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teresa
02-08-2005, 09:29 AM
Hi,

I was prompted by a customer comment to realize that of all the people I know who own the Buzz only a couple of them actually own a laptop. I'm curious to know if people would be interested in having the option of purchasing a Buzz without the laptop sleeve/compartment/divider as it seems then you would have more space for your stuff if you're going to be using it as a general purpose bag rather than a laptop bag.

My idea here is that the Buzz would be offered both with or without the laptop compartment depending on how interested folks are.

Consider it a semi-formal poll.

neil
02-25-2005, 10:12 AM
Hi Teresa

I would have preferred to buy my Buzz with a removeable divider, but it wasn't offered. Perhaps the divider could be velcroed (is that a verb?) in, so as to be quickly removeable.

Neil

jmweber
02-25-2005, 11:07 AM
I'm thinking about getting a Buzz, and I would use it for a laptop much of the time (but not always), so making the divider removable could be good.

Has Tom thought about a slightly bigger version of the Buzz? I really love sling-style bags; they're so comfortable and handy. But the Buzz seems a little small-ish for the amount of stuff I usually carry around.

Also, have you thought about straps on the bottom of the bag for an umbrella?

curious
05-04-2005, 05:47 PM
Hear hear! I'm thinking about the Buzz too and the main reason I haven't bought it yet is that I'd prefer a removable divider to a permanent one. And I agree with jmweber - I'd love to see straps on the bottom for umbrella/magazine or even a light jacket.

hope you don't mind my reviving an old thread :)

moriond
05-05-2005, 11:20 AM
Hi Teresa,

The Buzz is my favorite Tom Bihn bag, and I use it both with and without a laptop. That said, while I might opt for a Buzz without a divider if I were using this without a laptop (or only very occasionally to carry a laptop inside a separate sleeve), I don't think I would order this with a removable divider if I planned to use this with a laptop.

One of the great things about Tom Bihn's designs is their protection for laptops, and I think some of the other post-sales comments for the Buzz basically said, "great, but we'd like to see more padding at the bottom". Maybe he can come up with a removable divider design that keeps things secure, but I think that may be hard to do.

Just weighing in, since this suggestion for a removable divider is a new twist on the thread.

I use the side pocket for holding an umbrella, but it would be nice to carry a water bottle and an umbrella, too.

mrae
05-29-2005, 06:02 AM
I'd love to get a Buzz but my notebook is too large. Maybe many people use it without their laptop because of its size? Is there any possibility that a larger one will be forthcoming? It would be nice to have one that fit a standard screen size of 14-15" for those of us still using pcs.

lornix
06-03-2005, 12:00 PM
I just got my new Buzz today, and am quite pleased. After going to some effort to find a small and light laptop - it is nice to have a way to carry it that does not add a lot to the weight, and doesn't leave the laptop swimming around in an immense space.

If you were offering versions with and without the laptop divider - I would certainly want one with the divider - and would suggest that it might be even nicer if there were some kind of organizer pouches on the divider. There is plenty of room in the bag for all the miscellaneous accessories that come with my laptop - but between a PCMCIA card, a USB stick, a 2 part power cord, an external optical drive, and a mouse, stuff gets disorganized in a hurry, and a bit more to keep things separate would be nice.

I would also appreciate a bit more bottom padding - but I can get away with that because I have a really small laptop, and there would be room for more - so that may not be realistic for everyone.

Thanks,

Lornix

PS If you want to keep track of such things - I heard about Tom Bihn Bags because of your care label - and was happy you had a bag that met my needs and included the label.

cialome
06-09-2005, 06:13 AM
I see some people are already thinking about changing the Brain bag, but not quite in the direction I want. Please leave the laptop option in the Brain bag, and I would love to see the bag expanded with an outside pocket for a large digital camera. There is a thread going in another forum (http://forums.tombihn.com/showthread.php?t=382) looking for what might be a media bag, but I am more interested in seeing something along the lines of a Brain+ (Plus) type bag.

