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Tom Bihn Forums: Community discussion on travel bags, laptop bags, and backpacks. Tom Bihn has been designing and making bags since 1972. The best materials and innovative construction.

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  1. #1
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    Size of the Ego/ID

    Last year I bought a Brain Bag (with multiple accessories incl. a brain cell for my fujitsu T2010 tablet notebook as well as one for my Acer Aspire One - first gen, and the vertical freudian slip). It has served me well, and I love it - but having such a large bag can be a bit of a hassle on the frequently overcrowded buses I have to take to school, and since I've been using a different laptop of late - I've found myself taking an old messenger bag to school for the past month or so. It's a pretty terrible bag, but I had bought it back in high school for a pretty cheap price at Winners, so I don't expect great things.

    I was originally looking at a messenger style bag when I bought the Brain Bag, but got the Brain Bag since I thought I'd be carrying a lot more than I actually do now. I try and travel to school lighter since it's overall more comfortable that way (in fact, last week when I had 2 tests - only - on one day, I took just my Aspire One in it's brain cell with a random strap and the power cord + pens and pencils neatly tucked into the exterior compartment. Traveling light indeed!)

    So recently I've been looking at new laptops, and as such, I am going to need a new bag as well, so I've also been browsing the Tom Bihn bags (since I can't see myself buying anything else ) I've been browsing the Super Ego, Ego and ID and I've come to the conclusion that the Super Ego might be a bit bigger than I need really, and so to keep things a bit smaller, I ideally like the Ego since it has a few more compartments for storing random things than the ID.

    The laptops I've been eying are the Dell Studio 17 or the Dell Studio XPS 16 - both of which I would be getting the extended battery for. I haven't quite figured out which one I want to purchase yet, both have their pros and cons - but size-wise, I think they present a similar issue.

    Neither the Ego nor the ID list the Size 2M Cells (which are the ones that will fit either of these 2 laptops) in the bag fit guide. The Super Ego does list it however, but I had my eye on the Ego ideally.

    Has anyone tried to use a Size2M Brain Cell in the Ego or the ID? Does it simply not fit or is it just not recommended? Would I have any problems or a significant bulge in the bag by trying? If I have to I will get the Super Ego, it just looks kind of big (MtnMan's New SuperEgo with Brain Cell and Horizontal Freudian Slip). Although I am 6'1 and it is hard to tell how tall MtnMan is, it might not actually be as big as it looks (and of course will always be bigger on the inside ).

    Also, with a brain cell in the main compartment - how much extra room is there for other things (such as a horizontal freudian slip, a textbook or perhaps even another brain cell?)

    And, with an extended battery, how does that fit into the brain cell - the fit guide has explicitly standard battery, but nothing about an extended battery.
    I appreciate anyone that can offer some help/advice.

    EDIT: I decided to be a bit smart and check the dimensions of the bags, I guess the Ego/ID will absolutely not fit the 2M since the ego is only 15.3" wide and the ID is only 15.75" wide while the 2M braincell has an external width of 16.1". So it looks like I'm limited to the Super Ego.
    Last edited by Corazu; 12-09-2009 at 07:43 PM.

  2. #2
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    You wouldn't consider a smaller laptop? That's the first thing that comes to my mind.

    Audrey

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by falconea View Post
    You wouldn't consider a smaller laptop? That's the first thing that comes to my mind.

    Audrey
    Actually that was one of the things I was also considering doing - however I do like having a larger screen since I do software development. Previously I used my T2010 which has a 12.1" screen but I found the keyboard and small screen a bit limiting. I resorted to using my much older compaq which has a relatively full keyboard and a 15.4" screen - which is just about perfect, but it's old, so it's slow in about every regard possible.

    I'm fairly set on the Dell line, I really like the Studio XPS 16, the 13 might even work but it's not updated to i7 yet. The 17 I think I will find to be too large, even though it has some nice features as well. I was considering the Studio 15 as well but I prefer the Studio 16 for a few reasons: The RGBLED screen, although I think I'm fine with the WLED screen so it's a minor point; The Studio 15 only has the ATI Mobility 4570 Radeon (512mb) while the SXPS16 has the ATI Mobility 4670 Radeon (1gb). This is the primary reason I'm choosing the SXPS16 over it. I do plan on using the laptop to run some games, and the 4670 more that doubles the performance of the 4570. When I spec them out on the website, it's only about a ~$400 difference (the SXPS being more expensive).

    I'm trying to see if it's possible to get the 4670 in the Studio 15, but I doubt I will. Their chat system is broken at the moment unfortunately and the phones are off-hours.

    Basically, I'm not quite sure I want to pick my laptop around the specifications of a bag, quite the other way around. Of course, if the differences become so subtle, it's definitely an option. If I can get the better graphics card on the Studio 15, I will totally go for it instead - the RGBLED screen isn't something I need, just kinda want, and it will probably shave a bit of money off of what I'd be paying.

