her Smart Alec on a recent vacation. She’s wearing one of our “Portable Culture” t-shirts, too.
Text of Mary’s Podcast Review of the Smart Alec, Monolith and Cafe Bags:
Hi, this is Mary. I’m Victor’s typical geek wife and Victor has talked me into contributing. I’ve found the perfect way with Tom Bihn.com. They have awesome bags and I love bags. Check out Tom Bihn.com for some nice options. I’ve had the chance to use their Smart Alec backpack with the Monolith case for my G4 PowerBook as well using their large messenger bag. I am very impressed.
I have been using a rolling briefcase for my PowerBook, but every time the wheels hit an imperfection BAM! my computer was getting some abuse it didn’t need. I was looking for some improvement without any “heft” factor since I have to schlep my way from the parking lot all the way across campus to my classroom. Mind you, I’m one of those who has an issue with purses and bags—I love them and collect them. A most satisfying evening on the internet to me is one spent pursuing “purse porn” . . . you know, viewing those websites with outrageously-priced bags and frequently pressing that “SHOP NOW” button and typing in my credit card number—- so a computer bag that would make me happy was one that would cradle my G4 and also feed my purse habit.
The Tom Bihn.com site is easy to use. I did have some trouble figuring out which bag was best for my G4, so I got some help. Darcy at Tom Bihn was very accommodating. After she lead me in the right direction, I saw that everything was there to find the right fit on my own. One feature that might appeal specifically to women is a proportion guide. I like sites that have this feature, which sort of “tries the bag on” a model or drawing so that the buyer knows how small or large the bag will appear.
I used the Tom Bihn Smart Alec at first to take my computer back and forth to work. It doesn’t hold a whole lot of other papers along with the computer, but I don’t want to carry around a ton of stuff. I can’t get by with just the college backpack look—I still need to haul a lunch bag and the right purse for the moment. The Smart Alec backpack straps are very adjustable, padded, and very comfortable, despite the weight of my computer. I felt fine using both shoulder straps or just one. I like the number of slots inside for pens and the cool side opening pockets for my power supply, mouse and other computer essentials. The zippers and pulls are smooth and nicely waterproofed. The best part of the backpack is the awesome Monolith, which fits my G4 perfectly and holds it securely inside the bag so that it sort of “floats” instead of allowing the computer to be jostled or bumped as the backpack is picked up or put down. I also have Tom Bihn’s TerraGrip Strap to attach to the Monolith bag, when I need to carry just my G4. I definitely recommend that both the strap and the Monolith with the Smart Alec to achieve a complete package.
Sure the Smart Alec backpack works great for getting my computer around, but did it get noticed? Any purseaholic knows that this is the true test. My answer is yes! Other women commented favorably about the color (my bag is kiwi and black). The unique shape also gets favorable and frequent comments. Heck, I don’t care WHY my friends notice my bag, I’m just glad that they do! One of my peers told me that she preferred the “more girly” shoulder bag for her laptop. Another told me that she would prefer a rolling bag. Having tried both of this options for my computer, I prefer the Tom Bihn. Both of the other computer bags have to be lifted, after all. I don’t have to lift my backpack to get it into and out of my car—it’s already at the right level. That’s a big deal with us gals.
How does the Smart Alec work outside of the work place? I just got back from a wonderful winter cruise and the backpack held up fabulously! It was great as a carry on during my flights, great during Carnival in Cozumel, great as a beach bag in Honduras, and great as a camera gear bag in Belize. The factor that pleased me the most was how nice it looked despite all my tough treatment. In fact, it did get some dirt and marks on it, but I used one of those disposable stain remover sheets on it and it cleaned up perfectly. It still looks as nice as the day I got it. Love that.
The Tom Bihn Messenger Bag has that same amazing fabric that works so well with the Smart Alec. The Messenger Bag worked for me when I wanted a bit more than what a purse might hold—say, my iPod, a book and my camera. That’s exactly how I used it on my vacation. I have a purple and kiwi bag that is a breeze to grab, pack and go. The over the shoulder strap is easy and adjustable as is the black clip closure. There are some pen slots and side pockets too. I was set to go hours around the ship without returning to my cabin. I went from the dining room, the deck, exercising to shopping with all the gear I wanted. And it’s so cute!
So my bottom line is—check out the Tom Bihn. com site and give them a try. Contact me at email@example.com. Back to you, Victor.