Empire Builder or Zephyr?
I've been reading reviews on laptop bags for the past couple of months, since I've been researching quite heavily into tablets and accessories for college this September. I've finally purchased a Fujitsu T2010 with an extended battery - and I'm having a bit of trouble deciding which bag to go with.
I'm looking at the Zephyr and the Empire Builder; I'd like to go with the Zephyr if I can fit what I need it in, since it will be a bit more mobile than the Empire (obviously) but if I can't fit what I need in it then I will likely go with the Empire - which would also give me more flexibility to take other things in the winter)
So I will be using a Fujitsu T2010 mainly - this will *always* be the main item in the bag - and so for that I know I will need a brain bag (Size 5) [As a side note..I notice the T2010 isn't listed even though someone said in a forum post it would be added! - I search :)]
I'm also considering getting an Acer Aspire One - which I will likely also carry around with me. This will call for a Brain Cell Size 7.
Ideally, most of my textbooks will be kept on my T2010 as ebooks/scanned PDFs - so it will cut down on the books I need to carry. That being said, I may need to carry around novels or other small books as well. Likely no more than 2-3.
What would also be nice, is to be able to carry a textbook or two if I had to, though I highly doubt I'd be able to carry both laptops and some novels AND the textbooks, maybe in the Empire?
-Power bricks/cables for both laptops, ethernet cords, usb thumb drives, SD cards etc (likely buy an organizer for this) as well as pens, pencils, calculator etc (again, another organizer).
--(Also looking at the Freudian Slip for this and the snake charmer for the power plugs)
-Mouse (not a huge fan of trackpoints/pads)
-Creative Zen Vision:M /other Mp3 player if this awesome beast ever fails on me.
-Cellphone - currently using a Motorola RAZR2 V9; may get a touch-style phone like the HTC Diamond or a new equivalent in the future. Is there a pocket this would fit in nicely (same with the MP3) or would a Mini/Small organizer work for this?
-Sunglasses (I can stick my case in there to keep them safe)
-Wallet (would be nice :))
-Some DVDs,CDs, Games
-Would likely stick my hat in there as well
-Food, likely a small tupperware container, can/bottle drink, some other snacks etc
Also, how well does a water bottle fit in the bag? Is there a nice compartment to stick one in one of the front pouches?
In addition to this, being able to stuff in a sweatshirt might be nice as well, I'm in Canada..so..winter sucks. It gets cold outside and I often wear a sweatshirt underneath my leather jacket, but inside the sweatshirt becomes way too hot. Being able to easily stuff it away would be nice.
I am *also* considering getting a portable scanner and printer to carry around (those manual-feed ones).
And, the possibility of me getting a camera in the future as well. I may also get a small portable modem (for rogers wireless internet) if I decide to get that plan in the future)
Basically I want a bag I can take to school and essentially live/work out of for the day. I live at home, which is about an hour away from my college by bus, so I want to be able to head down there, go to class and have everything I need at my side, and when my class is over (I have a decent schedule with an hour between most classes - more on some days) - go out, find a powerplug and relax/get some work done. I'd also like to be able to carry food around since I'd rather not be spending money on takeout/dine in every day...too expensive.
So, which one would be better for me? I'm leaning towards the Empire now that I've written this and gotten my needs down together, since I think it would allow me more flexibility in the choices of what I take with me - but I'd still like to see if the Zephyr would work for my more basic needs. It's not an issue of the price difference, but rather, having the smaller bag VS having more bag space. Mobility VS Functionality, if you gather what I mean.
Anyways, thanks for anyone who can give me some feedback. Much appreciated - especially if you have firsthand experience with either or both (especially both!)
A question for the staff (Darcy was the one who mentioned it I think) Has the new batch with the extra O-Rings in the main compartment been put through? If I was to order an Empire Builder - would I get one with the extra rings..or would it be random..or are they not done yet?
Another question - the Empire comes with a key lanyard, correct? Is this the 8 inch or the 16 inch if it does?