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  1. #1
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    Cache options for Thinkpad T450s

    I am looking for a sleeve for a Lenovo Thinkpad T450s and found Tom Bihn by way of the BIFL sub-Reddit. Would love some advice from the gurus here.

    The dimensions of the laptop are 13.03" x 8.9" x 0.9" (331 mm x 226 mm x 23 mm). It looks like the 6z cache would be the best fit, at 330 mm x 232 mm x 28 mm. This post suggests that a vertical cache would be a better choice than a horizontal one because the laptop is 1 mm too long for the cache, and having the flap on the short end would ensure a better fit. The next size up (4z) would be too big, at 364 mm x 249 mm x 30 mm.

    How much do the cache's stretch? Would the extra 1 mm in length be significant if I went with a horizontal cache? I am debating between the DLBC and the Cadet, and getting a vertical cache would forgo the benefit of the rails system (although I travel by air less often than by train / car) and I would need to remove the entire cache from the bag before getting the laptop out, which might get annoying. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    I emailed TB about the cache sizing and they suggested a 6z would stretch a bit to accommodate the Thinkpad t450s, so I got a DLBC in French Blue with a 6z cache. Pleased to say that the build quality is just as described!

    Only noticed two issues: first, the 6z cache is just about the same external size, in cross-section, as is the interior of the DLBC itself, such that the corners of the cache need some coaxing to allow the zippers to close around them. Here, the laptop is inside and I've closed and pushed the cache as deep as it will go:

    Cache options for Thinkpad T450s-img_20150516_174234-jpg

    Here is the laptop centered on top of the 6z:

    Cache options for Thinkpad T450s-img_20150516_173740-jpg

    If the cache is empty, it can be squeezed down easily, but with the laptop inside the zipper tends to catch the corners. Without the cache there is plenty of clearance between the laptop and the bag itself:

    Cache options for Thinkpad T450s-img_20150516_173417-jpg

    Second, the t450s is so "snug" in the 6z that if you pull the laptop out, the cache tends to come with it, rather than staying in the briefcase. In comparison, my wife's mid-2010 MBP (measuring 325 mm x 227 mm x 24 mm) slides easily in and out and the cache stays in place.
    Last edited by gizzard; 05-17-2015 at 09:06 AM. Reason: grammar

  3. #3
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    Good info. I love thinkpads, and next time I upgrade (I have an x230, will probably upgrade to whatever comes after the x250) I'm planning on playing around with Tom Bihn bags to create the perfect laptop bag. Thinking about the co-pilot, but similar to how you have some issues with dimensions I'll run into the same thing. The co-pilot is good for 11" laptop, but the Thinkpad is 12". The pilot, designed for 13" laptops, is a hair larger at 800 cu than I'd like in a laptop bag.

    Regardless great post, good to see another Thinkpad fan. Thanks!

  4. #4
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    I had this exact issue with my Thinkpad. I didn't want to be shoving and yanking at my computer, so I opted for the cache one size up, and it was so large the computer could actually slide straight out if held at the wrong angle. I talked to customer service at TB, who explained that the caches are really sized for Apple products and with anything else, it's a matter if what fits best. For my computer, there just wasn't a good fit. So I went with a neoprene sleeve from some other company. The quality isn't the same, but it works better for my laptop. It also fits (snugly) inside my DLBC, which I also have in French Blue, but when I'm traveling for work, I use a Pilot, which I love and which is a great fit for my Thinkpad. I only use my DLBC when I'm traveling light for events and carrying my 11" HP or just my ipad.

  5. #5
    Volunteer Moderator tpnl's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing @gizzard. It is good to know what cache will fit your size of Thinkpad. I probably will be switching up soon and usually go with Thinkpads so this is good information.

    Note that my current work laptop,a Dell E7440, is slightly bigger and fits well in a Thule Gauntlet Case for a 13" laptop and in turn, fits great in my DLBC. It may be a good alternative if there is no cache that will fit well but you will not have the checkpoint friendly rail system.

    Thanks

    Cheers!
    Last edited by tpnl; 05-17-2015 at 05:47 PM.
    TB Ballistic Black/Iberian Dyneema backpacks and briefcases for every occasion together with my cherished Nordic and Solar Dyneema!

  6. #6
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    I am using the T440s I have not compared messurements (sorry it is pre morning tea) but I too use the 6z caches both the horizontal and the vertical. The vetical fits as if made for it, the horizontal takes a bit more effort to get the Laptop in and out but works fine too.

    Ilkyway

    ETA: First I have to say I have button envy! I so miss the dedicated buttons for the track-point above the track-pad. Seeing that they have gone back to those makes me happy and sad that I did not wait another 6 month to grade up from my previous X220t
    Second: now it is past morning tea and I measured mine. T440s and T450s do have the same measurements.
    Last edited by Ilkyway; 05-17-2015 at 11:29 PM.
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  7. #7
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    Which Thinkpad do you have Abby? That you find the Pilot works well for?