The Brain is great, I has room for my papers and my laptop, cell phone, keys, etc. etc. But now that I have a larger digital camera (vs. the point and shoot type) I would love an expansion so the camera would fit into it. I would then carry both all the time (I'm a big guy, so it doesn't matter to me.) But especially traveling, this would be marvelous.

So, let's get on that, shall we?

best,
thomas

shenkin
06-20-2005, 09:41 PM
Now that I've been using my Buzz for a week, here's my take on the burning issues that have so inflamed the multitudes, plus a few of my own.

The divider: Though I've not used it with my laptop yet, I wouldn't want to get rid of it. It's good to have a divider, even for organizing papers. And though this one is a bit thick for that job, I'm happy with it.

The cushioning: Though I've not used it with my laptop yet, I have "tried it on" my laptop, and I agree that maybe twice as much bottom cushioning would be in order.

Two things I really, really dig: (1) The little pocket on the corner of the laptop divider that prevents the thing from falling out if you open the case the wrong way. A touch of genius. (2) The angle of the pen holder and other pockets inside the outer compartment. At first I thought, "Why such a strange angle?", but then I found that when I swivel the bag to my front to get something out, those inner pockets are exactly horizontal. I was going to say, "What great design," but then I realized that of course it must be an accident or coincidence that it turned out this way. :-)

Things I hate: None so far; gimme another week.

Something I wish it had: A keeper for the long excess piece of strap that droops down from the buckle, gets in the way, and looks uncool.

Perplexity: How do you put the thing on gracefully? I've tried two or three ways, and all are awkward. Once on (or even once off), it's great.

Nicole
06-23-2005, 01:11 PM
Interesting that you mention the loop to tuck the excess strap in while wearing the Buzz. I just had a customer come in to the Seattle store today to suggest the exact same thing! Said she loves the bag but wishes there was somewhere to tuck the excess strap while wearing it.

I use the Buzz more often than not and I have found that the easiest way to put the bag on or take it off is to simply undo the buckle clasp, hold the strap up near the top with you right hand and set the strap over your right shoulder. Then just slip your left hand behind you, grap the other end of the buckle and click it into place. Still a little awkward at times... but a little easier than trying to throw it over your head with the buckle still together.

moriond
06-23-2005, 04:20 PM
Two things I really, really dig: (1) The little pocket on the corner of the laptop divider that prevents the thing from falling out if you open the case the wrong way. A touch of genius.
The term pocket puzzled me at first; do you mean the corner space asymmetrically placed at the top on the inside to one side of the bag? (Had me wondering how I missed a pocket placed on the divider :-))


(2) The angle of the pen holder and other pockets inside the outer compartment. At first I thought, "Why such a strange angle?", but then I found that when I swivel the bag to my front to get something out, those inner pockets are exactly horizontal. I was going to say, "What great design," but then I realized that of course it must be an accident or coincidence that it turned out this way.
Nice, isn't it? One thing I found useful when carrying papers and a large textbook in the Buzz: put the papers in something like these plastic folders from Levenger (http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/PRODUCT/Product.asp?Params=Category=7-31%7CPageID=2292%7CLevel=2-3) to keep paper corners from being caught near the zipper. This is only an issue because the "flat-pack" angle of the bag means the zipper can intercept paper corners depending on how full the bag in; in a big, deep bag this doesn't happen, and it may arise depending on how full the bag is. Levenger used to sell these in packages of 4, but I could only find the current link which is somewhat pricey at $20 for 10 folders.



Something I wish it had: A keeper for the long excess piece of strap that droops down from the buckle, gets in the way, and looks uncool.

