Observations on the new ID
I received my new ID, and I'd like to offer a few observations. As background, I also own a Super Ego and the previous generation of the ID. Overall, I really like it. It's a good revision, and the new front pocket is a winner. I like that the bottom of it (the pocket) sits on the same level as the bottom of the rest of the bag, more so than the one on the Super Ego. This seems to help it sit without tipping over easily (not that the SE is especially tippy). The new layout works really well--especially the suede pockets on the side. The bottle-holder on the side is great, although I'd like to see on on the other side as well. The rest of the bag is pretty much the same as the previous one.
About the clip rings: There are three of them, all in the front pocket. One is on the upper right in the back of the pocket, one is in the front of the pocket on the left side (this one is really handy for clipping the small organizer pouches), and one is tucked away in the left side of the front zipper pocket. I like the new placements, and find myself wishing for more, especially another one on the right side in the front of the pocket. Placing them on the front part of the pocket enables one to clip organizer pouches (small works best) so they stay out of the way of the pockets and pen loops on the back of the pocket. It would also be nice to be able to clip some pouches in the main compartment, maybe in the front corners. I realize that it would be easy to get carried away with putting them all over the place, but they are unobtrusive, and add a great deal of functionality. I believe that the rings plus the organizer pouches add a powerful customization element to the bags.
As a comparison to the Super Ego, I like how the ID has a good place that fits envelopes where they won't get crunched--the front flap pocket. The Super Ego doesn't--I ended up putting them behind my Brain Cell between the attachments. This works fine, until you don't have the Brain Cell in there. I'd like to see at least one pocket that would fit the standard bill envelope in the upcoming Ego and future iterations of the SE. I'm torn between the designs of the two bags. I can't decide which I like better--the full cover front flap, or the easily accessible main compartment. They both have their strengths and weaknesses, and they are both outstanding designs (and finished products). As for the previous ID vs the new one, it's a well done refinement of a great design. I originally got the first ID for travel as a carryon bag along with the Aeronaut, since the SE was too big as the second carryon. Recently, I didn't need to bring my PowerBook to work with me anymore, and suddenly the SE was much more than I needed for everyday use, so I began using the ID. I was, and still am, feeling extravagant buying the new one when the one I already had (and for less than a year) did pretty much the same thing, but I tell myself that it is something that I use every day, and fits my stuff better (of course the fact that I could get it in Sage that would match my Aeronaut didn't matter at all, nope, not a bit). And I really like buying from a high-quality company that designs and actually makes the products that they sell!
Sorry--I didn't mean for this to be so long!