  8. #8
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    Just wanted to post an update with my impressions after using the bag and cache for a week or so:

    1. The T450s slides easily into the 6z but you will definitely need both hands to remove it. I grab both sides of the laptop and work it out while keeping the cache inside the bag. I generally don't take the laptop in and out multiple times per day, but if you did this could be a problem.
    2. You have to carefully close the DLBC zipper around the corners of the 6z, but once you get used to it it's no problem.
    3. When the 6z is in place, the "expandability" of the DLBC main compartment mouth is somewhat restrained. You can't just unzip it and open it up and dump things in - the 6z cache gives the entire bag some structure and thus the main compartment does not open up easily. The main compartment can hold a reasonable amount in front of the cache, but you have to carefully put things in. Not sure if I'm explaining this very well. Otherwise the other compartments of the bag are easy to use when the laptop is in place.

    Nice to see other Thinkpad users here. If TB were to ever expand to create caches and / or bags for a non-Apple line of laptops, the Thinkpads would be a great direction to take. The build quality of this particular model is so good though that one could argue the padding from a cache is not necessary!

    Ilkyway - yes, the buttons + trackpoint are awesome! The keyboard is also. I am finding myself occasionally working on the laptop in lieu of my desktop just for the keyboard.

  9. #9
    Forum Member marytattoo's Avatar
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    I personally LOVE Android, particularly the Samsung Galaxy line. I've had many and currently own 2 (I don't think it's more!)

  10. #10
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    Marytattoo Thinkpads are laptop PCs that are workhorses. An Android device can not do full scale office work on the same level (at least for now). Samsung does laptop PCs too but it is not thair airia of expertice (they have some intersting models but in that marked they are not as well established as Lenovo for PC or Apple for Mac).

    Gizzard, thanks for your feedback. Enjoy your mashine and lets hope they ceep the physical buttons for the next moddles. Mine is too new to retire jet :-)

    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  11. #11
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    I have a T440.

  12. #12
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    I have two X-230s and I positively hate the trackpad. Quite frankly, I can't wait until they die so that I can replace them with a machine that actually has a functioning trackpad. Back in the day - before IBM sold the computer line to Lenovo - Thinkpads were THE computer for speed, reliability and quality. Now they have hardware based malware and are overpriced and underperforming consumer products.

    To get back on topic - almost every laptop available has a properly sized cache or brain cell - TB merely identifies them by their Mac sizing. Remember that the caches are a bit stretch and the brain cells are somewhat adjustable but will also "stretch" a bit right to left.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

  13. #13
    Volunteer Moderator Ilkyway's Avatar
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    ceb I feel your pain but I had the X220t and have to say I quite liked it. I was a bit afraid that the newer to me T440s might have a bad keyboard since the desing of it had changed completly but it is as nice as Thinkpadkeyboards are.
    I am so glad that the T440s has quite a bit more realastead when it comes to the screen. The X220t was a pain in that regard. Everybody is bashing Lenovo over IBM but I am still a fan and I suspect that with IBM there would have been changes too over time. Sadly I cant use that trackball thingy because my hand gets cramped and it hurts over time. But if I where not such a wuss... The layout is brilliant. Typing with ten fingers and having that little trackthingy means I never have to reposition the fingers to go on typing...

    Maybe I should declair, that I am NOT working for Lenovo. I am just a fan... ;-)
    Ilkyway
    “Ankh-Morpork people considered that spelling was a sort of optional extra. They believed in it in the same way they believed in punctuation; it didn't matter where you put it so long as it was there.”

    By Sir Terence David John Pratchett from The Truth

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilkyway View Post
    ceb I feel your pain but I had the X220t and have to say I quite liked it. I was a bit afraid that the newer to me T440s might have a bad keyboard since the desing of it had changed completly but it is as nice as Thinkpadkeyboards are.
    I am so glad that the T440s has quite a bit more realastead when it comes to the screen. The X220t was a pain in that regard. Everybody is bashing Lenovo over IBM but I am still a fan and I suspect that with IBM there would have been changes too over time. Sadly I cant use that trackball thingy because my hand gets cramped and it hurts over time. But if I where not such a wuss... The layout is brilliant. Typing with ten fingers and having that little trackthingy means I never have to reposition the fingers to go on typing...

    Maybe I should declair, that I am NOT working for Lenovo. I am just a fan... ;-)
    Ilkyway
    I used to be a fan too but the forums are just cluttered with complaints about the trackpad and horrible customer service. I got the IPS screens so - while small - it is quite sharp. That trackpad is a dealbreaker though.
    Last edited by ceb; 06-05-2015 at 07:35 AM.
    When in trouble, obfuscate.

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