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  1. #1
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    How Can The Empire Builder Be The Best Bag If...

    ...a Brain Cell properly sized for one of the most popular notebook combos around does not fit it (with the accompanying clip system)? That is, the 15.4" T60/61 series with extended battery. This is one area where the Brenthaven Duo II outdoes the Empire Builder outright, the BDII fitting previous generation 15" T42 series (with extended battery) and current 15.4" T60/61 series (with extended battery) better than current EB/BC clip system combos.

  2. #2
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    T42/T60/T61 (w/ ext battery) Brain Cell For Empire Builder

    Not just properly sized Brain Cells (which are in production), but those which can be attached to the Empire Builder via the clip system. How could this oversight have existed for so long? Lest I be considered a troll, let it be known that I own both a Brenthaven Duo II and an Empire Builder, a 12.1" iBook, 15" T42, 15.4" T60, and a 15.4" Toshiba A200 (with the ProtecT Rugged Case). I would not mind purchasing multiple Brain Cells, but offer at least one which fits the Empire Builder at the relatively common size of 15 x 11.5 x 1.5.

  3. #3
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    I wouldn't call it an oversight: we've had more than a few requests for a larger Empire Builder (even one big enough to fit the Toshiba P25!). When Tom was designing a second size of Empire Builder, he had to choose between making a smaller version (what became the Zephyr) and a larger version. In the end, we had more requests at that time for a smaller version. Also, when Tom designed the Empire Builder, the T60/61 series with the extended battery (or laptops similarly sized) didn't exist.

    Tom is currently designing a larger version of the Empire Builder. To fit a Brain Cell or laptop with dimensions around 15 x 11.5 x 1.5 the Empire Builder would have to be as tall as the Super Ego messenger bag is. People (unless they have large laptops or a ton of stuff) would probably want to carry the current size of Empire Builder (or even the Zephyr), so it makes more sense to make a third size of Empire Builder rather than modify the current Empire Builder to fit a Brain Cell that would fit the laptops you've mentioned.

    It's more of a challenge to design a larger or smaller version of a bag and still have it look "right" than one might think. For example, to get the proportion of the pockets on the front flap of the Zephyr just right took a lot of tinkering. So don't expect the larger Empire Builder next week -- more like early-mid next year. :)
    Last edited by Darcy; 11-06-2007 at 09:55 AM.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  4. #4
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    I'm using a T60 and the extended battery with a size 3s brain cell. I thought that size brain cell would fit in the Empire builder without issue? I know my Super Ego swallows it up.
    Anyway, I was thinking that the Zephyr may be tight; but the EB should handle it.
    Using a: Super Ego (Black, Steel, Wasabi) with seat belt strip (Wasabi), and alternate reflective Strip. Black BrainCell, Wasabi Snake Charmer, Cork Small Organizer Pouch, and Olive green medium organizer pouch.

  5. #5
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    The thing is that the Empire Builder is both taller and deeper than the Brenthaven Duo II, yet cannot accomodate a properly sized Brain Cell w/ clip system. Even the smaller, previous gen Brenthaven Duo with the removable padded cell fits the T-series, also my Empire Builder fits the Duo's removable padded cell w/o issue. Just would rather have a Brain Cell clipped properly to the Empire Builder.
    Last edited by adamlau; 11-06-2007 at 04:01 PM.

  6. #6
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeL View Post
    I'm using a T60 and the extended battery with a size 3s brain cell. I thought that size brain cell would fit in the Empire builder without issue?
    Hey, that's true, MikeL! The Size 3S does clip securely inside the Empire Builder.
    Current Carry: Skookum Dog Citizen Canine prototype, Founder's Briefcase (every day carry), Small Cafe Bag (every day carry), Shop Bags (groceries, extra random stuff), Aeronaut 45 (travel), Synapse 19 (day hikes), Smart Alec (longer day hikes), Skookum Dog Road Duffel (Medium) (travel), Clear Organizer Wallet, Travel Stuff Sacks, Organizer Cubes

  7. #7
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    Wait...3S? Let me check on that!

  8. #8
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    There are three factors contributing to the Empire Builder not swallowing all the Brain Cells one might think:
    #1 - Brain Cells have a significant amount of height added by the suspension system and padding at the top - amounting to about 2.5" of height over and above the actual height of the laptop. This is a major factor.
    #2 - The bottom/sides of the Empire Builder are lined with stiff .25" foam, making the inside of the Empire Builder again that much smaller than the outside.
    #3 - The corners of the Empire Builder are rounded, which makes the Empire Builder very easy on the eyes, but does limit the usable interior space somewhat. The Ego/Super Ego have rounded top corners but (very importantly) squared bottom corners, specifically so that bigger Brain Cells will fit in them. It's a different esthetic. We do plan to introduce a bigger Empire Builder sometime in 2008.
    Hope that helps!


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