I purchased my Empire Builder in April with constant use in the past 2 months. It has been to Mexico and Kansas City from Knoxville.
I absolutly love it. I have never had a need for more room in it. I has been used for my work laptop up until today when I finally received my new laptop.
Both my Latitude 610 and Inspiron 1505 fit inside with the 610 in a Size3 Brain Cell. My best guestimate is they will both fit in their Brain Cells. I will let you know when I receive my Size1 in the next few days.
I do have a few complaints about it though.
1. The plastic buckle has scuff marks on it from going through the airport. It was by my side the entire time so I am not entirely sure how it got scuffed up. Just know it was on the trip to Mexico. Not terrible, just annoying to me.
2. My empire builder does not stand very well. I have to pack it just right for it to stand. I am sure this has something to do with what I am carrying, but there have been a few times that I felt it should have when it wasn't.
3. The strap can be annoying when you set down the bag and it holds the front flap down. I am not really sure if there is anything you can do to change that given the strap is placed for better hanging on the sholder.
4. I am left handed so I have a different perspective than most. Regarding the sholder strap. It is on the wrong side for me. Also, it would be nice to have the key clip able to be moved to either side.
5. The corners at the top look like they are losing their shape. Like they are starting to curl in. Hard to describe and is not obvious right now. Just looks like they are starting to.
6. On the front flap, when looking at it, it would be nice if the left pocket was a little larger to accomdate a bottle of water. I can count the number of times I wish I had someplace convenient to put my bottle of water while carrying this.
7. Inside the front pocket it would be nice to see a few more of the small pouches. Like a second row below the first. Maybe 3 that are 4-5 inches across. I have a 1/2 dozen items that would idealy fit inside small pouches like that.
8. Place the pen holders near the edges instead of the center. It would be much easier to quickly grab a pen than to grab what ever is in the larger pockets with out opening the flap. Going with #4, I say put them on both sides.
Yes I have a lot of things that could be improved from my perspective, but I do love the Empire Builder. It is a great bag that is very functional. It holds enough for most people. It looks great, is sturdy, durable, and well built. I wouldn't trade it for another bag.