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  1. #1
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    New MacBook Pros vs. ID, Ego...

    I'm anticipating purchase soon of a shiny new 15.4" MacBook Pro to (finally) replace my five year old Powerbook (the original 15in Aluminum model), which I've been carrying around -- delightedly -- the past three years in a black/grape/wasabi ID.

    I see the discussion of the new "late 2008" MBP taking a size 4Z Brain Cell (vs. 4X for the previous model), which is understandable, but I was quite dismayed to see the list of TB messenger bags that fit the MBP has dwindled from 3 to 1. The Super Ego seems... well... huge. I really don't need to carry around a toaster, a set of encyclopedias, or our cats, just my laptop and a few accessories. The more modestly sized ID and Ego seem much better fits for me (and, I'm guessing, more than a few others). Is there any chance of tweaking the size of these two bags the extra quarter inch that's apparently necessary for the 4Z to fit properly? I'm not looking for a major redesign (indeed, I've envied all the changes you've already made over the past few years to the ID), just increase the dimensions as little as necessary -- hopefully non-MBP users might not even notice the difference.

    I've been continually pleased with my existing ID and Brain Cell, and I'd cheerfully buy a new ID (or possibly an Ego) to go with a new 4Z Brain Cell, when I get my new MBP.

    Any thoughts?
    -- Carl

    P.S. I miss the colors. There used to be such lovely colors, like hunter and grape, on the outside of your bags (yes, I know those two can't come back); it made them unique and pretty -- you went to fewer colors, that's understandable, but now it seems like many of the color choices are... black/black/something (er, that's not a contrasting color, it's just black), or black/steel/something ... neither seems, exactly, "colorful". Lining colors are nice, but only when the case is open -- I'd love to see you offer an outside contrast color from the green-blue-purple end of the spectrum again. Something pretty... please?

  2. #2
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    I have a SuperEgo, and (YMMV, of course) I think it's more manageable than I'd been somewhat led to fear. Now, the bag I'd been carrying around most frequently for the previous 18-or-so years, though not nearly so featureful, was about the same size, which influences my perception, but ... still, I must admit, if anything I sometimes wish I had an *Ultra* Super Ego, so I could squish in my bike helmet and lock a little better.

    (For the record, I'm 5'10, 185 or so pounds -- very average American male size that is. If I was any bigger, I'd probably laugh at the thought of a bag any smaller, though in fact for some trips I know a smaller one would be fine and even preferable. Still, I keep feeling happy I went with the Super rather than the plain Ego.)

    timothy

  3. #3
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    The Super Ego is great. I carry mine everyday. I'm not a MacBook user; but I do have a large Lenovo T61P with extended battery. The Super Ego fits it like a glove. The only thing I had to do was purchase another Brain Cell. My original size 3S wouldn't fit my new laptop. The good news is my new size 2S Brain Cell had no difficulties getting into the SE.
    The straps on the outside give you the option of adding additional colors to your bag. I have the reflective strap for when I'm flying, and a Wasabi Belt Buckle strap for everyday use.

    I don't think you can go wrong with 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.

  4. #4
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    So I got my MacBook Pro a little earlier than I'd planned (dead logic board on my PowerBook == not worth fixing), and I'm carrying the MBP, for the time being, in the size 4 Brain Cell from my PowerBook -- it is a tight fit, and definitely not a permanent solution (I'm carrying it very carefully). I came back here to order a size 4Z Brain Cell (glad to hear they're shipping next week).

    I notice that the Ego is now listed on the special page for the new MacBook Pro; I'm pretty sure it wasn't there before. Does this mean that, upon further consideration, you now feel that the 4Z fits the Ego reasonably well? What's the story with the ID? Is the current ID just too tight for the 4Z at all, or does this mean that it doesn't fit "properly" (not enough breathing room, etc.), or ...? Not trying to pick a fight, just curious what the deal is. My new MBP fits just fine in my old (Aug'05) ID (though in the overly tight size 4 Brain Cell). Is there some reason not to put a new size 4Z Brain Cell in my current ID? And if the current ID won't quite fit the 4Z, is there any chance of the ID design being resized the extra 1/4" wider (or whatever) to fit the 4Z?