  4. #4
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    I have a Brain Bag, and ID, and a Dell Inspiron E1705... so I might be able to shed some insight here.

    The ID is definately too small for most (if not all) 17" laptops with a brain cell. I can *barely* get my Dell into my ID without any protective case. I have a thinkpad that I use for work, however, thats 15.4" and I often use a soft cel to protect it. That works fine.

    I would make one suggestion, however: consider your back. The backpack configuration, while bulky, is much safer for carrying heavier loads. When I need my big laptop, I use the backpack for this reason. I roll with my ID when I don't need to carry the big laptop.

    Hope this helps!
    ----------------
    Bob P.
    Magic Tiki Studios

    Empire Builder (black/steel), Brain Bag (steel), Small Padded Organizer Pouch, Clear Wallet, Soft Cell, Snake Charmer (cayenne) and assorted trimmings.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagicTiki View Post
    I have a Brain Bag, and ID, and a Dell Inspiron E1705... so I might be able to shed some insight here.

    The ID is definately too small for most (if not all) 17" laptops with a brain cell. I can *barely* get my Dell into my ID without any protective case. I have a thinkpad that I use for work, however, thats 15.4" and I often use a soft cel to protect it. That works fine.

    I would make one suggestion, however: consider your back. The backpack configuration, while bulky, is much safer for carrying heavier loads. When I need my big laptop, I use the backpack for this reason. I roll with my ID when I don't need to carry the big laptop.

    Hope this helps!
    As far as weight goes, my current bag is not altogether too heavy when carrying my current compaq - and there's no possible way that either the SXPS16 or Studio 15 are going to way more than that. Factor in the Absolute Strap and I'm fairly certain I'll be fine - although with a 17" I would likely agree with you - it'd be bulky enough on it's own.

    How good are the softcells at protecting the laptops, in conjunction with the bag of course - I'm not doing anything strenuous, the only smack the bag is likely to take is perhaps a bit of swinging off my shoulder, placed a little less gently. Although it doesn't look the cache will provide the ability to fit inside of the Ego or ID either :/

    Now I'm on the fence as to whether to get the 15 or the 16 :/ On the one hand I want the SXPS16..but on the other I want the Ego/ID over the Super Ego.

    Damn you Tom Bihn! Damn you for making such amazing bags that I hold it within high enough regard to consider a laptop purchase *around* a bag.

    But I still love you for it

  6. #6
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    An alternative way of looking at it - I know some people who carry small powerful laptops and check a large monitor.

    If you're travelling by air this is a possible solution.

    Hm, you mention school. Any chance of leaving the monitor in a cupboad somewhere?

    Audrey

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by falconea View Post
    An alternative way of looking at it - I know some people who carry small powerful laptops and check a large monitor.

    If you're travelling by air this is a possible solution.

    Hm, you mention school. Any chance of leaving the monitor in a cupboad somewhere?

    Audrey
    I have a locker and I have considered taking a 22" monitor and leaving it in the locker and then taking it to class - but it's not really a viable solution since it's bulky as I move around from class to class and if I go and sit on the couches in the lounge..I often have the laptop on my lap.

    Although I'm hoping next semester that most of my classes will be in computer labs, so I can jack into one of the monitors there, but that won't always be available.

    I don't do any traveling besides daily commute (on the bus for now) so I don't need a portable office, so to speak.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corazu View Post
    How good are the softcells at protecting the laptops, in conjunction with the bag of course - I'm not doing anything strenuous, the only smack the bag is likely to take is perhaps a bit of swinging off my shoulder, placed a little less gently. Although it doesn't look the cache will provide the ability to fit inside of the Ego or ID either :/
    I am a car commuter, so my laptop is usually going from office to car to home and back again. The soft cel/cache is more than enough for that kind of trip. It won't protect you from a drop or a heavy bash, however.

    I really like the new design of the cache over the soft cell design. The profile looks much slimmer, and I love the lack of velcro. Haven't bought one yet, though.
    ----------------
    Bob P.
    Magic Tiki Studios

    Empire Builder (black/steel), Brain Bag (steel), Small Padded Organizer Pouch, Clear Wallet, Soft Cell, Snake Charmer (cayenne) and assorted trimmings.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MagicTiki View Post
    I am a car commuter, so my laptop is usually going from office to car to home and back again. The soft cel/cache is more than enough for that kind of trip. It won't protect you from a drop or a heavy bash, however.

    I really like the new design of the cache over the soft cell design. The profile looks much slimmer, and I love the lack of velcro. Haven't bought one yet, though.
    Unfortunately parking at the university is something like 16$ a day (or something ridiculous like that) so driving over isn't an option :/


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