Now that you and Nicole mention this, it would be nice to have a plastic retainer that could take up the extra strap.

curious
06-24-2005, 09:36 PM
The term pocket puzzled me at first; do you mean the corner space asymmetrically placed at the top on the inside to one side of the bag? (Had me wondering how I missed a pocket placed on the divider :-))I think this "pocket" is my favorite feature of the Buzz. If the Bihn folks are listening - you really should have a shot of this on your website. The little lip on the divider does a great job holding the laptop in the bag securely but easily, and without velcro.

Here's the thing: I wish you'd put the same sort of lip on the opposite corner along the bottom of the bag. I don't agree with all the folks who want to double the padding all along the bottom. That would annoy me, make me feel as if I were carrying a pillow. But I agree the bottom needs more padding -- I just think it's needed in one particular spot, the inside-most corner. The way the bag is angled means that if I hold it by the handle or strap and put it down on a bench, I hear a little thunk from the corner of the computer hitting the bench, without enough padding between. There's a spot in that corner, along the seam, where there just isn't padding to speak of. So why not reinforce that corner with an extra lip of padding, the way you did on the upper outside corner of the divider?


Nice, isn't it? One thing I found useful when carrying papers and a large textbook in the Buzz: put the papers in something like these plastic folders from Levenger (http://www.levenger.com/PAGETEMPLATES/PRODUCT/Product.asp?Params=Category=7-31%7CPageID=2292%7CLevel=2-3) to keep paper corners from being caught near the zipper. This is one of my all-time favorite products. They are expensive, but I've been using them for over five years and I love them.

moriond
06-25-2005, 01:19 AM
One thing I found useful when carrying papers and a large textbook in the Buzz: put the papers in something like these plastic folders from Levenger to keep paper corners from being caught near the zipper.
Posted by Curious
This is one of my all-time favorite products. They are expensive, but I've been using them for over five years and I love them.

The only thing, I wish I could also find A4 sized folders like this, too, since I sometimes pass papers to/from European colleagues. These folders work great for letter-sized papers, and the translucent plastic pockets on either side of the colored plastic divider keep papers from getting snagged on the zipper of the Buzz while at the same time making it easy to see the contents. Any suggestions from forum visitors outside the U.S.? I'm attaching a picture of the folders.

slinstar
06-26-2005, 11:57 AM
A removeable divider sounds cool, but I would worry that it would make the bag work less well as a laptop bag - if it would sacrifice anything in that department, I'd say don't do it, and just offer purchasers a choice between permanent laptop divider or no divider. When I considered getting the Buzz (I had to give up on that idea after coming to terms with the fact that I was going to have to haul around things like textbooks and lunch) it was because I wanted a protective backpack designed for a small laptop, so for me its functionality as a laptop bag was essential.

And, by the way, thank you for designing bags that are tailored to small laptops! I'm excited about the Size 5 monolith too.

shenkin
06-26-2005, 03:20 PM
The term pocket puzzled me at first; do you mean the corner space asymmetrically placed at the top on the inside to one side of the bag? (Had me wondering how I missed a pocket placed on the divider :-))

Yes, that is what I meant.

As far as keeping papers in expensive plastic folders from Levinger is concerned, I use cheap manilla file folders from Staples or Office Depot, and they work fine, too.

I have not bought anything from Levinger for a while, and am surprised to hear that they are selling plastic file folders. If they were selling file folders at all, I would have expected them to be made of polished walnut.

BTW, the problem I see with a second "pocket" at the bottom, to fit the diagonally opposite corner of the laptop, is that that solution would fit far fewer laptops. Another possibility would be to line that corner of the bag with a plastic "cup" that would be tailored to the shape of the bag. (Just thinkin'....)

-P.

moriond
06-26-2005, 07:05 PM
As far as keeping papers in expensive plastic folders from Levinger is concerned, I use cheap manilla file folders from Staples or Office Depot, and they work fine, too.

