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Which laptop bag: ID vs. Zephyr vs. Empire Builder

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  • Josh
    replied
    16 minutes. From the time I placed the order to the time I received the shipment confirmation email was 16 minutes. I do a lot of consulting and development work with small to medium ecommerce firms, and I have to say, given that Tom Bihn is focused on having a small, entirely US-based company, that's amazing!

    Can't wait to get my Super Ego! I'll start a new thread once I do - I also ordered a few more organizer pouches so that I believe I now will have one in every size, so I can check and see what sort of things fit in each one.

    Leave a comment:


  • MtnMan
    replied
    I absolutely love the Steel interior. I highly recommend it.

    Leave a comment:


  • Josh
    replied
    Awh, what the heck...like they say, Tom Bihn has a great return policy, so I think I'm going to order the Black/Steel/Wasabi Super Ego and take it for a spin around the house to see what I think before I use it outside. Now I just have to figure out how many and what sizes of organizer pouches to order, and other accessories.

    Leave a comment:


  • Josh
    replied
    Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
    Another consideration for me was cost. By going the Super Ego route, I was able to get an extra-large briefcase with the Standard Shoulder Strap; this does not rule out buying other straps later. The Empire Builder is an impressive briefcase, but it sells at full price without a shoulder strap. So the EB costs significantly more than the Super Ego.

    This helped me make my decision, at least.
    Ahh - see, I had assumed that you had to buy a strap with all the bags (oops!), so I bought an Absolute Shoulder Strap with my Brain Cell that's arriving today. I'm thinking about picking up the Q-AM strap, though, if I do buy the Super Ego.

    Do you like the steel interior? One of the first reviews I saw of a Bihn bag had the wasabi interior and I think I've gotten stuck on that concept.

    Leave a comment:


  • MtnMan
    replied
    Another consideration for me was cost. By going the Super Ego route, I was able to get an extra-large briefcase with the Standard Shoulder Strap; this does not rule out buying other straps later. The Empire Builder is an impressive briefcase, but it sells at full price without a shoulder strap. So the EB costs significantly more than the Super Ego.

    This helped me make my decision, at least.

    Leave a comment:


  • Josh
    replied
    Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
    For my purposes, I'm satisfied with the SuperEgo.

    It's a matter of trade-offs. For me, the Empire Builder and Zephyr offer those neat suspended file-folder thingies for papers. I would love to have something like that.

    But my experience with the Horizontal Freudian Slip and the largest version of the Clear Organizer Pouch has been very positive.

    I don't know what kind of interactions and settings you encounter with the people you do business with. Sometimes appearances can be an issue ("it's the clothes that make the man"), but I really feel that if your client is judging you on the appearance of your briefcase, and they bother to talk to you about it, you can just say "It's a Tom Bihn. Made in U.S.A. It's very versatile and durable and I'm very satisfied with it." Some people might think someone who spends over $150 for a briefcase is crazy, just like they might think spending extra money to buy a MacBook Pro over a Dell Inspiron is extravagent. From where I sit, if they're putting that much weight on judging you by the style of the briefcase you carry and not on what you have to say/offer in your meeting, it may be time for you to make a judgement of the prospective client's attitudes and priorities, not the other way around.

    If you're concerned about lugging around something in a business setting that might look too loud, perhaps the best thing to focus on would be color choices, like going all-black. Again, for me, you keep your fingers off my indigo/black/steel Super Ego!
    Good thoughts all around - so it sounds like you're pretty satisfied with your choice! And now I'm leaning more towards the Super Ego - it's closer to the form-factor that I'm currently carrying (although I am worried about the size - it sounds -huge- judging from all the compartments, how much it can carry, etc.!) and you're right - if clients are judging me based on the bag I'm carrying, well, not only are they people I don't want to work with, I'm probably not making a good enough impression!

    Ahh, I like the indigo/black/steel combo! But, the options right now on the Super Ego are: Black/Crimson/Steel, Black/Steel/Wasabi and Black/Black/Steel. I wish there was an indigo/blue option still! The crimson is a bit too bright for me, so it's Black/Steel or Black/Black for me. I can't decide if I should go with the Black/Black and get an indigo or other distinctive strip, or if I should go with the Black/Steel - I like the idea of the Wasabi interior on both the Empire Builder and the Super Ego, actually, to make it easier to find things in the bag. You have the steel interior/lining - is it bright enough, as opposed to the typical black interior, to find small things, etc.?

    Thanks for your help and insight!

    Leave a comment:


  • MtnMan
    replied
    For my purposes, I'm satisfied with the SuperEgo.

    It's a matter of trade-offs. For me, the Empire Builder and Zephyr offer those neat suspended file-folder thingies for papers. I would love to have something like that.

    But my experience with the Horizontal Freudian Slip and the largest version of the Clear Organizer Pouch has been very positive.

