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  1. #1
    Jay
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    Bring back the zippers on Brain Cells!

    I do not understand the reasoning behind switching from zippers to velcro on the Brain Cells. I can't stand velco being used on bags. Why? Because velco makes the LOUDEST noise on Earth with used in class rooms and offices! I avoid it for this very reason.

    With that being said, I'm extremely satisfied with my Monolith (now called the vertical brain cell). I can haul my laptop anywhere within my backpack without any worries and the zipper is nice and quiet.

    Now I'm looking to switch from a backpack to more professional looking Empire Builder. But now I'm kicking myself for not grabbing a horizontal brain cell when they used to have zippers! Tom, please bring back the zippers on the Brain Cells! Can you do a custom order? Do you have any NOS brain cells with zippers laying around? I'm loving the Empire Builder but I just cannot bring myself to use brain cell with a velco enclosure.

  2. #2
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    I agree, I also prefer the zipper.

  3. #3
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    Velcro is nice and quick, but for the same reason, I wish my brain cell had instead a zipper. (A non-Tom bag that I used during law school a couple of times led me to the embarrassing dilemma of one quick, LOUD rip of the velcro, or a slow, possible-worse creaking/popping noice ...)

    timothy

  4. #4
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    Ah, Velcro - we love and hate you!
    I'm not a big fan of Velcro, or "hook and loop" as it is more generically called (we use Aplix brand - it's the best), and I certainly agree that its noise is a big negative.
    However, back when the Monolith had a zipper on the top, I always felt that the padding under the zipper was not quite as protective as the two layers of foam that protect the top of the current Brain Cells (both horizontal and vertical); also that cereal-box style closure of the Brain Cell allows the laptop to slide in and out without hanging up on a zipper.
    So, while I feel your pain (or do I hear your pain?), I still think that the Aplix closure is the best compromise for our Brain Cell.
    Mean while, I've heard the rumor that the military is working on silent velcro :)

  5. #5
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    Also, the Horizontal Brain Cell was never available with a zipper closure, only the ol' Monolith.

  6. #6
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    FWIW I don't mind the velcro. But I'm not dealing with a quiet classroom setting either. I do like how with velcro you end up with hinged flaps so it's pretty darn easy to load and unload the laptop. Seems like with zippers you don't get that clean hinge and thus things get caught on the corners more often than not.

  7. #7
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    zipper placement matters ...

    FWIW I don't mind the velcro. But I'm not dealing with a quiet classroom setting either. I do like how with velcro you end up with hinged flaps so it's pretty darn easy to load and unload the laptop. Seems like with zippers you don't get that clean hinge and thus things get caught on the corners more often than not.
    Hmm. Most zippered products (or many, at least) needlessly center the zipper.

    Tom, if the zipper were at the edge of the case, would it be possible to have both better possibilities for the padding, and a clean hinge?

    (I dunno how the zipper was on the monolith, and maybe it's impossible to put a zipper there because it would weaken the bag ...)

    timothy

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothy View Post
    Hmm. Most zippered products (or many, at least) needlessly center the zipper.

    Tom, if the zipper were at the edge of the case, would it be possible to have both better possibilities for the padding, and a clean hinge?

    (I dunno how the zipper was on the monolith, and maybe it's impossible to put a zipper there because it would weaken the bag ...)

    timothy
    I like this idea a lot! I imagine that the zipper could run along the edge on 3 sides, and the other side is the hinge where it pivots open to reveal the laptop. This way, the top can be fully padded, and since the top pivots open completely it would not catch on the laptop when pulling it out.

  9. #9
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    I vote for the continued use of the Aplix.
    Jim Hall
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  10. #10
    Jay
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    Quote Originally Posted by weijia View Post
    I like this idea a lot! I imagine that the zipper could run along the edge on 3 sides, and the other side is the hinge where it pivots open to reveal the laptop. This way, the top can be fully padded, and since the top pivots open completely it would not catch on the laptop when pulling it out.
    +1

    I think this is a great idea! I'm itching to get an Empire Builder but the velco on the Brain Cells (even if it is the best quality) is way too loud for the environments I would use it in. Bummer.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by timothy View Post
    Hmm. Most zippered products (or many, at least) needlessly center the zipper.

    Tom, if the zipper were at the edge of the case, would it be possible to have both better possibilities for the padding, and a clean hinge?

    (I dunno how the zipper was on the monolith, and maybe it's impossible to put a zipper there because it would weaken the bag ...)

    timothy
    On the Monolith, the zipper is at the center, I have one, very strong bag.

    I understand the thinking behind replacing the zip closure with a grip fabric closure, it gives more wiggle room when removing the bag in a hurry, for example, at the airport.

    The grip fabric and the overlapping closure gives more padding at the top of the case.
    What could be done to give both zipper convenience and extra padding at the top of
    the bag would be to make the two overlapping piece of fabric to close with a tiny piece of gripping fabric and a zipper at the top.


    When I ordered the Monolith, I also ordered the same size Soft Cell. I wanted to be able to transport my laptop by itself inside it's Monolith while carrying only my Cafe Bag.
    But I found out that I seldom transported my laptop by itself and that a Soft Cell inside my Brain Bag is much better suited to my needs.
    Last edited by backpack; 12-12-2008 at 08:18 AM.

  12. #12
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    When I ordered the Monolith, I also ordered the same size Soft Cell. I wanted to be able to transport my laptop by itself inside it's Monolith while carrying only my Cafe Bag.
    But I found out that I seldom transported my laptop by itself and that a Soft Cell inside my Brain Bag is much better suited to my needs.
    Since I usually work from home, I find that one frequent use of my braincell is to simply carry my computer up and down stairs (house has basement, plus three more floors), rather than my old norm, carrying it around, usually open, unprotected. I've had enough Saturday Night Live pratfall moments to know this isn't a good idea, especially with the (rather slippery) MacBook Pro.

    timothy

  13. #13
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    That's one of the reason I am a first floor, one floor kind of person.

    That and having to carry groceries up three flights of stairs and the recycling
    and trash the same way but down and laundry back and forth plus a nice walk a couple of blocks, uphill, to the laundromat.

    That was back in the late 90's when SF bay area traffic was so horrendous that my husband decided not to buy another car for a while.


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