    Anyway, off to order a 4Z; would love to hear Tom's/Darcy's answers to the above -- will try the 4Z in my ID, and if that doesn't work, my come back for an Ego.

    P.S. Oh, and the new MacBook Pro is unspeakably fabulous -- pretty much the perfect computer for me :-)

  5. #5
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    I'm sorry for the late reply and update - it's been a hectic week!

    We found that the new 4Z *does* fit in the Ego, but it won't fit in the ID. More details soon. But your 4Z should be shipping next week!
    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

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darcy View Post
    We found that the new 4Z *does* fit in the Ego, but it won't fit in the ID. More details soon. But your 4Z should be shipping next week!
    "The new phonebooks are here! The new phonebooks are here! I'm somebody now!!!"

    Er, wait, wrong movie My size 4Z Brain Cell arrived about fifteen minutes ago, and... well, there's not too much to say about the bag itself, which is entirely Tom Bihn's fault -- it's his/their/your usual fabulous quality that we've all come to know and love, and take for granted, and my new unibody 15" MacBook Pro fits in it perfectly; close all around, but not tight. Quite a difference from shoehorning it into my old size 4 case for the past couple weeks (it "fit", but only by bowing out the ends to their limit).

    I note only a couple differences in 3-ish years between Brain Cells (aside from color and size), the D-rings for the strap have changed into nice sturdy little triangles, and the additional "infamous" French quip on the label is gone (fitting now, since I'll likely carry this case for the next four years), replaced by "Siquid mantica non capit, domi relinquendum est.". Oh, and the "Z" part of the "4Z" size label is hand-written.

    As far as the ID goes... You're right, the 4Z doesn't really fit -- oh, I can get it jammed in there, but it fills every last milliliter (forget putting anything else in the main compartment), and presents a little wrestling challenge every time to get the top closed (one must struggle to tuck the Brain Cell's flap under, and pull the ID's zipper over, before zipping up).

    So, I'm off to order an Ego... hoping it'll arrive by the weekend (no, no particular deadline, just hate waiting for stuff).
    Last edited by CarlRJ; 11-18-2008 at 12:32 PM.

  7. #7
    cjr
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    Quote Originally Posted by CarlRJ View Post
    As far as the ID goes... You're right, the 4Z doesn't really fit -- oh, I can get it jammed in there, but it fills every last milliliter (forget putting anything else in the main compartment), and presents a little wrestling challenge every time to get the top closed (one must struggle to tuck the Brain Cell's flap under, and pull the ID's zipper over, before zipping up).
    Sorry this is a bit late to the party :-)

    I've just upgraded Macs like you, and slightly rashly ordered the 4Z for my ID without checking if it would fit in the bag. I thought the only issue was fitting the MacBook Pro!

    How tight is the fit?

    I'm also slightly peeved because I emailed a query about the fit to customerservice but got no replies before getting notification that the Brain Cell had shipped. (I still have no replies.)

  8. #8
    TOM BIHN Crew (we work here) Darcy's Avatar
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    Hi cjr,

    I've been working on a reply to you. We received your email asking if the 4Z fit the ID only <i>after</i> your order had shipped. I have been trying to find out if there was some point at which we could catch your order before it was too late, but should have contacted you to let you know what was going on - sorry about that.

    I'll also email you this, and we can figure out what to do from there!
    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

  9. #9
    cjr
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    Smile Fits a bit tight but is OK

    The Brain Cell's arrived and is installed in my ID.

    The side-to-side fit inside the ID is fine. The top-to-bottom fit inside the ID is a bit tight, as CarlRJ notes. I was expecting the side-to-side fit to be the issue as the MBP's an inch or so wider than the old Powerbook. The MBP's as snug as a bug in a rug inside the Brain Cell!

    As I mentioned to Darcy by email I'll see how it works in practice for a week. My gut instinct is that it'll be fine and maybe the ID will reshape itself a little.

    There's of course still space in the main ID compartment to put the MBP's (bigger) power adaptor and all the other junk that I seem to have accumulated :-)


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