    I don't know what kind of interactions and settings you encounter with the people you do business with. Sometimes appearances can be an issue ("it's the clothes that make the man"), but I really feel that if your client is judging you on the appearance of your briefcase, and they bother to talk to you about it, you can just say "It's a Tom Bihn. Made in U.S.A. It's very versatile and durable and I'm very satisfied with it." Some people might think someone who spends over $150 for a briefcase is crazy, just like they might think spending extra money to buy a MacBook Pro over a Dell Inspiron is extravagent. From where I sit, if they're putting that much weight on judging you by the style of the briefcase you carry and not on what you have to say/offer in your meeting, it may be time for you to make a judgement of the prospective client's attitudes and priorities, not the other way around.

    If you're concerned about lugging around something in a business setting that might look too loud, perhaps the best thing to focus on would be color choices, like going all-black. Again, for me, you keep your fingers off my indigo/black/steel Super Ego!

    Leave a comment:


  • Josh
    replied
    Originally posted by MtnMan View Post
    Well, I have the Super Ego and I love it.

    Here's a photo thread after I purchased my briefcase last Fall, almost a year ago.
    I came across that thread in my searching, actually! It looks like from one of your original threads, you were debating between, among other things, the Empire Builder and the Super Ego at some point? Are you still glad you selected the Super Ego? I'm a bit worried that the Super Ego might not appear professional enough to carry into some client meetings (I own a software development company, so I don't have to worry about it not looking professional enough around the office, at least!)?

    Although now I'm thinking...I've already ordered a Brain Cell for my 17" MacBook Pro (it's arriving tomorrow!) so for meetings with conservative clients, I could probably carry everything I need in the Brain Cell - basically, my laptop in the Brain Cell, and any files/notes/etc. in the mesh on the front of the Brain Cell. Since it's a black colored Brain Cell, it should look professional enough, I think?

    So...I'm stuck between the Super Ego and the Empire Builder!! Any help/suggestions?

    Leave a comment:


  • MtnMan
    replied
    Well, I have the Super Ego and I love it.

    Here's a photo thread after I purchased my briefcase last Fall, almost a year ago.

    Leave a comment:


  • Josh
    replied
    I'm in the same boat, actually - my new laptop (when it arrives - anxiously awaiting it from Apple) fits in a Brain Cell that only fits in the Empire Builder or the Super Ego.

    I was actually considering a Super Ego in fairly conservative colors, because I don't want something that looks -too- conservative, but I think I've set on the Empire Builder. Since it's out of stock right now, I've just ordered the Brain Cell, a shoulder strap and a few other accessories (which shipped very quickly - thanks, everyone at Tom Bihn! Can't wait for it to arrive!)

    Does anyone know if the Empire Builder will be available in any other colors in the near future - i.e., before the end of the year? I'd like something with a bright interior and some sort of color on the outside, but it looks like the only color options right now are:
    • Black/Black/Steel
    • Black/Black/Wasabi
    • Black/Steel/Steel

    Even a Black/Steel/Wasabi combo would be great, but the Black/Black/Wasabi seems a bit too bland on the outside for what I'm looking for. Does anyone have the steel lining? I like the wasabi lining because from what I've read, it makes it really easy to find things inside. Is the steel that big of a difference from a black interior?

    Thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • Darcy
    replied
    Originally posted by Leeenda View Post
    Unless someone knows if it will fit into one of those small USPS flat rate boxes...
    I'm afraid not. We recommend you ship back returns or exchanges in the box they originally arrived in. If a bag is stuffed into a box that's too small for it, it can actually permanently damage the bag.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leeenda
    replied
    the point is kinda moot

    Hmmm... I queried IT and I'm getting a Dell Latitude 5510... which only fits in either the Empire Builder, Super Ego, or the Tri-Star...

    So I guess the Empire Builder it is...

    Leave a comment:


  • Leeenda
    replied
    That's good, but then I have to pay for shipping...

    Unless someone knows if it will fit into one of those small USPS flat rate boxes...

    Leave a comment:


  • maverick
    replied
    Originally posted by Leeenda View Post
    I'd rather be safe than sorry, so I think I'm leaning now more towards the Zephyr..
    hi lynda,

    tom bihn has a very friendly buying policy - you could order both the zephyr and id and try them out (in your home, not outside, just like you would a pair of shoes). keep the one you prefer, and send back the other.

    Leave a comment:


  • Leeenda
    replied
    thanks for the quick replies

    Maverick...
    I actually don't have my laptop yet... it's shipping today and my IT guy promises me I'll have it by Friday... so I'm just planning ahead at the moment

    I already have a huge vertical Brain Cell for my Smart Alec for my 17" laptop, but I know this this won't work in my new briefcase... But I'm not too worried about bumps and scratches on the commute to work, so for my new 15.4" laptop I'll probably just buy a Cache..

    Thanks for your thoughts about the ID... I'd rather be safe than sorry, so I think I'm leaning now more towards the Zephyr..

    MtnMn...

    I'll be usually carrying it on my shoulder, so the regular strap should be fine. But I did buy a QAM strap for my Imago, so it's around the house somewhere. I found the QAM very handy for traveling when I needed to have my hands free but the Imago to be very secure...

    Leave a comment:

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