I have not bought anything from Levinger for a while, and am surprised to hear that they are selling plastic file folders. If they were selling file folders at all, I would have expected them to be made of polished walnut.
I also use manilla file folders, and these particular file folders were bought some time ago. This may not come up as an issue for you, but in addition to my 12" PowerBook, I was carrying a paperback text book sufficiently large (about 9.5" x 10.8" x 0.9") that while the book fit easily into the Buzz, folders and papers placed on top of it would often have their corners come close to the zipper.

I'd also be carrying papers turned in for grading, and these were often a mix of looseleaf sheets and pages torn out from sprial-bound notebooks, as well as neatly typed or printed pages. Anyway, using a manilla folder the corner of the folder would get dogeared and bent. Especially since these were a motley assortment of pages, with an open file folder paper edges could spill out too close to the edge of the zipper. Maybe there's some way of making the inner piping along the zipper edge flatter so there is less of a problem. The closed plastic file meant that the paper edges could never spill out, and the fact that there was a closed plastic corner kept the edge of the file from being bent and dog-eared.

I don't know whether you can see from the picture, but the translucent plastic is actually pliable, so unlike other plastic folders I've seen, this isn't brittle and lasts a long time. Another bonus of the translucent, double-sided pockets is that I could easily see graded homeworks and quizzes (old assignments that weren't picked up), and turn to the right side. (But this has nothing to do with using this with the Buzz).

Probably, other people won't need this information -- when I'm not using a textbook quite so wide, tall, and of a minimum thickness it never comes up, and it doesn't matter what folder I use for papers. I agree that many of the Levenger products are overpriced and not particularly well designed (especially many of the things they custom build), but occasionally there are nice stationary products. We probably spend entirely too much time in these forums obsessing over minor design solution details! Sorry for the long explanation.

And yes, I think that it would be difficult to design a corner pocket at the bottom of the Buzz that would work well with all laptops.

teresa
06-27-2005, 01:31 PM
Hello all,

Thanks for all your comments and suggestions. In summary, it looks like there might be some interest in having a Buzz available with no divider as long as we continued to offer the version that has it. I did notice the other day that if it hadn't been present, it actually would have been able to hold my shoes and clothes after I changed at the gym. Of course, since I own a 12" Powerbook that I normally carry with me, I will stick with the current version. The removable divider was an interesting idea but seems like it would be difficult on the production end and if we were to go that route, some people would not be as interested in getting a Buzz. What seems to be the most popular design idea is to have some type of non-bulky extra padding at the bottom. I would say I agree with this suggestion as well. Sometimes I find myself setting my Buzz on the ground a little harder than I intended and that would definitely help. I also wouldn't mind seeing some sort of system for taking up the extra length of strap.

The transparent colored folders are very cool. Thanks for the suggestion! That seems like a good solution for when you have loose papers in an otherwise fully loaded bag.

Thanks again everyone for your enthusiasm and input. Please keep em coming!

shenkin
06-28-2005, 09:37 PM
I'd also be carrying papers turned in for grading.... Anyway, using a manilla folder the corner of the folder would get dogeared and bent.

I always thought that's what they were for. :-) Hopefully, some of the papers got dogeared, too. That makes students think you might actually have read them.

By the way, I thought of something else I like about the Buzz but forgot to mention: Thank you for making the stupid, useless key fob removable.

slinstar
06-28-2005, 11:40 PM
I always thought that's what they were for. :-) Hopefully, some of the papers got dogeared, too. That makes students think you might actually have read them.

By the way, I thought of something else I like about the Buzz but forgot to mention: Thank you for making the stupid, useless key fob removable.
you also can protect your papers in those lovely, free UPS/Priority Mail/FedEx cardboard envelopes, as long as they aren't too big to fit in the Buzz :)

add a rubber band and they're almost fail-proof.

shenkin
07-08-2005, 09:34 PM
I remembered one more thing I wanted to suggest. Other than the all black (which I purchased), all the color options were, umm, garish. I would have liked a black-and-steel-grey alternative, or something else other than all black, but subdued.