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  1. #1
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    interested in smart alec backpack for my powerbook

    Hello,

    I am in the market for a backpack for my Apple Powerbook 15" (Al). I am considering the Smart Alec backpack with the Monolith insert, and I wanted to get some thoughts and suggestions.

    I am currently using a briefbag from Briggs & Riley from around 1997. It sports an insert from their current generation briefs to protect my powerbook. The construction is excellent, the warranty is excellent, and it has lots of space for files, accessories and more.

    I like the quality of their luggage. In fact, all of my luggage (2 suitcases and a hand bag) is made by Briggs & Riley. However, the laptop insert in their backpack is a bit small to fit my Powerbook.

    I have tried the slingpack from In Case. The materials are good, and there is good padding in the back and in the sing. However, the entire Powerbook is not protected. My wife uses this sling pack for her 12" Powerbook, and it's great for that becuase the 12" Powerbook is completely covered in this bag.

    In my search for a bag, I came across Tom Bihn bags and what I've read so far is very impressive. Reading these forums, I am further impressed by the response that Tom provides to customer suggestions and requests.

    If you've used this backpack or the brain bag, I'd appreciate your thoughts. These bags look very promising, but it's hard to ascertain quality from just pictures. Also, I am concerned that the handle on the smart alec backpack is not padded (the padding would be nice if you wanted to hold the backpack by the handle for any period of time).

    Thanks,
    Maverick
    Last edited by maverick; 03-05-2004 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    I don't have a laptop, but I use the Smart Alec. It's the first backpack I've considered carrying since I was little because I hate external zippers, bright bungee cords, etc. Also, it's completely unique looking. The handle doesn't bother me, even if the pack is fairly full, but then again, I don't carry the Smart Alec by its handle for extended periods of time.

    Anyone else have anything to add about the Smart Alec or Monolith ?

    Here are some external reviews of the products:

    Smart Alec reviews:
    http://www.the-gadgeteer.com/tom-bih...ec-review.html

    Smart Alec AND Monolith combined reviews:
    http://www.powerpage.org/cgi-bin/Web...y?newsID=11427

    http://www.pcstats.com/articleview.cfm?articleID=1544
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  3. #3
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    just ordered a crimson smart alec

    i've just ordered a crimson smart alec with a size 4 monolith for my powerbook as well as a freudian slip! waiting anxiously for it to arrive. i'll let all of you know how it works out.

    maverick

  4. #4
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    smart alec arrived

    My Smart Alec finally arrived today. I'm just outfitting it with my gear and have put together a quick initial review. I'll post more feedback on comfort as I use the Smart Alec.

    http://www.khemani.com/tombihn/

    Update: I've updated the review with my first impressions about comfort. I had concerns, but I find the Smart Alec very comfortable.
    Last edited by maverick; 04-05-2004 at 07:31 PM.

  5. #5
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    can the zipper on the smart alec be extended further down?

    Hi,

    I don't know if this would compromise the integrity of the Smart Alec, but would it be possible to have the zipper extend further down to allow for easier access to the items deep inside the Smart Alec? Would it be possible to have the zipper extend down the full length of the Smart Alec? Right now, I have to reach deep inside my Smart Alec to get to something that's at the bottom. With a full length zipper, I could unzip the Smart Alec fully, or to the point necessary, and access the necessary contents. Let me know if this doesn't make sense.

    Thanks,
    Maverick

  6. #6
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    Interesting idea. My first reaction is that extending the zipper further would add to the expense and weight of the Smart Alec without adding that much to the utility. Is there a compromise point? Perhaps adding a couple of inches to each end of the zipper? Would that add to the utility very much, or is a full-length zipper required?

  7. #7
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    Originally posted by Tom Bihn
    Interesting idea. My first reaction is that extending the zipper further would add to the expense and weight of the Smart Alec without adding that much to the utility. Is there a compromise point? Perhaps adding a couple of inches to each end of the zipper? Would that add to the utility very much, or is a full-length zipper required?
    Hi Tom,

    Certainly, extending the zipper even a few inches would help gain access to those articles which are in the lower part of the Smart Alec or Freudian Slip. I presently pull the Freudian Slip out when I need to grab a cable or other article from the lower mesh pockets. The zipper could be extended such that access to these lower areas is made more convenient.

    Though, I wonder if extending the zipper only a few inches would take away from the aesthetics of the Smart Alec, and whether a zipper that extends the length of the Smart Alec will look better - you will have to see as you design it.

    Thank you, and let me know if you have any questions.

    Maverick


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