I bought a couple of these 'Spec Laptop Cases' on eBay recently to protect the outer shell of my MBP. I will be soon be giving one of them away on a future MacOSG podcast to some lucky member.
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I'll second the Speck case as protection for your MacBook Pro... unfortunately... it's not a carry case that would allow you to tote around your accessories. It's still a nice way to protect your MacBook Pro. With most carry cases... once you take it out, it's not really protected... with the Speck case, it's ALWAYS protected. Maybe a Speck case and a nice carry case would be a good alternative.
I have my Timbuk2 case for my 17" i have had it for a few years and traveled a few hundred thousand miles with it. It is the best bag i have ever owned. It is a messenger bag, not a case, but the room in this bag has is just amazing (for a while i was carrying around a Gateway 17" + Powerbook 17" G4 in one bag). Now with just my 17" MBP there is plenty of room for books and other stuff.
Great bag for the money.. I am going to get another one here soon and give my older one up to my son.
Link is: http://www.timbuk2.com/tb2/retail/catalog.htm
Bag n’ Tag It
by: Digital Dude
In today’s world of everything slim and integrated, more techno fanatics and Spartan travelers are embracing the minimalist approach. To that end, I was looking for an alternative to my bulky computer briefcase for travel. So, I ordered the “Buzz” by Tom Bihn.
Initially, I was a bit skeptical since the price of the Buzz is rather high for a nylon bag in today’s crowded market. Fortunately, the folks at Tom Bihn have an excellent guarantee with great customer service. If you receive the bag, and it’s not what you expected, simply return it without having to request an authorization. Try that with any other bag manufacturer!
My first impression after opening the box was that the Buzz is in fact, a very well made nylon sling-bag with attractive accents. The initial fit on the back and shoulder was comfortable, and the crossover strap is wide and it fits guys and gals without interference. It’s also nicely padded and has a large durable quick disconnect fastener below your left rib area. There is a smaller adjustable waist strap for a more secure and balanced fit. I found it wasn’t necessary for casual carry although quite useful when riding a bike or running to catch that flight.
The Buzz has two main compartments with waterproof zippers that don’t snag and they seal very well.
The main compartment houses a unique padded panel with a fitted corner, similar to a fitted bed sheet that stretches over one corner of the MacBook Pro. The space between the computer holder and the zippered panel provides room for a book, magazines, documents, or even a small travel neck pillow.
The second zippered compartment is on the very back and is slightly smaller or stepped down from the main compartment. It includes the usual key strap and some angled stitched pockets for pens, business cards and one larger pocket that can hold a Passport or airline tickets, etc.
The third compartment is on the exterior right side and is made of elastic material and is designed to hold a bottle, small umbrella or equivalent. It also has two pull straps to further secure its contents.
Finally, there is a super convenient compartment in the center of the crossover strap with a Velcro closure. This is my favorite feature, since it holds your cell, iPod or more notably, the new iPhone securely across your chest.
I harnessed the Buzz, adjusted the straps and wore it for a week in and around town. The Buzz and its sling design holds' the 15-inch MacBook Pro, cables, charger, etc. in a vertical orientation on the back. This permits full range of motion for both arms, unlike most soft-sided computer briefcases.
At times, I wanted to shift the load, so I simply reached around with my left hand and lifted up slightly on the bottom as I grabbed the ferry-loop (top strap) with my right hand. In this manner, you can easily adjust the tension on the crossover strap.
The Buzz shoulder bag is advertised as offering “moderate” protection, although it’s quite adequate for most common travel activities. However, I wanted to see if I could fit my MacBook Pro while stuffed in the Tucano “Second Skin” sleeve. To my delight, it fit nearly perfect as though it was made for “The Buzz”. This combination effectively increases the travel protection by at least 2:1.
Accessory provisions or lack thereof, is a shortfall with many bag manufactures. User’s end up stuffing their charger, cables and adapters into secondary bags which all end up at the bottom, resulting in disorganized clutter. I visualize a removable fitted panel with separate compartments or straps that hold a basic array of typical computing items. In fact, I ended up using one of my luggage toiletry panels to help organize my computer gear in the Buzz. It holds everything vertically and eliminated the pile at the bottom.
After field-testing, I decided this bag was definitely a keeper’. However, I would prefer a tighter fit of the MacBook Pro or a matching sleeve. I would also favor a more contoured and softer crossover strap with an exterior I.D. card and pen/pencil slot. Since I’m dreaming here, how about a less abrasive backside for improved comfort.
The Buzz sling bag is a well-made, lightweight, ergonomic alternative to a backpack or the horizontal briefcase design. It holds most everything one might need for mobile computing while providing an excellent provision for Apple’s new iPhone.
MBP Core Duo: 15"/2.16/2GB DDR/7200HD Mac OS X (10.4.10) "New" AEBS w/n-draft