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Thread: Horizontal Brain Cell (for 13in rMBP) in Smart Alec?

  1. #1
    Registered User ChrisG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Santa Cruz, CA

    Horizontal Brain Cell (for 13in rMBP) in Smart Alec?

    I thought I'd seen this question/answer in a thread before, but I can't find it now.

    Will the horizontal Brain Cell for the 13in Macbook Pro Retina fit in a Smart Alec? I currently have the 15in model at work and have the Brain Cell for it in my Empire Builder and use a Cache in my Smart Alec. I'm thinking about getting a 13in for home soon, and would like to get the horizontal Brain Cell to use in both bags if it will fit. Based on the measurement chart, I think it would, but does anyone have any experience with using this - or another - horizontal Brain Cell in a Smart Alec?



  2. #2
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Toronto, Canada (GMT+5)
    I do not have any experience with a Horizontal BC in a Smart Alec - just vertical versions of the BC.
    But, I agree with you that the Horizontal BC for the 13"MBP Retina should fit as the Smart Alec will hold the Horizontal BC 6x and 6t - both which are equal or longer width but are taller.
    However, the issue may be that your Horizontal BC will be suspended up to 2" above the bottom of the bag if using the Annex Clips - even if you use the lower of the two Annex Clip attachment points.
    Having a Horizontal BC suspended too high can cause the bag to sag as per the following post:

    If you are intent on using the Horizontal BC, I see 2 options:
    1) Use the Lower Annex Clips and always pack something underneath the Horizontal BC that is about 2" high so the bag does not sag.
    2) Do not use the Annex Clips and let the Horizontal BC rest on the bottom of the bag. As the Smart Alec is already padded on the bottom just like the Empire Builder, the protection should be very similar.

    IMHO, either option is good but a Vertical BC is still best for a backpack. Other options could be to put a vertical BC for 13 MBP Retina sideways in your Empire Builder or reuse the Horizontal BC 4z when putting your laptop in the Empire Builder.

    Also, call or email TB customer support and they can try it for you and let you know the pros and cons.

    Hope this helps

    Last edited by tpnl; 03-25-2014 at 06:51 PM.
    ChrisG likes this.
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  3. #3
    Registered User ChrisG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Santa Cruz, CA
    Thanks for the suggestions. I just ordered the new MBP and may wait to see how well it works in the existing 15in Brain Cell before buying anything new.

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