Ok, my anxiously awaited Black/Black/Wasabi Imago in Ballistic arrived a few days ago.
Some first impressions...
The black ballistic is nicer than the black ballistic I've seen on other bags, with its subtle sheen and nice hand. The wasabi interior is gorgeous and together the combo is sublime. The Absolute Strap is fabulous, want it on all my other bags too! It's magic how it lightens the load on my shoulder. However, I will have to get used to the odd feeling of a strap that stays in place on my shoulder; I've become used to having to constantly re-position my bag and that has become a habit for me...
The Imago doesn't look as big on me as I had feared. Especially in the winter when I wear heavy coats and chunkier footwear, bigger bags look better on me. Come summer as I shed the big coats and wear less clothing in lighter colors, the big black bag may seem incongruous to my eye, but I'll just have to wait and see.
I had planned to use two Large Organizer Pouches in the Imago as my filing system, but alas, I didn't realize (doh!) the Large Pouch doesn't fit in the Imago. A standard pocket folder does just fit, although I wanted something akin to a file folder system for easier paper insertion (with a 2-pocket folder I have to remove the folder to insert a piece of paper, annoying for sure.) I wish the Large Organizer Pouch isn't quite so generous in its dimensions so that it could fit in the Imago.
I was pleasantly surprised that my iPhone in its ifrogz case fit snugly into the left outside pocket, but not the right! However, I think I will carry the iPhone in the front (un)zipped pocket for easier access. The front open pocket easily houses my numerous pens and little scissors.
The Imago's main compartment is simple in its design. I'm used to lots of little pockets and compartments (Timbuk2). My .6L Sigg, personal size Filofax, and a little zippered bag with a mini stapler, staples, and thumb drives will be carried in the main compartment with the aforementioned 2-pocket folder.
One of the two open interior pockets will house my big 'n chunky wallet and a separate checkbook (I'd like to go check-free, but if you have school-age kids, you'll understand!) For air travel I am planning to substitute the big 'n chunky wallet for the TB wallet for its security feature and lightweight quality. The other open interior pocket will hold all my girly gear cuz I like to grab my lipbalm, mirror, handcream, gum, etc. without any hindrance while speeding to the next destination.
The two outside zippered pockets with the oh-so-luxurious lining will go mainly unused, but on trips, they will be lovely little nests for my headphones and phone charger. For daily use, I will tuck the ends of my Absolute Strap into them for a sleeker look; I don't like anything sticking out! (Along the same vein, I threaded the dangling end of the buckle strap back through the buckle so it rests against the bag, instead of on the outside flapping around.)
The open back pocket will be used to stash temporary bulky items like lunch, DVDs to return, newspapers, etc. It'll great for air travel when I need a 'zine or paperback to read, but wish it had an O-ring for additional versatility. And I love the Imago's grab handle, an essential feature that was missing on my Timbuk2.
So there you have it! My portable office/daily purse. It will go to the office where it will sit on my desk with its flap back, exposing its delicious wasabi interior. It will grace the front passenger seat in my car and the front seat in the grocery cart. I don't kid myself, this will not be taken for the quick trip to the store, to lunch or to the movies. I will use my small Cafe Bag on those occasions; all I need to do is transfer my phone and wallet from the Imago since I have a second set of essentials already packed in the Cafe Bag.
Pictures would be helpful if you're wondering about the size of it all, but all my pics load up too big. If anyone can help me with that I'd appreciate it. BTW, I'm just under 5-1 without heels.