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  1. #1
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    Brain cell and Smart Alec questions

    I am considering a change from my Swiss Army laptop bag to a Smart Alec and I was looking at the Brain Cell options and had some questions. It seems that the only way to secure the Brain Cell using the clips is to go with the vertical Brain Cell, is that correct? Also, is it me or does the picture of the vertical Brain Cell seem overly tall? My Dell D810 is widescreen but it's not freakishly long and the pictures of the vertical Brain Cell seem almost beyond legal pad length.

  2. #2
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    Hi, pretzelb,

    Just wanted to let you know that I had posed a similar question for the Smart Alec under the Smart Alec thread regarding my Macbook. I am also hesitant to buy the vertical when it looks awkward to carry by itself, whereas the horizontal's proportions look better.

    It seems that the horizontal size 6 will be a tight fit, but would still work in the Smart Alec. I'm not sure what size your computer is. (You can sort of check by going to Smart Alec page and seeing the sizes offered in the horizontal Brain Cell drop down menu.)

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
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    I have the new Smart Alec with a vertical Brain Cell. I don't think you should underestimate the convenience of being able to pull your laptop out without unhooking the Brain Cell from inside the bag. However, I'm more likely to use the Brain Cell inside a bag instead of on it's own, so if your main use is by itself then maybe that doesn't matter as much.

  4. #4
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    Hi, asml,
    Thanks for the feedback. I have some follow up questions.
    How much space is left in the Smart Alec when the Brain Cell is in it?
    Also, if you have used the vertical BC by itself, what was your experience with it?
    Would a horizontal BC need to be unclipped from the Smart Alec to take out my computer?
    Thanks for any input!

  5. #5
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    Glad I found this thread. I was very close to purchasing a Smart Alec (really like the re-design), but just ordered a Horizontal size 4 Brain Cell for my work-issued Dell D630.

    I currently have an ID messenger bag and Brain Bag, but wanted a smaller backpack option. I had assumed the Size 4 Brain Cell would have fit in the Smart Alec - I didn't even realize the size 4 was limited to vertical.

    Nothing against vertical - I just wanted something I could use in my ID and backpacks.

    I wonder if fitting a size 4 horizontal brain cell is absolutely, no-way-it's-gonna-fit - or is it more of a "we don't recommend it" kind of fit.

    Reason for that is I have a size 3S horizontal for my Thinkpad T43, and although the site states it won't fit in the ID, it most definitely does fit (albeit, a tight fit when closing the zipper).

  6. #6
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kengreen View Post
    I wonder if fitting a size 4 horizontal brain cell is absolutely, no-way-it's-gonna-fit - or is it more of a "we don't recommend it" kind of fit.
    It definitely won't fit. It's just too wide. Sorry!

    Quote Originally Posted by kengreen View Post
    Reason for that is I have a size 3S horizontal for my Thinkpad T43, and although the site states it won't fit in the ID, it most definitely does fit (albeit, a tight fit when closing the zipper).
    Be careful: we don't recommend using the 3S with the ID because the 3S pushes on the zippers of the ID and could cause them to blow out prematurely.
    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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    OK. Thanks for quick reply.

    I don't carry my Thinkpad (with Brain Cell 3S) in my ID any more - only did it a few times. I will heed your warning, but will say that, at least for me, it doesn't seem to cause too much stress on the ID zipper.

    (I know, I know... not recommended. And I carry my Thinkpad/3S by itself or in my Brain Bag anyway. Just saying... )

    I'm moving from a 420 to a 630 (size 5 Brain Cell to size 4 Brain Cell). Too bad!

    Oh well, maybe I'll eventually get a Smart Alec anyway and a vertical soft cell or something...

  8. #8
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kengreen View Post
    (I know, I know... not recommended. And I carry my Thinkpad/3S by itself or in my Brain Bag anyway. Just saying... )
    Kids: do NOT try this at home! ;D
    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


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