Do I really want to do this?

An initial foray into blogging.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

And other people think they are laptop bag snobs, ha!

So. I've decided on a white MacBook. I'm such a dork. Since they released the MacBooks (less than two weeks ago), I've been to FOUR Apple Stores plus a CompUSA to look at them. The first day was the day they were released, at the St. Louis Apple Store. I happened to be visiting my parents at the time, and my excuse was my brother's laptop problems (which turned out to be a failing iBook hard drive.) The second Apple Store I went to was the new 5th Ave store in NY, the day after it opened. I was with a friend, and there was really too much to do and see to concentrate on making a decision, so I went to a CompUSA a few days later. They only had the black one, and the guy manning the Mac section is seriously annoying, so the next day I went to the Menlo Park Apple Store in a last ditch effort to make up my mind. And it worked! The white MacBook shall be mine. Then I decided to go to the grand opening of the Freehold Apple Store yesterday, just for the heck of it. Got a free t-shirt there, so that's cool. :)

New York was great, as usual, and wore me out, as usual, since I very rarely choose to do things that involve sitting down in NY. I took the 7am bus and walked from 8:45am to 10pm, except for lunch and dinner. Breakfast was Beardpapa's cream puffs on the go -- if you ever get the chance to eat some of those, DO IT. They're awesome. I had wanted a green tea creampuff, but they only had vanilla and chocolate that day. They sometimes have coffee-flavored ones, which I definitely want to try. We also found this random 1940's diner in the upper east side that surpassed expectations, and had some excellent gelato at an italian cafe around Madison and 78th St. Yes, trips to NY can often be defined by what one finds there to eat. Central Park, the Guggenheim and el Museo del Barrio were also nice. ;)

I finally got around to reading The DaVinci Code, but haven't seen the movie. The book was choppy and had a wince-factor through the roof, but it should make a good thriller movie. I can only hope they use E Nomine in the movie, although I doubt they did. After all, much like the book, everything must be dumbed down to the lowest common denominator, so music in German is out. (Yes, I know, all my European music references are from 1999. Sigh.)

While I wait for the arrival of my spiffy new MacBook, I've been doing some bag shopping. Here's what I want in a laptop bag/airplane carryon:

1. It shouldn't be much wider or longer than the computer, but still long enough to fit a folder or normal-sized paper. This means very near to 11x14".

2. It should have a full-sized pocket along the padded edge for a folder of papers.

3. It must be deep enough to hold my smallish purse. Probably 4" to 6" would be fine.

4. A small number of internal pockets would be nice but not necessary, as long as they don't add to the weight and bulk.

5. It should be comfortable to carry, not too heavy. I'd prefer an over-the-shoulder bag to a backpack-type bag.

6. It should have an external water bottle pocket.

7. After five years of a (very nice) black briefcase laptop bag (the RacerX), I want to feel female again. So preferably something not all black and with a touch of feminine style.

8. Zippers only. No buckles or flaps, which take more time and only get in the way. Don't any of the people who design these bags use them? If they did, wouldn't they realize how annoying those stupid plastic buckles are?

9. It must have a sturdy, non-removable laptop sleeve that is fast and easy to take the computer in and out of. I'm spoiled by my RacerX.

So, as far as I can tell, that bag doesn't exist. Yet. There are some that come close though.

15" Powerbook RacerX, 14.5" x 11" x 4.5", 2.8 lb., $144

I've got one of the very best already, the RacerX. I've used it for five years. It's not much worse for the wear; some of the decorative block-pattern matterial is starting to unravel near the top corner, and some of the texture of the bike handle is starting to wear off. It was not designed to hold a female purse, but with a little stuffing it fits. No external water bottle, and it's all black and male-looking. Still, it's going to be hard to compete against it's quality and design. 6.5/9

Chelsey Henry Laptop Bag, 17.0 x 5.0 x 12.0 inches, 1.0 pounds, $99

I saw this one at the Apple Store. This bag gets so many style points I'm vaguely tempted to overlook the things it's missing. But it's a bit long, has no external water bottle pocket, and has a removable laptop sleeve. With a flap, no less. So it gets 6.5/9, with the half point for it being a bit long.

Ogio Chassy, 12"h x 15.5"w x 3"d, 1.6lb, ~$60 (click "multi-view" for more pictures)

Again, high style points, maybe a bit too high, as it looks more like something young girls would carry. I like the green one. That flap might not even annoy me enough to complain about it, since there are no buckles and it doesn't take up the whole front of the bag. It gets points off for size, though; I'm not sure 3" is deep enough to hold my purse. 7/9

Overland Equipment Trinidad, 14" x 11" x 6", 1.6lb, ~$80

Excellent, but those buckles! Times like this I wish I could sew. If I could chop off that outer flap and the buckles, it might be perfect. 8/9

Overland Equipment Sportclub, 13.5" x 10.5" x 6", 2lb, ~$55

If this were designed to be a laptop bag, it could be perfect, too. Unfortunately, it isn't. So, points off for everything computer related... too bad! 8/9

be.ez LE13, ???

Doesn't look like it'll have an external water bottle pocket, but it does look like it could be very cool. And designed for the MacBook, no less.

So, until I find bag nirvana, I suppose I'll stick with my RacerX.


At 7/21/2006 2:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you considered the Cozmo bag from SFBags? I was in the same position and needed a bag that wasn;t mannish. The sizes are close to what you're looking for - no water bottle though.
You already know the quality of SFBags...


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