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  1. #1
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    Nov 2005
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    Thinkpad X32, Brain Cell and Smart Alec

    In a few weeks I will be taking delivery of an IBM Thinkpad X32 ultraportable laptop. It comes with a detachable docking station, the X3 Ultrabase. My question is: would the X32/ultrabase combo fit a size 5 Brain Cell? Here are the dimensions:

    without X3 UltraBase: 10.7" x 8.8" x .98-1.19"; 273mm x 223mm x 24.9-30.2mm
    with X3 UltraBase: 10.8" x 8.9" x 2.0-2.3"; 273 x 227 x 51-58mm

    A poster on the Thinkpads.com forums asserts that his X31 + ultrabase (exact same dimensions as X32) fit in perfectly. Does the Brain Cell really offer enough stretch to accommodate that combo?

    Additional questions: does the size 5 Brain Cell fit in the Smart Alec comfortably without distending the bag sideways? And if the Brain Cell sits low in the bag, won't its upper edge dig into the carrier's back (as opposed to a monolith taking up most of the bag's height)?

    I apologize for the hair-splitting questions -- I would like to make the right purchase. Any advice and recommendations will be most welcome.

    Thanks in advance.
    Last edited by riviol; 12-18-2005 at 03:41 PM.

  2. #2
    I work at Tom Bihn sunga's Avatar
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    May 2003
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    just outside of Olympic Nat'l Park
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    Hi there,

    Thanks for your questions. As far as the fit goes, I would hesitate to put anything larger than 2" thick inside the Size 5 Brain Cell. Nominally, it's measurements are 11.5 x 9.5 x 1.5. It certainly does have some give, but 2.3" might be pushing it. That being said, if another customer is out there using this combo, then go for it. It just might be a bit of a struggle pulling the laptop out of the case. The other two dimensions are just fine.

    Next question. The Size 5 Brain Cell fits just fine in the Smart Alec. It is only .25" wider than the Smart Alec and does not appear to stretch the pack at all. We have lots of customers using this combination and have had no reports of the Brain Cell digging into the user's back. Given the choice I would almost always choose a Brain Cell over a Monolith. The Brain Cell gives you the versatility of being able to use it in a messenger style bag or a briefcase. It also has the stretch mesh pocket on the front, which makes it more useful on its own than the Monolith.

    Please let me know if you have any further questions.
    http://tombihn.com

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

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  3. #3
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    Sunga, thank you very much for your helpful reply. I am fully convinced that the Brain Cell is unrivaled for laptop protection and that's what I intend to order. Even if I find out that the laptop + docking station combo don't fit the Brain Cell, it will be no big deal as the docking station will be left home most of the time.

    I'm still wavering between the Brain Bag and the Smart Alec but this is a choice no one can make for me of course. One question though: would the Snake Charmer fit the Smart Alec with Brain Cell and still leave room for other stuff?

    Thanks for the help.

  4. #4
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    Oslo, Norway
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    I'm pretty sure my friend is using his X40 with the docking inside his Size 5 Braincell and I beleive the X40 + dock is about the same as the X32 + dock. If you are interested I can of course check how snug that fit is...

    Cobos
    If you are not part of the solution you are part of the precipitate!

  5. #5
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    Thank you, Cobos. If it's no trouble for you, could you ask your friend if the X32+base (almost 8mm thicker at the thick end than the X40+base) would fit the Brain Cell. That would really answer my question. Thanks in advance.

  6. #6
    I work at Tom Bihn sunga's Avatar
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    Hi again,

    The Snake Charmer takes up about as much room as whatever you put in it. There's definitely room for a filled-up Snake in the Smart Alec along with your Brain Cell and a few other things: lunch, a book or two (depending on size), a lightweight jacket or sweater.
    http://tombihn.com

    "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

    -Dr. Seuss

  7. #7
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    Thank you again, Sunga, for your informative answers.

  8. #8
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    Ooops.... I talked to my friend and the X4 base and the X40 does NOT fit together inside the size 5 Braincell. You can use either one inside it (hence you need 2 Braincells to bring them both) but there's no way to fit them together.

    So that might change the situation a bit..

    Cobos
    If you are not part of the solution you are part of the precipitate!

  9. #9
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    Thank you very much, Cobos, for taking the time to verify with your friend. The only times I would need the ultrabase would be when traveling, but on a daily basis I would carry the laptop alone. It's just as well that the Brain Cell is not deep enough to accommodate the combo because then the laptop alone would just be rattling around. When I take possession of my X32 in a few weeks, I'll be in a better position to decide whether to transport the ultrabase separately in a plain thin sleeve or, attached to the laptop, in a deeper sleeve offering most probably less protection than the Brain Cell but to be used only when traveling. In any case I plan on getting the Brain Cell for my daily needs.

    Your response was very helpful. Thanks again.


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